Bicyclist and Tucson Police Officer Allen Johnson was struck from behind in the bike lane on Old Spanish Trail, but still no citations have been issued to the driver. The news has been sparse on this incident, but it is pretty hard for me to believe the driver did not at least violate Ariz. Rev. Statutes 28-735, the “three foot passing” rule.
I can never understand the incredible reluctance the authorities have to issue this citation. Does anyone have any ideas? Why wouldn’t it be immediate?
I have numerous clients who have been cited with violations while they are lying in the hospital, citations that were issued on the basis of vague statements by bystanders. For example, I have a client who was cited for failing to yield after he was hit by a car going the wrong way down the street. He was cited in the emergency room. (We won . . . but still). I have another client who was cited for failing to reduce his speed to avoid an accident after he was struck by a car that made a left turn into him, even though the witnesses and the driver herself admitted to running the red light! Another client of mine was cited in the hospital for not having a headlight on his bike, after he was creamed by a fellow doing an illegal U-turn. The incident occurred in broad daylight, when there is no legal obligation to have a headlamp on your bicycle.
So what’s the big deal about citing somebody who has just run down an innocent person in a bike lane? What is it? Why is it so easy for a bicyclist to get a ticket in this town, but so hard for us to get some protection when one of our own is literally run down in the street?