If Ashley Simon did the things the linked newspaper article states she did, she should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, identical to the penalty we assume a biker would receive if he rode up onto the sidewalk, killed a cute little kid at her lemonade stand, and then fled the scene.
Here are some motorcycle accident stats I found on a law firm's website:
2008 National Statistics
In 2008, 5,290 bikers were killed – an increase of 2% from 2007.
59% of the bikers killed in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
Of the motorcycle operators killed in 2008, 30% had a BAC of .08 or higher.
There were 96,000 bikers injured during 2008.
In 2008, motorcycle riders accounted for 14% of total traffic fatalities, 17% of all occupant fatalities, and 4% of all occupants injured.
35% of all bikers involved in fatal crashes in 2008 were speeding.
In 2008, 2,554 (47%) of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of moving vehicle.
Per vehicle mile traveled, bikers are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and 9 times more likely to be injured.
In 2008, 25% of the motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with fixed objects, compared to 19% for cars, 14% for light trucks, and 4% for heavy trucks.
One out of four motorcycle riders in fatal crashes in 2008 were riding their vehicles with an invalid license.
Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41% for motorcycle passengers.
During 2008, 346 young motorcycle riders (age 15-20) were killed and an additional 8,000 were injured.
35% of the bikers between 15 and 20 who were fatally injured in crashes in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
Of the young motorcycle operators (ages 15-20) involved in fatal crashes in 2008, more than one-third (43%) were either unlicensed or driving with an invalid license.
In 2008, 26% of the young male motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 13% of the young female operators involved in fatal crashes.
Motorcyclist fatalities reached 5,290 in 2008, accounting for 14% of total crash fatalities.
This is the 11th consecutive year that there has been an increase in motorcycle crash deaths.
The number of individuals injured in motorcycle crashes has decreased for the first time since 1998, declining 6.8%.
It works out to about 100 dead motorcyclists a week, a huge number. I think to significantly reduce that number we have to address contributing factors in both the automobile and motorcycle operator populations.
Being mindful that almost always it is the car operator that does the killing and the motorcycle rider who does the dying in collisions, the Ashleys of the world need to be better trained, more carefully licensed, and subject to greater legal and financial consequences of proven contribution to injury and death imposed by them on others equally deserving use of the public roads.
The motorcycling community represents a large pool of potential victims for the Ashleys of the nation, who seem to wander along our streets all day long looking for just the perfectly wrong place to ignore turn signals and jerk their steering wheel hard left across oncoming traffic. Collectively, motorcycle riders could also benefit from better training, licensing enforcement, use of available safety equipment every ride, and individual commitment to riding sober.
Maybe by addressing both ends of the car driver/motorcycle rider dance of death more aggressively we can save the lives of some fellow riders and save the Ashleys from themselves, too.