Bicyclists to ride for manslaughter bill
Bike Maryland will hold a ride from Baltimore to Annapolis Wednesday morning to mobilize support for a bill that would create a new offense of manslaughter by criminal negligence – more serious than a traffic charge but with a lesser penalty than felony vehicular manslaughter.
The bicyclists will leave Baltimore's War Memorial Plaza aboutt 8 a.m. and take the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail to the state capital, where they are being urged to attend a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. The bill has passed the House but the Senate committee's chairman, Brian E. Frosh, has expressed misgivings about the legislation, saying it could lead to jail terms for people who commit unintentional driving errors.
Among the organizers is Tami Bensky, widow of Larry Bensky, who was killed a year ago when he was struck by a car while bicycling on Butler Road in Baltimore County.
In an email, Tami Bensky told supporters the woman who struck her husband was fined $500 and given 3 points on her license -- a result she called "pretty pathetic."
"Bottom line is that its painfully obvious that this middle level charge is necessary in cases like Larry's and sadly, so many others," Bensky wrote. She urged supporters to "light up Senator Frosh's phones with overwhelming support for this bill."