Bicyclist Killed Near Outer Loop - July 2008

Fatal bicycle accident
It was reported that 42-year-old Vance Kokojan of Louisville, Kentucky was killed while riding his bike to work on July 17, 2008. The accident happened on Outer Loop in the westbound lanes near Minors Lane. It was reported that a Honda, which had been following a semi-truck, attempted to pass the semi by pulling into the right hand lane. That's when the Honda hit Kokojan from behind. Kokojan died at the scene as a result of multiple blunt force injuries. No charges were filed against the driver of the Honda.

Related: Safety Tips For Cyclists: National Bike Month 2014

Kentucky law
Under Kentucky law, police can only bring misdemeanor charges when they actually witness an accident or crime. Police can bring charges in cases where they didn't witness them but the investigation must show that a felony was committed. A case can also be presented to the Jefferson County Grand Jury for consideration as to whether an indictment is warranted. Additionally, if an investigation showed a driver‘s behavior was indifferent or wanton, the case could be presented to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for potential criminal charges.

Rules for cyclists and motorists
There are several state and local regulations outlining the responsibilities of bicyclists as well as motorists responsibilities toward bicyclist. Some of the rules related to bicyclist include:

  • Use a front and rear light when riding at night or in low light conditions.
  • Use a horn or shout when approaching a pedestrian or another bicycle.
  • Don't carry more than the number the bike was designed to carry.
  • Don't attach yourself to another vehicle.
  • If a bike lane is available, you must use it when riding a bike.

For motorist some of the rules are:

  • When passing a bicyclist, you must make sure the right lane is free of any obstruction that may force the rider to the left, into your path.
  • You should only pass a bicyclist when there is at least three feet between your vehicle and the cyclist.
  • Drivers need to remember that cyclists don't have electric turn signals. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for hand signals.

Related: Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike On Sidewalks In Louisville?

As an avid bicyclist, I am adamant about following these rules and laws. Bicycles are considered vehicles. They have the same rules and regulations, as well as responsibilities, as motorist. They also have the same rights as motorists. As drivers, we need to be aware and respectful of their rights. When both cyclists and drivers follow the rules of the road, accidents are less likely to happen, resulting is safer road ways.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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