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Thread: Hi and my own accident experience

  1. #1
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    Default Hi and my own accident experience

    Hi everyone,

    Is it normal not having a police report for an accident?

    It happened at around 3:10 pm of 6/13, I was riding northward on the left side sidewalk of Redland Road passing the entrance of Metro Station with pedestrian green light, I was hit by a car going out on the right turn lane. I fell down and had some minor scratches and generally ok, half of my bike was under the front of the car. 911 was called by the driver and a fire engine was there in less than 30 seconds, great job of these Montgomery firefighters. I felt fine and signed a release from for not going to the hospital then we were all waiting for the police to finish all this mess and I could go home.

    Two policemen came about 10~15 minutes later and strange things started happening, the police let the driver go first then arguing with a lady witness, she said 'she did not see when it happened but she did see half of my bike was under the car and me lying down on the ground but one of the policeman said you did not see it at the time and seems to me he just try to get rid of her. For me, the police did not ask me what happened, not even my name then ask everyone to leave.

    2 days later I called the police station and asking for a police report for this accident and been told that there is not even a police report number, all they can give me is an event number 110181882, the officer for this accident can only be reached Saturday to Tuesday.

    There do have some conversations between me and the Police,
    1) they told me that riding on the sidewalk is illegal, which is not true for the Montgomery County and
    2) I was on the wrong side of the sidewalk. I should riding on the right side of of the sidewalk, the same as the traffic flow, this I don't know if true. I try to Google it by did not get any. What I think is that you are on the pedestrian sidewalk, you should behave like a pedestrian and yield to them. Which side of sidewalk does not matter. Any idea?

    So my translation is that, you are lucky that we, police did not give you a ticket. Just go away. I was hit by a car on the pedestrian crossing with pedestrian green light then the driver just went away without a ticket, not even a police report? So back to my first line:

    Is it normal not having a police report for an accident?

    I am thinking of fighting this, like one of my friend talked to me, 'you don't want this happen to your kids, bad cop or bad driver getting away'

    All the ideas are greatly appreciated.

    Wanglung

  2. #2
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    First of all, the police was trying to determine if the witness actually WITNESSESED the accident. Not the aftermath.

    Second, if if you were in the crosswalk with a green pedestrian light, the you probably had right of way. I'm saying probably because I don't know if being in the saddle has any bearing. Assuming it doesn't, then as long as you were in the crosswalk area, it shouldn't matter if you were in the left or right portion of the crosswalk.

    If the above were true, I would try to contact the driver and get them to pay for your bike repair. They might be happy to do this and avoid having their insurance find out about this incident.

  3. #3
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    What is going on lately!? I got crunched on my way to work in Crystal City. I was riding through an intersection exactly where I should have been and a car coming toward me from the other direction didn't see me and took a left turn right into me. She claimed the sun was in her eyes, which is plausible, but I'm more of the mind that texting/inattention was to blame. I do feel I'm getting a bit of a runaround with Arlington Police, but things are still in motion, so I'll withhold judgment for now.
    Last edited by txgoonie; 06-16-2011 at 08:25 PM.

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    I guess one of the first rules of driving should maybe be "If you can't see where you're going, you shouldn't!"

    I spoke with a neighbor the other day who said he just broke a string of 8 years commuting without a crash -- he got left crossed on Taylor street in NE DC.
    Last edited by Greenbelt; 06-17-2011 at 09:11 AM. Reason: brain fart

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by StopMeansStop View Post
    First of all, the police was trying to determine if the witness actually WITNESSESED the accident. Not the aftermath.

    Second, if if you were in the crosswalk with a green pedestrian light, the you probably had right of way. I'm saying probably because I don't know if being in the saddle has any bearing. Assuming it doesn't, then as long as you were in the crosswalk area, it shouldn't matter if you were in the left or right portion of the crosswalk.

    If the above were true, I would try to contact the driver and get them to pay for your bike repair. They might be happy to do this and avoid having their insurance find out about this incident.
    Thank you very much for the advice. The problem from what I saw was that these 2 policemen, no one take a note or even write anything down. I had a bit of suspicion that one of the policeman is an acquaintance with the driver.

    I had a bit of after shock at the time and did not think clearly so I think a police report might help me to clarify, can I ride on the sidewalk in both directions or I have to follow the traffic flow, what if there is only one sidewalk on the wrong side?

  6. #6
    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    I think it is legal to ride on the sidewalk. That being said, studies suggest that riding on the sidewalk (and other segregated facilities) is more dangerous than riding on the road in the direction of traffic.

  7. #7
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    In most places, riding on the sidewalk is legal, and I've never heard of any rule restricting which direction you can ride (or walk) on a sidewalk.

  8. #8
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    There is a post about sidewalk and street riding. You may want to check it out. A lot of good info and insight to the usual decisions made by daily bikers. Generally you want to use the street or bike path whenever possible but in some cases when there is a safety issue do what is best for yourself, yielding to pedestrians if you choose the sidewalk.

    Sorry to hear about your situation. Sounds like your reporting officer didn't want to deal with the paperwork and tried to sweep you under the rug. I'd be angry too.

  9. #9
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    Thank you again for all these replies. I prefer the sidewalk because I am an old guy, 50+, just biking to be a bit faster than walking, I always yields to pedestrians and sometimes I biking with my teenage kid, put her on the road with a bike will increase 10 times of my heart beat

    I am thinking about submitting a complaint to the Internal Affairs of police department.Jsnyd, "sweep you under the rug" is exactly how I felt, taxpayer should not be treated like this.

  10. #10
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    Hello Wanglung,

    I ride in Montgomery County too, mostly around Rockville Pike. I've been using the sidewalks a lot (forum thread: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...f-the-sidewalk). I looked it up, and riding on the sidewalk is legal in MoCo. I wonder why the police said it was illegal, then told you you should have been on the right-hand sidewalk. I've seen a lot of reports lately of police not knowing the laws pertaining to bicycles, but this is the first I've heard in Montgomery County. I don't understand why they wouldn't file a police report for a collision in the road. If it were in a parking lot that would be one thing, but in the road? I think you'd be justified in filing a complaint. I'll be interested to hear what happens.

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