02

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 [email protected].

Comments

Ghost bike in New Orleans
Charlie Thomas Nov 26, 2019

Recently, I was in a spirited discussion about whether Louisiana needs a law to act as a middle ground between serious criminal charges and petty traffic tickets when a bicyclist is hit or killed. Someone asked whether Louisiana law should hold a driver, who didn’t have the “intent” to hurt someone, criminally accountable. This led […]

Read More
Bike Law Ambassador
Bruce Hagen Nov 18, 2019

Trena, as her friends and family call her, is also Joshua’s mom, she works in accounting, a born and raised Atlantan and perhaps the most enthusiastic daily user of the controversial Atlanta Streetcar.  What was at first just a weight loss goal quickly turned into an unexpected journey of self-discovery, transformation and purpose. Today Trena […]

Read More
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Nov 17, 2019

Today, we at Bike Law join the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (“FEVR”) in commemorating the 2019 World Day of Remembrance, honoring and remembering the many millions of people killed, injured and impacted by traffic crashes, and recognizing that “life is not a car part.”    We ask you to watch and pass along this […]

Read More
Brendan Kevenides Nov 11, 2019

A federal government agency is making a controversial recommendation to all 50 states that all bicyclists be required to wear helmets.   Mandatory bicycle helmet laws are a terrible idea.  Cycling as a form of recreation and transportation offers a myriad of benefits to the individual and the community as a whole.  An adult or child […]

Read More
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Nov 07, 2019

On Saturday, November 2, 2019, the family of Kathleen (“Kate”) Kirsch placed a ghost bike in her honor near the site of the tragic September 13, 2019 motor vehicle operator versus bicyclist collision that ultimately led to the loss of her life. Ghost bikes are public memorials parked on public ways near fatal crash sites […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Nov 01, 2019

November 1, 2019: Daylight Savings ends this Sunday, November 3rd, and we are counting down to fewer day time hours and the most dangerous time of year to ride a bike in the U.S. With approximately 65% of all crashes occurring in low light conditions, and the number of fatal crashes at a 30 year […]

Read More
Load More