02

Blog

Cycliq Footage Gets Police to Ticket Driver

Bike Law Maine Uses Video and Driver Gets Ticket

Last November, an experienced rider from Maine was commuting to work on his bicycle when a tractor trailer operator came up on him from behind him and passed him at a dangerous and nearly deadly distance.  As the rider describes it, as the tractor trailer operator was overtaking him, he was “boxed in” and he believes his jacket was “grazed” by the back of tractor trailer. If you want to see the unsafe pass for yourself, check out the footage, particularly the footage at 2:25 to 2:48. 

Fortunately, the rider used his strong handling skills to remain upright and injury free.  Not only did he survive the incident, but so did his front and back Cycliq footage, which proved very useful when I, as a Maine bicycle advocate and bike lawyer, contacted law enforcement on his behalf to discuss Maine’s safe passing law and follow up on the incident. 

Section 2070 (1-A) of Maine’s Motor Vehicle and Traffic Code sets forth the duties of care that motor vehicle operators must abide by when they pass Maine bicyclists on the roadway.  The law requires drivers to leave at least three feet between all parts of their vehicles and all parts of a bicycle when carrying out a pass.  As you can see from the Cycliq footage, three feet clearance was definitely not given by the tractor trailer operator to the bicyclist.

When the police in Portland, Maine were contacted about the incident and reviewed the footage, they agreed.  The responding officer even stated in an email to me: “The driver definitely should have changed lanes to the left travel lane when passing . . . .”  He also noted that “due to the good quality of the video and the help of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Commercial Enforcement Division” he was able to get additional information regarding the truck and company involved in the incident.  

Unsafe pass bicycle ticket

At our request, the Portland Police proceeded to ticket the driver and contacted the company owner to share the footage and public safety concerns about its driver’s unsafe operational choices.  That same week, I was working on several other cases involving unsafe driver operation where the police exercised their discretion not to issue tickets. I was also on a group ride involving a similarly dangerous pass where no cameras were running and no ticket was issued despite five witnesses to the illegal operation and unsafe pass. 

The major difference, of course, was the Cycliq footage. Having this type of evidence available has time and time again proven to be valuable to cyclists.  

Comments

Arthur and Candy Carter
Rachael Maney Apr 06, 2020

[Photo of Arthur and Candy Carter] There is uncontainable outrage when we learn of a catastrophic or fatal crash involving members of our community. One of the reasons is that of all the mortality rates, and especially amongst those involving motor vehicles, cycling and pedestrian fatalities are the only two that continue to increase. The […]

Read More
Unleashed dog attacks cyclist
Charlie Thomas Apr 03, 2020

What is worse – the underlying act or the coverup? A few days ago, we received a request for help from Eames Bennett, a Ph.D. Candidate at Texas A&M University. Recently, Eames was riding his bike home in College Station, Texas. At the same time, a family was walking their unleashed dogs next to a […]

Read More
Timmy Finch Apr 02, 2020

My first tip should have been the text I received from my father-in-law. He was looking for suggestions on bikes that he and my mother-in-law could get and ride. They’ve had bikes before but those were left to succumb to the salt air and rust, abandoned outdoors right next to the best intentions to ride […]

Read More
Andy Singer
Daniel Brazil Mar 27, 2020

[Self Portrait by Andy Singer] What do a cartoonist and a high school computer technology teacher have in common? A passion for cycling and bicycle advocacy. Andy Singer, cartoonist and illustrator and Ian Buck, podcaster and high school teacher, are both co-chairs of the St. Paul Bicycle Coalition, founded in 2010. They’re two dedicated advocates […]

Read More
Brendan Kevenides Mar 27, 2020

We all need some space.  In these strange times when a unique virus has shuttered my city, Chicago, and many others around the world, one of the more precious commodities is space, particularly outdoor space.  Yesterday, Chicago experienced one of those sunny, warm(ish) days that we always seem to get in March where throngs of […]

Read More
Daniel Brazil Mar 24, 2020

It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Minnesota. 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 Minnesota bicycle crash attorney Daniel Brazil directly. Right to […]

Read More
Load More