On the morning of February 4, 2009, word spread quickly that a cyclist had been struck and killed in Ballard. At the office, we fanned out to find out what happened and to whom. These are the messages we dread receiving more than any other.
We learned that Kevin Black was bicycling to work at the University of Washington when a driver attempted an illegal U-turn in front of him. Kevin tried to maneuver around the large delivery van but was trapped underneath it and killed. The police cited the driver with a mere traffic ticket, nothing more.
Coincidentally that same morning in Olympia, we introduced a Vulnerable User Bill in the state senate to address cases where sober drivers still make deadly decisions, cases just like Kevin’s. Sadly, the 2009 bill failed to get out of committee and never made it to a full vote.
It’s one year later, and we’re back working in to get the Vulnerable User Bill, SB 5838, passed and made into law.
How can we get drivers to use more care on the road? How do we find justice for Kevin and Michele Black and their two daughters?
There are three things you can do to make a difference.
- Ask your senator to support SB 5838. We’ve set up an online form to send a message encouraging your senator to support our Vulnerable User Bill, SB 5838.
- Forward this webpage to your friends and loved ones. Ask them to join in our efforts for justice.
- Come to Olympia. Next Tuesday morning, January 26, the bill will have a second hearing to break a 4-4 split in the Senate Judiciary Committee. We need your help to move the bill forward. Please email us if you can come to Olympia and make our voices heard together.
You can join Michele Black and others in signing on the record in favor of the bill, which fills the gap between a simple traffic ticket and more serious offenses. The new bill requires a court appearance and possible community service or license suspension for drivers who kill or gravely injure pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable users of the road.
We need your support to pass the Vulnerable User Bill – please email your senator today.