Crashes Lord... so i hit someone on a bike with my car... advice?

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by Oddzball, May 19, 2012.

  1. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    Being a fellow bicyclist, I kind of find this situation upsetting, but figure I would come here asking for advice anyway.

    Lucky no one was injured, no damage, just a case of (He either ran into me, or I hit him, it was to close/quick to tell)

    Sooo the details...

    I was in my truck pulling out of a gas station. I look left and right. On my right, pretty much right up to the road, excluding the sidewalk, is a 8 foot wall, so you cant see anyone until they have passed the wall, which also means they are already inside the driveway to exit the gas station. I start edging out to get a clear look on my right, left is clear of cars and pedestrians, and BAM! right into the corner of my bumper goes a kid on a bike.

    Did I hit him, or he hit me? Hard to tell. In that case I would consider it no fault, but apparently the officer felt otherwise.

    I should mention that I have a clean driving record, and am very aware of bike riders because I AM one of them.

    Paramedics actually arrived first, and no one was injured, they cleared the kid to go(Of course he wasn't wearing a helmet, was like 14 year old kid, but I digress) They called the kids mother but she didn't feel like coming down the the accident to make sure her kid was ok. Regardless, the medics found no cuts or bruises or bumps etc.

    Now its just me and the cop. He say he is going to cite me for "Failure to yield to a pedestrian". Of course my argument is its not that I didnt yield, but simple zero visibility on the right hand side sidewalk, and the fact that the kid was riding the sidewalk the opposite direction of traffic(which i "think" doesn't matter, as in my town there are no laws about riding on the sidewalk for bikes)

    So all around bad situation. Kid rode off on his bike just fine I should note. But now I am sitting here with this ticket wondering if I should go to court, or pay the fine..

    Advice? I tried to make this as clear a view of the situation as possible.
     

  2. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    I should also note that arizona state law does not consider a person on a bicycle to be a "pedestrian" and by definition they are considered "Motor-Vehicles"

    ARS;

    "Pedestrian" means any person afoot. A person who uses an electric personal assistive mobility device or a manual or motorized wheelchair is considered a pedestrian unless the manual wheelchair qualifies as a bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, "motorized wheelchair" means a self-propelled wheelchair that is used by a person for mobility.

    And further;

    "Motor vehicle":

    (a) Means either:

    (i) A self-propelled vehicle.

    (ii) For the purposes of the laws relating to the imposition of a tax on motor vehicle fuel, a vehicle that is operated on the highways of this state and that is propelled by the use of motor vehicle fuel.

    (b) Does not include a motorized wheelchair, an electric personal assistive mobility device or a motorized skateboard. For the purposes of this subdivision:

    (i) "Motorized skateboard" means a self-propelled device that has a motor, a deck on which a person may ride and at least two tandem wheels in contact with the ground.

    (ii) "Motorized wheelchair" means a self-propelled wheelchair that is used by a person for mobility.
     
  3. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    All side walks are considered stopping points for motor vehicles. You stop then proceed if it is safe to do so, it is your responsibility to yield.
     
  4. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    First thing. Don't assume you know anything about law. It is VERY deceptive.

    Maybe there are some cameras on a nearby business or the gas station itself that recorded it.

    No lawyer will help you. you have to do it yourself.

    I don't know if the officer is even allowed to write you a ticket for something so minor. Remember, the officer wasn't there. He didn't see what happened. This may vary by state.

    If I were you, I would email eddie craig and call into his radio show monday night. While on the air, ask for a listener to the show to help you with this. Think about a contact email you wouldn't mind giving out on the air. These are very knowledgeable people. You'll be able to get a much better idea of your situation. The show is out of texas, but people from all over call in. Note: if you don't have the citation to look up the numbers on it, they won't be able to help much.
     
  5. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    Take photos of the obstruction, re-create what happened on paper, and even if it gets that far, perhaps consider showing the local council, explaining the obvious problem.
    And maybe the rider may be in on it to, in a proactive sense.

    Photos or diagrams showing the blind spot to council, something might get done to prevent something worse happening.
     
  6. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    I took pictures of the obstruction, and so did the cop. There were no cameras in the parking lot of roadways.

    At this point since there are no witnesses its my word against the kids as to whether he ran into me, or I hit him. The only thing I "thought" i had going in my favor was that the paramedics that arrived at the scene found him to be uninjured, and the parents didnt want to come down the the scene of the accident and didnt want the kids taken to the hospital, so they had the officer just release them

    Then, I'll be darned if I don't get a call from my insurance company about 8 hours later saying they filed a claim against me. *sigh*

    Cant figure what they are filing a claim for, since neither of us were really moving at any speed to cause injury and it says right on the police report "No injuries or damage"
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  7. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    This is what I am going to submit if I go to court.

    On(5/19/2012 ~10:00am), I had pulled into the gas station to get gas. As I began pulling out of the gas station, I looked both ways to make sure there was no oncoming foot traffic on the sidewalk (both directions) or cars coming from the left. (I was making a right turn into traffic.) The problem was in order to see the sidewalk on my right, I had to keep inching forward because there is a 10 foot wall on your right as you are exiting the gas station obstructing your view of the sidewalk completely. I let the truck slowly idle forward trying to see around the wall when a child riding a bicycle on the sidewalk (coming from my right, so going against traffic, but on the sidewalk) ran into the right corner of my front bumper. I immediately stopped the vehicle and got out to assist the child. After making sure he was standing in a safe location with his friend, I went to move my truck out of the exit driveway for the gas station. As I began backing up the other child who was riding with him had apparently left his bicycle on the ground in the parking lot behind my passenger side tire. I was unaware of this and backed over part of his bike, but am unsure where because after I heard the noise I stopped the vehicle and he had went around and pulled it out of the way. Both bicycles appeared undamaged, and it is stated so by the police officer later in his report. My truck appeared to has no damage except a slight scratch on the right corner of the front bumper where the kid's bicycle had hit it.

    After parking the vehicle I went over again to make sure the child was alright. He said he was fine. At this time the paramedics from the fire department had shown up on the scene. The examined the child for injuries and found none. Then the police officer (Officer ID # ) arrived at the scene. He took statements from the children and from myself. Because the child was a minor (I believe the age was 14) he called the parents and asked if they wanted their child taken to the hospital. To my knowledge since the on scene paramedics found no injuries the parents decided not to come to the scene of the accident, and told the police to release the children. The children then left, riding their bicycles away. At no time did the child appear to be in any pain, and even exclaimed multiple times that he was fine. Neither child was wearing safety helmets, nor had them in their possession. (I would like it noted that in the city of Sierra Vista, by law, a child under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. '76 Code 13-6-1 Ord 955, Ord 965. The officer chose not to cite the children's parents for this)

    I was then cited by the officer for ARS 28-856.2 "Failure to yield to pedestrian" even though by ARS definition individuals on a bicycle are considered "motor vehicles" and not pedestrians. (ARS 28-101) I was given the option of going to a defensive driving course and told the citation would be dismissed and nothing would be put on my record and no points put towards my license. I was then released and went home.

    I have taken pictures of the wall and the scratch on my bumper. I was unable to get pictures of the children's bicycles because the police officer had released them.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  8. Jake.B

    Jake.B New Member

    Im fourteen and if that happend to me i would tell that cop that you shouldent be fined or anything. As a child my parents always taught me look both ways in crossings, so i slow down check and then go. I understand you have the license to a motor vehicle so it is your responsability. That kid should be equaly aware because of his posistion.

    I think you have plenty of info to win, if he was traveling the correct way of traffic the whole situation would have been avoided. No helmet under 18 is illegal, the kids parents should be ticketed, or the kid should have a penalty. Also, if a bike is considered a motor vehicle and is driving on the sidewalk opposite of traffic thats definantly the kids fault.
     
  9. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    It seems you have the legalities covered. Now that your being sued I hope your policy limits are high enough to cover the injured parties claim. FWIW this was in tx about 20 years ago I was exiting a grocery store parking lot and the view was clear, no stop sign just made a right turn to exit. After making the right turn I was pulled over by a cop and given a citation for failure to stop at the side walk. I fought it tooth and nail but Judge said guilty. I realize all states are different but thats a pretty universal situation. I cannot remember the actual charge but now I know to stop, this situation really crops up when exiting alleyways. Seems theres always bushes or a light pole right on the edge of the sidewalk and alley. Good luck OP i'm glad the kids ok.
     
  10. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    The funny thing is, I sat with that kid for about an hour and a half talking to him while we were waiting for the cops and during the interview/report.

    He was fine, not freaking out or anything. Just us sitting there talking waiting for the officer to release us.

    I have a nasty feeling in my gut the kids parents are looking at this as their "payday" so to speak..
     
  11. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Don't sweat it thats why you have insurance. They will do what evers necessary to defend you.
     
  12. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    You can also email randy@ruleoflawradio.com . He can give you his 2 cents. He's a feisty old man who knows how to fight. He got into this because he spent a night in jail over a broken headlight. To him this didn't seem right.

    I looked up that citation number and found another post you did. You mentioned public defenders. They should be called public pretenders. Randy can tell you how to beat up your public pretender to force them to do their job.

    There are many things to know that these people can help you with.
    Things like:
    never get a bench trial
    If a lawyers or public servants mouth is moving. They are lieing.
    how to get discovery
    how to write and file affidavits in your case
    how to file bar grievances
    how to select a jury. to make sure there are no jurers affiliated with the government in any way.
     
  13. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Both my wife and I have almost hit a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk, as we exited from a parking lot. In my case, the guy was doing 15-20 mph on the sidewalk, and there are trees/shrubbery blocking the view on the sidewalk. He popped out of nowhere, and I was looking in his direction. In my wifes case, they were going slower, but heading the 'wrong' direction. When you pull out, you check to see that there's no-one in the intersection, then look left. They were riding from the right.

    In either case, had I hit them, if they weren't cited, I would have asked the officer about the legality of someone riding a bicycle on the sidewalk.

    Here's what I found:
    1. A.R.S. 28-904

      A. A person shall not drive a vehicle on a sidewalk area except on a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.

      B. This section does not apply to a motorized wheelchair, electric personal assistive mobility device, authorized emergency vehicle, security vehicle owned by this state or small service vehicle owned by this state or a political subdivision of this state.
      .
    2. A.R.S. 28-101.41

      41. "Pedestrian" means any person afoot. A person who uses an electric personal assistive mobility device or a manual or motorized wheelchair is considered a pedestrian unless the manual wheelchair qualifies as a bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, "motorized wheelchair" means a self-propelled wheelchair that is used by a person for mobility.
    So, a person riding a bicycle is NOT considered a pedestrian. I would think that you could make a case that a bicycle is a vehicle, and would thus be illegal to ride on the sidewalk. Bicycles are explicitly defined as vehicles and must obey traffic laws/regulations when ridden on the street.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  14. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    I don't believe either of them are considered a vehicle, unless oddzball is a commercial truck driver. (traveling vs. transportation)

    I hope oddzball calls Eddie tonight. That'd be cool.
     
  15. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Hope you put the car back in reverse to make sure they didn't tell their side of the story. That's what they do here in NY, anyway.
     
  16. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    If you were edging out, and there's a 'BAM' then he probably hit you.

    You didn't say - did the kid hit the right corner of the bumper (which is what I assumed from your description) or the left corner of the bumper of your truck?
     
  17. james65

    james65 Member

    accident

    I wouldn't count on your insurance company fighting it. Usually they would rather pay rather than fight it. The kids parents are also thinking the same. Too much cost & risk fighting it. It's a lousy system but that's the way it is. Been there done that!
     
  18. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    Oddzball, last nights radio show was a rebroadcast. you could try calling in on thursday (8-10 CST) or friday (8-12 CST)
     
  19. choppermke

    choppermke Member

    im said to hear this i lived in phoenix for 7 years befor moving ti chicagoland, i will be moving back soon thank god. but i was hit a few years back at 24th st and indian school rd. i was knocked right into oncoming traffic heading east on indian school. could have been killed and when i was nice enoff not to call the cops even know i was hurt the guy gave me bad information. as a bike rider i dont see how u can defend your self. i understand the obstuction, but almost every main street is at least 45mph so there is no serviving the cross traffic if u get hit. plus all the mc fatalities each year. im said to see all the MBs giving advice on how to get out of it. im happy the kid was ok but to often that is not the case. yesterday i had a guy make a rite cutting me off because i could not compete with his speed, if i fan into him going 20mph was it my fault? im not condeming u so plz dont take it that way. u just know how many bikes are in tempe and every where else. just have to dubble check out there every time. u never know next time it could be a drunk who lost his L's and shoots at u. lol but true. i love phoenix
     
  20. Cavi Mike

    Cavi Mike Member

    If I read this correctly, he came from your right. That means he was in the wrong. He was on the wrong side of the road and also on the sidewalk. You did nothing wrong.

    *edit* You can feel bad if you want but he is the one that should feel bad. He put you in a terrible position, one that you had no responsibility for the outcome. I've put people in this exact situation and have felt terrible about it. If I have to be on the wrong side of the road, I go way out of my way to avoid this very scenario.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
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