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Urges citizen support of vulnerable users bill PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

On Aug. 5, 2011, my husband, Dave Landgraf, was riding his bicycle southbound on Highway 27 in Sawyer County. The sun was shining during this early evening ride and there were no visual obstructions on this stretch of highway.

Since Dave was an avid bicyclist, he always wore his helmet, brightly colored jersey and followed the rules of the road. These precautions offered little protection when a driver who was texting and talking on the phone struck him from behind at 55 mph.

What was the result of this crash to my husband? He died three days later due to massive head trauma. What were the consequences for the driver who chose to text and talk on her cell phone while driving? She was issued traffic citations (inattentive driving, not carrying proof of insurance, and hitting a cyclist).

While she continues to drive and live her life as before, our family’s life from that fateful day changed forever.  We would never have our husband, dad, son, brother, uncle, friend or track coach in our lives. Dave would never again ski the American?Birkiebeiner, North America’s largest cross-country ski race in Hayward, which he was best recognized as being a founder (having skied every year since its inception in 1973).

As I learned from other individuals who have also lost loved ones due to crashes, traffic citations, if any, seem to be the only consequence for the driver. It appears, many Wisconsin district attorneys do not file criminal charges because of the burden of proof proving these cases beyond a reasonable doubt.

In cases such as my husband’s, if Wisconsin had a vulnerable user law, the driver could have automatically been charged with a felony and had her license revoked — a consequence more fitting for causing the death of another person.

I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life and enjoyed all the well-maintained roads for all kinds of transportation and recreation. I urge us to make roads safer in Wisconsin by passing the Vulnerable User Law.

Every user of Wisconsin roads has the right to know their life matters and if someone chooses to be reckless while using the road, there will be severe consequences.

Contact your state Assembly member and urge them to support the vulnerable users bill (AB-383).

Laurie R. Landgraf


Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:04 AM

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