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middle ring single track
4,687 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are bikes "vehicles" as far as the Vehicle Code is concerned? If so, another reason to give horses right-of-way:

I'm not sure if this would apply to single track, it definitely could apply to fire roads etc. Imagine doing jail time because you spooked a horse and the rider died? Maybe this guy will get off but this is a pretty high-profile case.

Quoting the article:
"After a monthlong investigation, the CHP is recommending that a 58-year-old San Jose man be charged with involuntary vehicular manslaughter -- a misdemeanor -- in the death of an Apple engineer riding a horse to a Morgan Hill party.

A California Highway Patrol report found that on Sept. 4, Blaine Beck violated a vehicle code that mandates drivers use caution when passing livestock on the road.

Even though Beck's stated speed was 45 mph, which is the speed limit on Hale Road near Kalana Avenue, CHP Officer Jaime Rios said the law dictates that drivers must slow down if they see a horse or cow on the road. Beck did apply the brakes before his GMC pickup slammed into Regal, a 1,200-pound horse ridden by Allen "Skip" Haughay Jr., an iPod engineer at Apple. But Beck applied the brakes too late.

The crash killed both the horse and the 48-year-old engineer, who lived on a ranch and was going to a party at a neighbor's house with a bunch of friends, all riding horses.
Beck was not available Tuesday for immediate comment.

The CHP report does indicate that Beck's actions were "without gross negligence," meaning that he wasn't intentionally driving recklessly. And the CHP investigation revealed Haughay's horse had turned clockwise, and Regal's rear had jutted out onto Hale Road.

"Both were at fault, more or less," Rios said. "But the driver was more at fault."

Now, the CHP will forward its case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, and prosecutors can take up to a year to determine whether charges will be filed. Beck was not arrested at the scene, and told this newspaper in an earlier interview that he simply didn't see the horse before it was too late."

FWIW; I mainly took notice of this story because my grandparents old prune ranch was a little ways down the road---how things have changed!

Premium Member
8,633 Posts
ummm....bikes are vehicles on roadways sure...

as far as a bike passing a horse/rider on the road...sure, it would be considerate to not try and pass at 45 mph - but that scenario is so unlikely as to render any discussion 'silly'

If a cyclist is on a fire road I do not believe they are considered a 'vehicle' as outlined by CA CVC codes.

and all this hoopla about trail conflict is really nothing more than a few vocal alarmists - virtually everyone who encounter each other on the trails are considerate of each other...

unfortunately we all have to listen to the ******** spewed from all sides...
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