Don’t count on Police for even the smallest token of justice, a Traffic Ticket!
So, I was hit by a car while cycling on Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park 4 weeks ago on a warm, sunny evening. The painted lines for the designated bike lane offered no protection of course. A 23 year-old driver left-hooked me as she turned onto Francis Place and caused damage to her bumper, my bike, and most of all me! I am still mending and learning how miserable life is with broken toes.
The car’s driver was not cited and never will be unless I pursue a civil case against her. Her auto insurance company has already admitted fault at least. But my question is why wasn’t she ticketed, at a minimum, for failing to yield to my right-of-way? I spoke with the sergeant of the officers that responded to the 911 call and they did not even get on shift until after my crash. Because there was nobody at the scene when they arrived, there was nobody to ticket. Before I left in the ambulance about 15 min. after crash, the driver texted pictures of her insurance, license plate, and driver’s license and I had the contact info of 2 witnesses which I shared with the police from the ER that evening. There’s no denying by any party who was responsible for this crash. But other than writing up a crash report, the police don’t really investigate an accident after-the-fact or write tickets unless someone dies sadly. They are understaffed and underfunded I am told. So I guess I should be happy I live to tell this tale? The reality is, even though their job is to “serve and protect” the only one the Chicago Police is serving in this case is the negligent driver.
Bottom line, because the police did not arrive on scene in a timely manner, due to shift change, understaffing or whatever the reason, it’s up to me, the victim, to pursue justice. If I don’t, the driver can continue to hit cyclists as often as her distractions allow and as long as the police do not arrive quickly and nobody dies, the driver will never have any points on her driving record and will never have her license suspended. Perhaps her insurance premium will increase but that’s not much of a price to pay for nearly killing someone, is it? Heck, she can even be under the influence or texting with no consequences! Nobody will ever know if the police do not investigate swiftly and promptly.