Category: Legal

Terminology debate: crash versus collision

The following is an email conversation between myself and Travis Wittwer, a cool guy in Portland, Oregon, whom I stayed with in April 2010. We’ve had similar conversations before about the language writers (mainly newspaper article authors) use when speaking about and describing situations where “people and their bicycles make contact with people and their cars” (yes, there’s an easier way to say that, read on).

Travis: Continue reading

Taxicab complaint hearing is on Tuesday

A taxicab waits at Milwaukee and Western. This is not the driver in question. Call 311 to report incidents. 

On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, I will be in court as a witness to my own taxicab complaint. The charges are administrative and are in the context of the terms of the driver’s chauffeur license:

  • discourteous conduct
  • unsafe driving
  • abusive behavior

These are based on my description of the incident, where I told of being honked at, being passed within 3 feet (twice), being told to ride in the bike lane (on a street without one), and having them stop quickly in front of me (twice).

I don’t want to tell you more until after the hearing, which the City lawyer described as an abbreviated bench trial. Each side will make a brief opening statement. The City prosecutor will call me to stand near the podium for a “direct examination”. Then the driver, or their lawyer, will ask me questions in a “cross examination” (look at those big “Law & Order” words).

I should be able to testify from memory but if I can’t remember the details of the incident, then I’ll say “I can’t remember” and I’ll read from my affidavit. I submitted a very detailed attachment with the affidavit, including a geographic diagram of where and what happened.

The City lawyer I talked to told me there are four possible outcomes:

  • Fine(s)
  • License suspension
  • License revocation
  • Not guilty

Mandatory retraining (classes at Harold Washington Community College) would be a likely addition, or even a sole outcome.

Updated 19:15 to add “not guilty” as a fourth possible outcome.