If you don’t get around to downloading the file, here’s the excerpt from the judge’s final decision:
“The testimony here is that there was no brake. By that, I mean…there was no specific device specifically designed to slow the vehicle down. All right? Your argument, Mr. Ginsberg, si that the gearing could be used to slow the bike down. And the defendant said her feet could be used to slow the bike down.
The problem that I see it is this, that — and where I think the defense has missed the point, the point is that the — the source of the braking force is not the gear on her bike, it is her. It is the application of her muscles to those pedals in reverse to try and slow a bike down. I have seen bike messengers driving at fairly high speeds. I think we all have. Now, the question is, can that be done safely? I don’t think so. I don’t think you can safely stop at an —
I think the statute is clear, it’s a brake — it has to have a brake. It’s sort of like a rose is a rose is a rose. All right? I think there has to be a brake mechanism. And I don’t find that the gearing is — fits within that definition. There has to be a separate force of some sort, separate device designed to stop the bike, separate and apart from the musculature of the operator.”
Lawyer Mark Ginsberg interjects:
“Why separate, Your Honor?”
“Because otherwise, we would be saying that a person who is like me, who isn’t very strong in the legs, all right, would be on the sme level as the defendant who may be very strong in the legs, and the braking difference would be great. I think the statute is clear. I think that — I understand what you’re trying to do, but I don’t think you’ve met it.
The term brake, it must be equipped with a brake. You know, quite frankly, had she had a stick on the back end rubbing against the tire, you might have an argument. But here, there is no brake. It’s just that simple. There’s no brake. There is a mechanism which she may use as a brake in certain situations, the gearing, her musculature, things like that.
So in all honesty, I don’t believe that the defense has convinced me that I should broaden the pretty obvious term brake to include simply a gearing mechanism that has no innate ability to stop other than the fact that it’s gearing. I am going to enter a finding of guilty.”
Still no official word on whether or not they will appeal the the ruling.
Full transcript here (PDF, 2.1MB)