[1/15/2014: azcentral.com Man in Scottsdale pedicab crash sentenced to 4 years in prison; Joseph Paul Spano pleaded guilty to two counts aggravated assault plus one endangerment ]
Two passengers of a pedicab were very seriously injured when they were struck by an suspected drunk driver in an early morning hours crash near downtown Scottsdale 1/4/2013. The pedicab’s driver was also injured. The crash occurred as the pedicab was traveling north on Scottsdale Road near Rose Lane.
Seriously injured Cody A. Clark and Michael D. Tysver were both Kansas state fans in town for the Fiesta Bowl. The automobile driver “Phoenix resident Joseph Paul Spano, 27, was driving the sedan that collided with the pedicab and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, endangerment and aggravated assault”. Aggravated assault, §13-1204, can be a fairly serious charge; depending on a variety of factors.
The azcentral.com article was somewhat breathless (though, I guess it’s sort of typical-style journalism for the topic)… If there really are “armies of pedicabs” and their passengers subject to extreme danger by plentiful drunk drivers(“as common as sharks, ” — though i wasn’t sure that metaphor works); wouldn’t there be more frequent collisions and injuries?
Pedicab crashes/injuries in the greater-Phoenix area are by my memory rare, this is the ONLY ONE I ever heard of – though, admittedly, this is anecdotal. So this will be one crash to watch for in the ADOT traffic records (but not until mid-2014!), I will be interested to see how this gets coded, it might be possible to extract statistics by filtering on more than one person in a traffic unit that is a pedalcyclist; and making some inferences. This would also pick up, e.g. tandems, and any sort of passenger (e.g. illegally on pegs, or handlebars).
This particular pedicab device itself was somewhat confusingly described in the article — the video show it was a standard-issue mountain-style bicycle pulling a two-wheeled passenger trailer. Some pedicabs are customized tricycle creations with integrated (no trailer) passenger space; these units sometimes (perhaps often?) have helper motors attached. There is no indication (from the video, nor in the article) a helper-motor was in use.
One other standard gripe of mine is this quote, my emphasis; it would be better if we could train these guys to drop out the word motor because it is inaccurate:
Tempe Police Sgt. Mike Pooley said pedicabs and pedicab trailers are “basically treated as motor vehicles” and are governed by the same regulations. At night, they the have to have reflectors and a front headlight, he said.
Bicycles (and pedicabs) are not motor vehicles; this important distinction explains, among some other things, why bicyclists (and pedicabists) are not by state law required to have a motor vehicle driver’s license, or covered under mandatory insurance (technically, “financial responsiblity”) laws.
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