DC-area readers are wondering whether police bias was at work after a cyclist who claims to be a victim of road rage was ticketed by police in a hospital emergency room.
Photojournalist Evan Wilder tells David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington an enraged driver cut him off suddenly, forcing him into a rear end collision. Police ticketed Wilder for “following too closely.”
Here’s the account from Wilder, published at GGWash:
A driver came alongside me on a narrow, sharrow painted part of the R Street bike route just before the entrance to the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
He should not have tried to pass me, since there was no way to pass and give me the required 3 feet minimum. What he was doing was intentional because he kept pace with me then moved to his right in order to broadside me.
I braked hard in order to avoid a collision, but the driver had stopped at a stop sign as he swerved right, so I ran into the back of his truck.
He then got out and berated me, yelling and screaming that I shouldn’t mess with his truck and that I should be in the bike lane. When I said I would call the police he picked up my bike and threw it into his truck. The bike bounced out and landed on the other side of the truck in the road.
MPD officers arrived and I told them what happened. EMS took me to the ER, and while I was waiting, the MPD officer gave me a $100 Notice of Infraction for “following too closely.” The driver got nothing.
Wilder reported his side of the story to police. But the police report also details the driver’s account, which makes no mention of an altercation. Apparently, police found the driver’s story more compelling.
Wilder recorded the incident on a bike-mounted video camera. He hasn’t released the video yet, but Alpert says he’s seen it, and says it corroborates Wilder’s story. The above is a still image from the video that shows the bike in midair being thrown into the bed of the truck.
Elsewhere on the Network today: The Bike League gives the Senate’s new transportation bill proposal a B+. Delaware Bikes says the fine for failing to yield at a crosswalk in the First State can be as little as $2. And The Wash Cycle reports more curb-protected bike lanes are coming to Washington, DC.