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Thursday, June 3, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Puget Sound Newswatch

Crosswalks Cover Bikes, Court Says

OLYMPIA - When you're driving down the street in your car and you see a bicyclist in a crosswalk, it's not OK to run over him, the state Supreme Court ruled today.

Writing for a unanimous court in a case out of Kent, Justice Phil Talmadge said the court could have ruled for the driver, Leona Allen, only if it had engaged in a "hypertechnical reading of a statute so as to yield an absurd result" - that drivers were free to hit bicyclists in crosswalks.

The court, upholding a lower court ruling, ordered Allen to pay the injured bicyclist, Richard Pudmaroff, $40,000 in damages plus all attorneys' fees.

Allen, who struck Pudmaroff at a Kent crosswalk on Sept. 6, 1994, had argued that the law does not include bicyclists as a class of people protected in crosswalks.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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