02

Blog

Video: Cyclist Injured. Cop Lets Driver Go. Driver Celebrates.

Video proves driver is at fault, but Chicago police couldn't care less.

9/16/16 UPDATE: The driver has contacted our office and appears to be cooperating.  Now we intend to follow up with respect to the responding officer’s actions.  Thanks to everyone for their help identifying this driver.

***

At 5:13 pm on September 12, 2016, a bicyclist was doored at 2359 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.

Here’s the video.

The cyclist — our client — suffered an injury to his right ear. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. The officer who responded to the scene refused to take a police report; she let the driver leave without taking any of her information.  So now, we have no idea who the driver is because the officer refused to do her job.

Adding insult to injury, the police officer also refused to cite the driver, but told the bicyclist she could give him a ticket for not riding his bicycle in a bicycle lane.

What?!  There isn’t a bike lane here!

This stretch of Milwaukee is marked with “sharrows” for shared use by bicycles, making it perfectly clear that the cyclist is where he was supposed to ride.

sharrow

(sharrow photo from www.bikecleveland.org)

Even if the road were not marked for use by bicyclists, there is no requirement that bicyclists use bicycle lanes or roads with sharrows. Under Illinois and Chicago law bicyclists enjoy the same rights of the driver of a vehicle. That has been the law for at least the last 17 years, maybe longer. That means that bicyclists enjoy the same rights to the road as a vehicle under the Illinois Vehicle Code with respect to the right to use the road, right of way, and any other rights the driver of a vehicle is afforded. This includes statutes regarding the opening and closing of doors:

Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-1407. Opening and closing vehicle
doors.

“No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to
moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so…”

Chicago Municipal Code 9-80-035 Opening and closing vehicle doors.

“No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to
moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can
be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic…”

This is not the first time we’ve seen a CPD officer refuse to take information from a driver involved with a collision with a bicyclist. In fact, we consider this to be a huge problem in Chicago. We have seen cases in which officers have written reports favoring motorists in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise, and instances where officer refuse to consider or even interview witnesses. I’ve seen officers hand a cyclist a ticket in the hospital after clear negligence on the part of a motorist. I’ve even seen instances in which officers let motorists go after colliding with a cyclist without taking so much as their name.

While it appears that the officer in this case actually looked at some documents provided by the motorist, she ultimately let the motorist go without taking a report or providing any information to the cyclist.  The driver did provide a phone number, but when we called seeking information we were told we had the wrong number.

If you have any information regarding the identity of this driver please contact our office. (312) 629-1901.

Did you make it to the end of the video?  If not, go back and rewatch around 1:00.  With the cyclist away at the hospital, and the police officer gone, dude high-fives driver!

 

screenshot

 

Comments

Pennsylvania Bike Advocacy
Joe Piscitello Apr 25, 2019

When Bike Law Pennsylvania attorney Joe Piscitello received a call from the Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition asking for his help to “get out the vote”for a contest where they stand to win $100,000, he jumped into action.  Not only did his Bike Law Firm get the word out, but so did regional bike shops, organizations and […]

Read More
Ithaca Streets Alive 2
Jim Reed Apr 25, 2019

“People DO ride bikes if you give them a comfortable and safe place to ride.” Vikki Armstrong, Director, Bike Walk Tompkins Ithaca, centrally located in the middle of the beautiful Finger Lakes in Upstate NY, is a hotbed of active bicycling and advocacy. Home to Cornell University, Ithaca College, and a host of dynamic businesses […]

Read More
Kurt Holzer Apr 23, 2019

Here in Idaho the law requires a cyclist to ride as “close as practicable to the right hand” side of the road.  It is this state’s version of the “as far to right as practicable” term common in cycling statutes across the country. Something like 40 states have a version of that language directing cyclists […]

Read More
Bike Lawyer Rides South Carolina
Timmy Finch Apr 23, 2019

On Saturday April 20, 2019, four of my friends (Nick D’Allesandro, Myles Lietzke, Bo Keller and Jason Layne) and I rode, essentially, across the state of South Carolina. This is not my first time riding across the state (as a bike accident attorney at Bike Law, I did so as part of the Palmetto Cycling […]

Read More
Kurt Holzer Apr 22, 2019

IDAHO BICYCLE LAWS Right to the Road Idaho bicyclists generally have the same rights, and same duties, as drivers of motor vehicles. Prohibitions Bicycles may only carry the number of persons for which it is designed, except an adult may carry a child in a backpack or sling. Cyclists cannot hang onto or attach themselves […]

Read More
Ontario bicycle accident
Pat Brown Apr 22, 2019

On the evening of March 18th 2019, Mike Wilkomirsky was riding along Bay Street in downtown Toronto when a driver made an abrupt left turn in front of him, forcing Mike to hit his breaks to avoid a potentially deadly collision.  As most of us would do, Mike rode up to the car to confront […]

Read More
Rick Bernardi Apr 22, 2019

You’re riding your bike through one of Portland’s neighborhoods. Like me, you avoid the main thoroughfares, where traffic is fast and furious, and too many drivers are too busy distracting themselves to pay much, if any, attention to the road. The neighborhood side streets are much more relaxed and will still get you to where […]

Read More
Atlanta Slow Roll
Bruce Hagen Apr 18, 2019

Bike Law Ambassador Niklas Volmer and Bike Law Georgia client Jordan Streiff have had enough of the City of Atlanta’s lip service and hypocrisy when it comes to building out meaningful bike infrastructure and decided it was time to do something about it. For some context, the City of Atlanta has promised to invest $250,000,000 […]

Read More
Danny Feldman Apr 17, 2019

ALABAMA BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Alabama. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Danny Feldman directly. Right to […]

Read More
Rick Bernardi Apr 16, 2019

From the beginning, the Bike Law Network has had a singular focus—helping cyclists who have been injured find justice. Well, what’s so special about that? Lots of lawyers take bicycle accident cases. But the Bike Law Network is different—the lawyers in the network are cyclists themselves, and they’re passionately committed to protecting the rights of […]

Read More
Bike Walk Macon, Georgia
Bruce Hagen Apr 11, 2019

Rachel Hollar is the energetic spark behind the success of Bike Walk Macon, the leading advocacy group in the Macon-Bibb County area.   I recently had a chance to catch up with Rachel to discuss how cycling culture has changed in the Macon area since Rachel founded Bike Walk Macon in 2015.    Back in 2015, […]

Read More
Charlie Thomas Apr 11, 2019

LOUISIANA BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Louisiana. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Charlie Thomas directly. Right to […]

Read More
Load More