Saturday, January 9, 2010
Score one for cyclists part II
Los Angeles doctor gets 5 years for injuring cyclists
A doctor convicted of assaulting two cyclists in Brentwood by driving in front of them and slamming on his brakes was sentenced today to five years in prison, ending a case a judge described as a wake-up call about tensions between cyclists and motorists on Los Angeles' streets.
Wearing dark blue jail scrubs, Christopher Thompson wept after offering a tearful apology to the injured riders. He also urged a peaceful resolution to conflicts between cyclists and residents of the upscale residential street where the crash took place.
But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington expressed doubts about the physician's remorse and found that the victims were particularly vulnerable because they were on bicycles. In an unusual move, the judge called on cyclists and drivers to respect each other and said local government should add more lanes specifically assigned to cyclists to improve their safety.
"Government must become aware of the dangerous conditions existing on our city streets and the threat of injury to cyclists," Millington told a courtroom packed with cyclists as well as friends and supporters of Thompson at the Airport Courthouse.