Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cop Crossing

The good news is that after this driver crossed in front of me he apologized. The bad news is that he did it in the first place. It turns out he was an (I assume) off duty but in uniform city of Brookfield reserve police officer.

This is the same department that has threatened to cite me for disorderly conduct for shouting at a driver who ran me off the road, and told me that I have no right to ride on any street in Brookfield if I'm not going the speed limit.

I wonder how the Brookfield Police Department would have responded to this incident, since, when it occurred I was in fact riding at the speed limit.

Now this driver admittedly misjudged my speed. But if an officer can misjudge the speed of a bicycle on a crystal clear Saturday morning and almost cause a serious crash, I think it is time that the City of Brookfield police chief reinforces to all his employees the importance of understanding, following and fairly enforcing the state of Wisconsin traffic laws as they relate to bicycles.

He should stress to all his employees that bicycles have the same right to the road as all other vehicles. He should stress that bicycles can legally use the entire traffic lane in numerous scenarios. He should also stress that bicycles may not always behave as you expect them too, for example, they may be going significantly faster than you would expect.

Perhaps the Chief can get this officer to help him reinforce these principles to his other employees, at least he seems to have learned his lesson from this incident.


Anonymous said...

It's kind of sad to say this doesn't surprise me that he was a police officer.

And I guess it doesn't surprise me that he couldn't brake and wait 10 seconds to turn left.

But the latter continues to blow me away; I cannot fathom how avoiding a slight slowdown is so important to people.

That's the kind of crap that doesn't end well. If you had been fiddling with a water bottle or something else for even 1-2 seconds, that could've completely changed the outcome.

Well, off to the relative safety of the MTB world. :)

Anonymous said...

as a driver, my worst nightmare is not seeing a bicyclist in the roadway, its just not something the general public is inherently trained to look for. Thats why this forum is a good start to educate both drivers and riders. At the same time i am frustrated with distracted drivers, i am frustrated by bicyclists riding in the roadway on insanely dumb roads, i.e. curvy scenic blacktops, or minimal shoulder roads. Yes, there is a right to ride, but riding stupid or creating jammed up traffic deserves getting yelled at. No matter whos in the right or wrong, a bike vs car is no contest. I dont get why people put themselves in that situation. Nobody wins.

Anonymous said...

Is he a reserve officer or a police officer. Two different things. Reserves are not police officers, they are usually civilian volunteers who help the police, they have some privilages such as wearing a uniform but are not.licrnsed police officers.

Steve said...

Mike, I ride my bike whenever I can, and I have empathy for you and all cyclists who endure disregard and abuse. But here you are shown biking on a road that, because of a bike's slower speed, creates a safety hazard. You aren't even over to the right in order to make passing easier, from what we can discern. As a result, Cars can either back up for a mile behind you, or risk passing on a road that is dangerous for passing anything. It seems antagonistic behavior by you, and it creates ill-will towards all bikers. -- Steve, St. Paul, MN

Steve said...

As I've read further since my earlier positing, I see you do get over to the right sometimes and that you observe you are indeed going the speed limit. I'd simply viewed a couple of your videos. (I see also that your name is Jeff, not Mike.) -- Steve, St. Paul, MN

Anonymous said...

I agree with the posting about this behavior being antagonistic.

Jeff, do YOU have a family? Kids? What do they think about you playing chicken with 4000 pound vehicles?

I always tell my children: You can step into a crosswalk and cross the street in front of a car doing 50 MPH. Are you right? Absolutely. Will you be dead? Probably. How important is it to be "right"? Is it worth your life?

I live in eastern Pennsylvania, which is not bike-friendly at all. However, there are many miles of rails-to-trails that are beautiful, scenic, ans SAFE - I choose to use those so I can live another day to be with my family. In other words, it is not worth my life to prove a point to motorists. I invite you to look at that.

Here's an example:

This great man was lit up like a Christmas tree, and yet hit and killed by a 79-year-old driver who did not see him. There is a shoulder on that bridge with "share the road" signs everywhere. He was riding in the travel lane and she hit him anyway. He leaves a wife and two kids.

It's just not worth it, my friend. Find safer places to bike, and maybe worry less about videotaping motorists and more about riding safely. Whether you want to admit it or not, you and the drivers on that road co-create those dangerous situations.

Be safe

Anonymous said...

Sure, find a safer place to ride, but sometimes the only way to get to somewhere is by roads that don't have bicycles in mind. If we are to make bicycles a viable mode of transportation than we have to brave roads that may not be accommodating us. BTW a trail, bike lane, local roads or whatever never mean that you are 'safer'.

Anonymous said...

Sure find a safer place to ride, my friend that does not help us reach the goal of road sharing. Too often cyclists have to brave roads that don't have cyclists in mind in order to get somewhere, if a bicycle is to become a viable mode or transportation rather than just a weekend outing or neighborhood tour, cyclists have to use the same roads alongside cars. By the way neighborhood roads, trails, bike lanes or whatever does not guarantee a rider's safety by any means.