02

Cambio Corsa: The Bike Law Blog

Maryland Bike Accident Lawyer on DC Area’s “Intersection of Doom”

Bike accident victim hit by car and then charged by the police!

Excellent article today in the Washington Post about Rosslyn’s “Intersection of Doom.”   It accurately portrays a Kafkaesque situation we deal with at Bike Law on a weekly basis: cyclist hit by a car, transported to the hospital, and presented with a traffic ticket by the police:

“Lindsey Kelley says she was biking through the crosswalk [ed: the correct place for her to be riding] at the intersection last Monday evening when she was hit by a gold sedan.  The 23-year-old never spoke to the woman that hit her, but a man in a black SUV [ed: you can't make this stuff up, a black SUV!] stopped to reprimand her, she said, telling her that bikes should be on the sidewalk, that she came out of nowhere and that the crash was her fault.  A U.S. Park Police officer asked whether she was hurt and needed an ambulance; she said yes.

She saw the officer again when he came to her hospital room and gave her a $70 ticket for “disregarding traffic signs or road markings.”

“He said, “Don’t get your blood pressure raised; here’s your ID and here’s your ticket.  Now let me explain why I’m giving it to you,”” Kelley recalled.  He said a witness [ed: remember the black SUV?] had told him that she was not in the crosswalk when she was hit.  She protested, she said, and he told her that he had not been there to see the crash.”

Kelley is a trained and experienced bike commuter, having taken a safety class offered by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.  She had photographic evidence that her bike was lying in the crosswalk, but to no avail.  The police officer delivered to her, while she was in a hospital bed, a unfounded ticket.

We wish Lindsay the best in fighting this ticket in traffic court.  But the damage is already done and the ticket adds insult to literal injury.

As bicycle accident lawyers in Maryland and across the country, we at Bike Law deal with this exact problem all the time: an experienced cyclists is riding precisely where the law dictates, is hit by the negligence of a driver (and put in a bad spot because of horrible bike infrastructure), and then blamed and charged with a traffic crime by untrained and possibly biases law enforcement personnel.  How many times have our clients been charged by police officers who deliver a ticket to a hospital without conducting a thorough investigation and sometimes without even speaking to the injured cyclist directly?  Answer: all the damn time.

What can we do?  We train police officers to prevent the problem (an uphill struggle, to be sure) and we fight in traffic court to protect the rights of cyclists.  One day, we hope that cyclists will be treated with respect and not unfairly blamed by bad cops, but until then, we will continue to fight and win.

Let us know if we can help.  We are always available at 844-531-7530 and at info@bikelaw.com.

Comments

Oct 22, 2014

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Bike Law CX team participated in the Tailwind Veterans Memorial Park Cyclocross Race. Bike Law teammates Amy Meldrum and Wade Burch rode their way to the podium with Amy taking the top spot in the Women’s Category 3-4 race and Wade riding to 2nd place in a very fast and […]

Read More
Oct 17, 2014

  At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 56 year-old Bobby Brooks pedaled his bicycle down Hansen Road in Houston, Texas. This stretch of Hansen is primarily light-industrial and only blocks from the end of Runway 22 at Houston’s William Hobby Airport. As Mr. Brooks rode down Hansen and into the intersection with […]

Read More
Oct 16, 2014

Yesterday (10/15), Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 317, the Nathan Bower Act, in Lansing, Michigan. It is now mandated that in addition to the standard driver’s education curriculum currently taught to future Michigan drivers, information about motorcycle and bicycle awareness and safety must be included. Students will be taught the importance of motorists being […]

Read More
Oct 13, 2014

It was a great weekend for bikes, at least in my (Ann’s) world. Thursday was the start of the 3rd annual North Carolina Bicycle Summit, this year in Greensboro. Work kept me away until Saturday, when I drove up to deliver a presentation, along with Jeff Viscount and Steven Goodridge, and introduce the Bike Law […]

Read More
Oct 10, 2014

  A Manhattan woman is suing our client, a Brooklyn Cyclist, for $ 2000 for damaged to her car after she mowed him down on a Brooklyn street. In May of 2014 cyclist John Roemer, just days before his college graduation, was seriously injured in a bike crash when he was struck from behind while […]

Read More
Oct 10, 2014

This past Sunday (10/5/14), dozens of Michigan bicyclists rode 16 miles, paying tribute to Jill Byelich, a young mother of two killed by a car while riding near DeWitt, Michigan. The cyclists paid their respects at a memorial that included a photo of Jill as well as a ghost bike representing both her and others […]

Read More
Oct 09, 2014

The upswell in bike commuting we have experienced the last few years continues to roll on. Thanks to the public advocacy work of BikeDenver, a concerted effort is now being made to increase cycle and pedestrian multi-modal transportation among students, staff and faculty at the Auraria campus. As this large educational complex abuts both the I-25 […]

Read More
Sep 29, 2014

As an Illinois attorney who represents injured bicyclists, and who also sponsors cycling clubs, race teams and bike events I love and hate exculpatory agreements.  These rights waiving documents can be devastatingly bad for the individual cyclist who has been harmed due to someone else’s negligence. On the other hand, such waivers protect cycling groups […]

Read More
Sep 24, 2014

On Monday night I went to listen to Gabe Klein present recommendations for the City of Charleston to help the city move forward with a “New Mobility.” Right away, Klein proclaimed that he is not so much a fan of proposals and studies as he is in “getting things done.” Good. We need some of […]

Read More
Sep 22, 2014

My social media feed is pretty much full with cycling news and race reports. So for the past several days, I’ve seen a lot of news and commentary on two cycling news events: (1) the Kentucky cyclist convicted of riding in the travel lane of a busy thoroughfare and (2) the New York cyclist colliding with, and critically […]

Read More
Sep 19, 2014

The October 2014 issue of Bicycling Magazine named its 50 “Best Bike Cities.” The highest-ranked Michigan city went to Grand Rapids (#41). The publication explained that “one reason” Grand Rapids was selected was: “In addition to 35 miles of new on street facilities between 2012 and 2013, there is a booming fat-bike racing scene, including […]

Read More
Sep 17, 2014

This week, a law took effect in California that is designed to increase safety for bicyclists.  The law, commonly known as a “3-foot passing law,” requires motorists to maintain a distance of at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicycle, when passing a cyclist. California is now the 22nd state with a “3-foot […]

Read More
Load More