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Thread: Accident at 14th and P, no injuries, cops refusing to ticket driver

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    jrenaut is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Default Accident at 14th and P, no injuries, cops refusing to ticket driver

    I don't have all the details, but my wife, as I type this, is at 14th and P after witnessing a bike accident. A cabbie swerved into the bike lane, causing two bikes to crash. They're ok, but the cops who are now on the scene are refusing to ticket the cab as there was no contact with the bikes. This is after my wife blocked the cab from leaving until the cops could arrive. Any advice? They're arguing that surely "failure to yield" covers what the cabbie did, but not getting anywhere. Not sure how long anyone will be there.

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    Apparently, according to the police officer, failure to yield must be witnessed by the officer or he can't write a ticket. My wife says a sergeant is coming, so perhaps that will improve things.

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    Take pictures. Take statements.

    Or.... walk away. The time you will lose fussing you will never recover and you will not gain anything of value. Write up what happened and contact WABA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    Apparently, according to the police officer, failure to yield must be witnessed by the officer or he can't write a ticket. My wife says a sergeant is coming, so perhaps that will improve things.
    I simply don't understand this reasoning if the cab was IN the bike lane. Moreover, if a car drives through a stop sign and hits someone does that mean he can't be ticketed if a cop didn't see it happen?! This is insane.

    I suspect that if the two bikes had been cars instead and hit one another then the cop would have been compelled to write a ticket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    if a car drives through a stop sign and hits someone does that mean he can't be ticketed if a cop didn't see it happen?! This is insane.
    I think the gray area in this case may be that the "hit someone" part didn't actually happen. Forcing someone to take evasive action to avoid an accident however should be something that the police can handle to the level of a minor citation. Especially when there are witnesses who can testify as to what exactly happened. Sheesh.

    I got cut off by a black prius cab on 14th street a couple of weeks ago and I had to take some evasive action to avoid any contact. For cab drivers though that's just how the game is played. Pricks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    I simply don't understand this reasoning if the cab was IN the bike lane. Moreover, if a car drives through a stop sign and hits someone does that mean he can't be ticketed if a cop didn't see it happen?! This is insane.

    I suspect that if the two bikes had been cars instead and hit one another then the cop would have been compelled to write a ticket.
    If the vehicle committing the moving violation hits something/someone then the driver can be ticketed. In your scenario the cab would be ticketed.

    The bicyclers, if there is enough damage where something needs to be fixed or someone administered medical treatment at an expense, may sue the cabbie in small claims court.

    In the end, even if the cabbie was ticketed it does not mean anything until the party that suffers the loss initiates something in small claims court. If the police write a ticket you don't magically get money or compensation, you must jump through the hoops in court- unfortunately DC court...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzy View Post
    In the end, even if the cabbie was ticketed it does not mean anything until the party that suffers the loss initiates something in small claims court. If the police write a ticket you don't magically get money or compensation, you must jump through the hoops in court- unfortunately DC court...
    But wouldn't there be some sort of fine associated with a ticket? Do tickets get reported to insurance companies? At a minimum, there should at least be an official record of the incident so these things can be tracked. I would hope that if a cabbie gets xx tickets he loses his taxi license at a minimum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    But wouldn't there be some sort of fine associated with a ticket? Do tickets get reported to insurance companies? At a minimum, there should at least be an official record of the incident so these things can be tracked. I would hope that if a cabbie gets xx tickets he loses his taxi license at a minimum.
    No, it takes more than a minor accident for a cab to loose its hack license. The ticket is the fine, no other fines penalties.

    But you can always file a complaint with the DC taxi cab commission- you need the cab number, tag number and company name. That wont do much either, but that would be on file and if the cab does something else, more serious that initiates inquires there will be a record of the company/operator driving like an $ss

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    I'd personally get up, give the cab a few solid kicks (maybe snap the mirror off, depending how pissed I was) and get on with my day.

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    Greater Greater Washington picked up this post (and misspelled my name), and there's a (mostly) good discussion in the comments, including from someone claiming to be a DC police officer explaining the law and saying that the officers on scene were wrong.

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