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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

 

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