Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
"Accidents"

Meet a Police Chief Who Actually Says Reckless Driving Won’t Be Tolerated

Hinesburg, Vermont Police Chief Frank Koss speaking to a group of local schoolchildren. Photo: Twarogsclass
Hinesburg Police Chief Frank Koss. Photo: Twarogsclass
Hinesburg, Vermont Police Chief Frank Koss speaking to a group of local schoolchildren. Photo: Twarogsclass

If only more police officials took dangerous driving as seriously as Frank Koss, chief of police in Hinesburg, Vermont. An outraged Koss took to the pages of his local paper this week after a 17-year-old driver killed a local cyclist, saying "this was not an accident."

Joseph Marshall, a teenager who already had a record of reckless driving, was hurtling at 83 mph when he struck and killed bicyclist Richard Tom, 47, before crashing into a tree, killing himself.

Koss didn't mince words:

If Joseph Marshall had not lost his life, he would have been charged with second degree murder. This was not going a little fast or even distracted driving, it was gross careless and negligent driving... Although bicyclists are always aware of the inherent danger from speeding or distracted drivers, this event crossed an unimaginable line.

Koss said he has been haunted throughout his career by driving deaths that were the result of senseless risk taking. He said his department has "zero tolerance" for that kind of behavior and felt guilty the police department hadn't done more to prevent Marshall from driving.

If you drive in Hinesburg with no regard to others on the road, we will make sure that you are targeted until driving habits are either changed or you are taking a bus. Bicyclists and pedestrians are seriously vulnerable to mistakes by motorists and we will have zero tolerance to unsafe driving that puts lives at risk.

Contrast that with the police department in Bellevue, Washington, which this week pursued no charges or even a citation against a driver who plowed through a local apartment building and demolished a crib -- the sleeping baby inside miraculously was unharmed.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Got Served

Another day, another GOP lawsuit trying to overturn a Biden administration climate change rule.

April 19, 2024

Disabled People Are Dying in America’s Crosswalks — But We’re Not Counting Them

The data on traffic fatalities and injuries doesn’t account for their needs or even count them. Better data would enable better solutions.

April 19, 2024

LA: Automated Enforcement Coming Soon to a Bus Lane Near You

Metro is already installing on-bus cameras. Soon comes testing, outreach, then warning tickets. Wilshire/5th/6th and La Brea will be the first bus routes in the bus lane enforcement program.

April 18, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Charging Up Transportation

This week, we talk to the great Gabe Klein, executive director of President Biden's Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (and a former Streetsblog board member), about curbside electrification.

April 18, 2024

Why Does the Vision Zero Movement Stop At the Edge of the Road?

U.S. car crash deaths are nearly 10 percent higher if you count collisions that happen just outside the right of way. So why don't off-road deaths get more air time among advocates?

April 18, 2024
See all posts