Rhode Island State Police said the victim – a South Kingstown woman in her 60s – and her friend were walking with the flow of traffic on the side of the road when she was struck.
Police said the driver – a 20-year-old man from East Greenwich – was also driving south when the vehicle in front of him came to a stop in order to make a left-hand turn. In an attempt to avoid hitting the vehicle, police said the driver swerved right into the breakdown lane and struck the victim.
I drove by this right after it happened. The cops weren’t there yet, but there were a lot of folks already stopped and helping. It was pretty unsettling. I drive past people walking/jogging on that stretch every morning on the way to work and I’m always worried about someone getting hit. It’s a narrow shoulder with a good number of curves and everyone is going 55-60mph.
Related to such accidents, and others where people are injured or killed by motorists, please note on Friday, May 6 bill H8188 was introduced by Rep Lauren Carson which mandates a higher fine and penalties when certain moving violations, (including speeding, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, out of lane travel, failure to yield to a bicyclist in a bike lane) leads to bodily injury, serious injury, or death. The increasing penalties exactly parallel the language already in the law for other moving violations such as failure to yield at a yield sign resulting in injury etc. Otherwise, currently there are no additional penalties when you kill or injure someone with those violations beyond the usual $85 fine. The bill would raise it to $200, $500, $1000 for causing injury, serious injury, death respectively, the latter case includes a license suspension.
Of course the RIBike Coalition supports the bill and would welcome any support/advice , perhaps part of a “complete streets” strategy. There is a hearing on this bill at House Judiciary coming this Tuesday, May 10 at the “rise” (ca 4:30pm) which I plan to attend.