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Juror Bias Against Bicyclists?

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Chicago Bicycle Law links to the Portland attorney Ray Thomas article, “Strategies Regarding Public Irritation With Bicyclists.”

Excerpt:

Examine the letter section of local newspapers or listen in on commentary on a.m. radio talk shows and the emergence of a new group of people becomes visible – folks who openly dislike bicycle riders. As the number of bicyclists (and their perceived political muscle) has increased, more and more citizens have come forward to denounce boorish, illegal, elitist, rude, and/or threatening behavior of bicyclists….

Unfortunately, this backlash to the bicycle movement has made its way into the jury box. Since jurors are drawn from voter and driver license lists, people on juries tend to include folks who are able to leave their jobs or home routines and serve for as long as a case takes to finish. Juries are composed of people who reflect area demographics and attitudes – the majority of jurors identify with car drivers and do not ride bicycles in traffic….”
(link to full article)

* See also Pedal Power and the Oregon DMV Bicyclist Manual.

* See also the NYT story, “Moving Targets,” by Jan Hoffman, published: August 8, 2008 (thank you to Jack Bog’s Blog for the link).

* And, for more than you might ever want to know from the blogs about Portland, Oregon bicycling and bicyclists, type:

portland bicycles bicyclists (and variations on the theme)

into http://blogsearch.google.com/