Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on July 12th, 2006 at 7:31 am
Portland bike lawyer Ray Thomas, a tireless defender of cyclist’s rights, is at it again.
His latest initiative is a grassroots project to bring accountability to the court system from the consumers of the system, those who appear in traffic court with bicycle related cases.
According to Thomas, the impetus of this initiative comes from accounts he has heard from citizens that judges are routinely impolite, disrespectful and have even blocked cyclists from submitting evidence in their own defense at trial. Here’s more from Thomas:
“My goal is to provide the bicycle community with knowledge of their rights and need to appeal bad legal results, complain about unfair judges, learn about citizen rights, and how to use grassroots activist skills to make the judicial system accountable to the citizens who use it.”
Thomas wants to collect courtroom experiences from cyclists and is looking for people willing to name names of judges who have interfered with their efforts to get a fair trial. He is working on a collection of materials that will serve as a citizen how-to guide on ways to make the judicial system responsive to citizen input.
If you have been treated unfairly during a bicycle related case, please consider sharing your experience in the comments or contact Ray Thomas directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might remember that Thomas is the lawyer behind the campaign that helps cyclists bring motorists to justice in injury crash cases.
This step towards accountability in the courtroom is a necessary step in cyclist’s ongoing fight to be treated fairly in a system that is reluctant to recognize bicycles as a viable mode of transport deserving the same respect as motor vehicle operators.
Stay tuned for more developments on this project.