November 26, 2013

It was with much frustration and anger that I read of the decision not to charge the driver responsible for the death of bicyclist Trish Cunningham, who was struck from behind in broad daylight while being passed on a hill on a narrow road [“Grand jury rejects charges in death,” Metro, Nov. 24]. The Anne Arundel County grand jury found that the driver’s actions did not rise to the level of recklessness necessary for a charge of negligent manslaughter.

From the perspective of any cyclist, and perhaps most motorists, this is a travesty. The problem is a double standard that stems from an overt hostility toward bicyclists held by many motorists. There is a bias, at least among some, that cyclists deserve what they get because they shouldn’t be out there in the first place. Does anyone think that a driver who, while passing on a blind hill, had hit another vehicle and killed a passenger would face no charges? I don’t.

The precedent here couldn’t be worse. As one cyclist quoted in the article suggested, this decision tells motorists they can run over those on bikes with relative impunity. If breaking multiple traffic laws and killing someone doesn’t constitute recklessness, I don’t know what does.

Roger Kurrus, Chantilly