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Biking east on washington at about 810am, approaching lasalle. I see that I have the light and about 12 seconds to make it, and was on pace to cross lasalle going east.

A cyclist in front of me (also going east) got hit by a black BMW going south (which either made an illegal right turn where there's a no right turn sign or had eaten the light. I hung a right and saw the BMW caught at the next light and took this picture. Then went back and gave the photo to the cyclist, who was banged up, but grateful for the photo. I hope they catch this driver.

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As frustrating as the legal maze may be at times, it is ALWAYS worth pursuing a case if for no other reason than to make the offender's life difficult. Making it easy for these drivers to get off unchallenged only endangers other riders in the future.

I agree with pursuing a hit & run driver. But just try to eyeball who is driving: Woman, man, etc. I had a license plate & make/ model of car but they police told me to not bother if I could not identify who was driving! Now maybe if there was bodily harm, it may be different but try to see who is driving if you chase down a car.

That's the police's fault for looking for any excuse not to do their jobs. From a legal standpoint the driver should still be liable under any number of approaches (criminal or civil).

Right - it seems that if a car's owner is held liable for red-light/speed camera tickets without the need for the actual driver to be identified, then certainly the same standard should be applied for for more serious offenses such as a hit and run.

It seems then that your recourse would be a civil suit where the burden of proof for responsibility is somewhat looser?

This legal article explains a lot of facts about hit-and-runs.

"Although knowing the license plate number helps locate the owner, unless you or a witness can positively identify whoever was driving at the time of the accident, the police probably won't make an arrest, because the defendant's guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

Police make plenty of other arrests where they leave the BRD standard for the prosecutor to worry about. I think it's a convenient excuse when it comes to being lax on protecting cyclists. But if there's a next time I will try to get the plates and see if I can get a pic of the driver.

I'd say you're generally going to have better luck with a civil case in this situation.  Very few people with enough wealth to own a nice Beamer are going to risk perjuring themselves over an occurrence of this magnitude.     


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