Vulnerable User Assembly Hearing Update

Read more:
Killers get probation, but victims’ families want justice
Motorcycle group opposes vulnerable user bill
Public Hearings set for Vulnerable Users Bill
Public Hearings set for Vulnerable Users Bill

You could hear a pin drop in the room as Laurie Landgraf gave her testimony in support of our proposed Vulnerable User bill at Tuesday’s hearing of the Assembly Transportation Committee. I had a lump in my throat listening to her, and I was so captivated by her story of how her husband David Landgraf was hit by an inattentive driver, that I never picked up my camera to take a photograph. Since her husband was killed, Laurie has become an outspoke advocate to reduce inattentive driving.

Watch on WQOW Eau Claire

Just prior to the hearing, Laurie did the interview in the video above for WQOW Channel 18, Eau Claire. Her testimony Tuesday was even more compelling in person. Maja Holcomb, 17, Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Advocate of the year, also got a pass to get out of school so she could testify at the hearing. Maja was on a group ride in Sheboygan when her friend Troy Tousy was hit and killed two years ago.

Maja Holcomb testifies before the Assembly Transportation Committee in support of the Vulnerable User Bill. She spoke about when her friend Troy Tousey was killed on a group ride in Sheboygan County.

 

Dane County Asst. District Attorney Emily Thompson gave testimony at the hearing. She said DAs would like to have some options between giving some a traffic ticket and charging them with felony homicide in cases where inattentive driving results in the death or serious injury of a vulnerable road user.

The Bike Fed has been working with the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association to get their support for this important legislation. They support the bill in principle, but have a few minor changes in language they would like us to add. Emily Thompson, a member of their legislative committee, came to the hearing to testify. She also submitted a letter from Waukesha District Attorney Brad Schimel. The Bike Fed will be working with the members of the WDAA to make sure our bill is written so they have the tools they need to bridge the gap between handing out traffic tickets and seeking felony homicide charges in cases where ordinary negligence by a driver of a motor vehicle results in a serious injury or death of a vulnerable user.

The committee members seemed generally supportive of the VU legislation, but had many questions for Asst. Dist. Atty. Emily Thompson and others who testified.

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About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

2 thoughts on “Vulnerable User Assembly Hearing Update

  1. I don’t think the people who ride bikes of Wisconsin can thank you and the Fed enough for all the work that is done. In addition to this bill/law I hope there is a more aggresive education campaign. Perhaps something similar to the Move Over campaign a few years ago. That had a tremendous effect on the amount of safety personal getting injured and I hope a similar campiagn will have the same effect of making cycyling even safer.
    Again…thank you for all you do.

    • Well, we do get thanked a lot, but it is nice to hear your sincere thanks as well Casey. We do what we do because we care as much as you do.

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