As most of you have heard, the driver involved in the hit-and run that killed Aaron Cohen last February on the Rickenbacker Causeway was sentenced to just 364 days in jail late this afternoon. Unfortunately this came as no surprise to me, just last week the drunk driver who struck and killed avid cyclist and good friend Ferny Heria on the 836 was also sentenced to only 1 year in jail. The courts are sending a message to drunk and/or hit-and-run drivers that this behavior is tolerable and setting the precedent for similar cases in the future. I'm not sure what it's going to take to eradicate this problem.
Below are links from various news outlets and blogs related to today's sentencing, I highly encourage everyone to read "The Aaron Cohen Tragedy and the Lessons..." courtesy of South Florida Bike Coalition.
Driver in Fatal Rickenbacker Causeway Hit and Run, Sentenced to 364 Days in Jail (NBC 6)
Hit and run cyclist killer sentenced (WSVN 7)
Hit-and-run driver sentenced (Local 10)
Driver In Deadly Rickenbacker Accident Sentenced (CBS Miami)
Autor de muerte de ciclista cumplirá un año de cárcel (El Nuevo Herald)
Driver In Hit-And-Run That Killed Aaron Cohen, Sentenced To 364 Days In Jail (Huffington Post)
Driver in Rickenbacker Causeway cyclist death gets less than a year in jail (Miami Herald)
Hit-run Driver Gets A Year, Almost (Green Mobility Network)
In another horrid but all too common bicycle related story, this one taking place in Hollywood, FL. The Sun Sentinel is reporting that "two vehicles hit three people in separate crashes" this evening, one of the victims was riding a bike, it was a hit-and-run and the rider is in critical condition.
And if that was depressing enough for your humpday evening, check out the Miami Herald piece on Miami-Dade's plans to get rid of the protected pathway on the eastbound side of the Bear Cut Bridge. I found the following excerpt interesting, I also think it's illegal. "The less-than-ideal scenario could eventually result in enough trouble for pedestrians and cyclists that the county may consider closing the bridge to those travelers altogether, public works administrators acknowledged. That would effectively restrict access to Crandon Park, until the bridge is repaired, for anyone who is not driving a car."
Miami-Dade residents, now is the time to contact your Commisioner and Mayor and ask them what they are doing to make streets and roads safer for all users. Advocacy groups, here's your opportunity to hold them up to false promises and to demand the necessary improvements needed to make this a livable community.