Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 15, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Cyclist killed during morning commute

Time for strict enforcement

Your story in Saturday’s paper, “Cycling enthusiast hit by car” [News, Dec. 13] was a fitting tribute and eulogy to Paul Ratliff, who was doing his part to relieve congestion and our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

What saddens me was the response of law enforcement. According to Sgt. John Urquhart, Ratliff had the right of way, yet the driver was not cited, let alone arrested. It is time that our justice system realizes that bicyclists deserve protection on our roadways; strict enforcement of existing laws would reduce the harassment and danger to cyclists.

This would benefit everyone in the community.

— Lee Zulch, Clyde Hill

Tragic, but not faultless

It broke my heart to read your story about Paul Ratliff’s death. Here was a man doing everything he could to ride safely and legally on public roads and now he joins the ranks of cyclists killed by drivers.

Your story notes that the King County Sheriff’s Office “stressed that the death was a tragic accident,” while acknowledging that Rafliff had the right of way. Yet the 79-year-old driver has not yet been charged or even cited for his noted failure to yield. After the investigation is completed and assuming the stated facts haven’t changed, he should be charged for criminal negligence and manslaughter.

I’m not sure how you can blithely violate the law and kill someone without being held responsible.

Cyclists continue to die in Washington and the police continue to shake their heads at how “tragic” it is. This is not a faultless tragedy. The police have an obligation to protect us by bringing charges against those who kill with negligence.

A man is dead because another man violated the law.

— Colin Connolly, Woodinville

Comments | More in bicycling, crime/justice

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►