Adventures of a bicycle commuter in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Witnessed a Bike Collide With a Police Car
On my ride home today I witnessed a bike collide with a police car. I looked up the location on Google maps and added some visual aides. The green line is where I cross on my commute. The blue rectangles are two police ars that were in the parking lot. The red line is where the cyclist was riding on the side walk. It is downhill had he had picked up some speed. The police car rolled forward like you would to see around the wall and bush on his right. His front bumper moved into the part of the driveway that would intersect the sidewalk path just as the cyclist arrived. He hit the corner of the front bumper and took a spill in front of the car.
An officer got out of each car and checked on the rider right away. He seemed a little stunned but OK. He had a scrape on his shoulder and elbow. He was not wearing a shirt or a helmet. He said he was 18. If the collision had not involved a police car I suspect he would have gotten up riden away. But the police insisted he wait for the ambulance. The officer asked if I had seen what happened and when I said yes, he asked me to stay and talk to his supervisor.
Before the supervisor arrived, a fire department vehicle arrived. Three guys got out and started attending to the rider. Then an ambulance arrived and the rider received more attention. Next a fire truck arrived, I guess just to make sure enough traffic was blocked. Finally the supervisor arrived and took a statement from me.
This was the kind of incident that shows why it is dangerous to ride on the sidewalk if you are not a child. This rider was moving fast and on the sidewalk where he was moving toward traffic. The spot is a blind one. I don’t think you can see a car pulling out because of the wall and bush and the car can’t see the sidewalk for the same reason. The parking lot is also downhill from the wall which makes it even harder to see. It is not up to me to decide fault, but it is clear a rider moving quickly down the hill on the the sidewalk is taking unnecessary risks.