Cyclist ticketed after car vs. bike accident

A bicyclist is struck by a car, St. George, Utah, June 24, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A bicyclist escaped serious injury Wednesday afternoon but was cited by police officers after he crossed in front of a car that was exiting a parking lot and was bumped by the car.

A bicyclist enscaped injury after being struck by a car, St. George, Utah, June 24, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News
A bicyclist escapes injury after being struck by a car, St. George, Utah, June 24, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

St. George Police Officer Tyrell Bangerter said the driver of the car was exiting the parking lot of Honolulu Grill, located at 706 E. 700 South in St. George, at about 1:15 p.m.

The driver of the car stopped and then pulled forward, partially blocking the sidewalk. A bicyclist traveling west on the sidewalk swerved out in front of the car. The bicyclist did not make eye contact with the driver, Bangerter said, and it was at that moment the driver decided to go.

Bangerter said the car hit the bicycle, resulting in minor damage to the bicycle and the car. No injuries were reported.

St. George Police Sgt. Craig Harding was also on scene.

“Bicyclists should go with the traffic in the street,” Harding said, “unless they’re little kids, and then they can ride on the sidewalk. But there is a city ordinance against riding on the sidewalk.”

“There is a state law that says that bicyclists should be on the extreme right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic, not against traffic,” Harding added, “because then you avoid crashes like this, with people pulling out looking to their left to see if there is a car coming so they can pull out and turn right.”

The bicyclist was cited for failure to yield.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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  • 42214 June 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Good. Sick of bicyclists think they own the road and don’t follow basic right of way rules.

    • Lastdays June 24, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Um, in this incident the bike was riding on the sidewalk. He was not trying to “own” the road.

      • 42214 June 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

        He is suppose to be on the road, not the sidewalk.

    • indy-vfr June 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Funny, sounds like most of the drivers in St George. I’d never ride a bike in this town.

  • fred_wilson June 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Look up utah code 41-6a-1702 and you will see that it IS legal to ride on the sidewalk

    • 42214 June 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      You still have to yield the right of way to other vehicles and pedestrians. The bike deserved the ticket, I hope he didn’t scratch the poor victim’s car.

  • allan_d June 26, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Sidewalk riding is generally much less safe than riding in the street, especially when riding against traffic flow. Some cyclists ride there because they’re admonished to do so by drivers. Regardless, when we drive our motor vehicles, we have a legal and ethical responsibility to watch for others.

    St. George Police Sgt. Craig Harding ought to reacquaint himself with the law which he enforces. His quote is incorrect and divisive:

    “There is a state law that says that bicyclists should be on the extreme right side of the roadway…” Here’s what the law actually says, and it’s far different:

    41-6a-1105. Operation of bicycle or moped on and use of roadway — Duties, prohibitions.
    (1) A person operating a bicycle or a moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as near as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway except when:
    (a) overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
    (b) preparing to make a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
    (c) traveling straight through an intersection that has a right-turn only lane that is in conflict with the straight through movement; or
    (d) reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of the roadway including:
    (i) fixed or moving objects;
    (ii) parked or moving vehicles;
    (iii) bicycles;
    (iv) pedestrians;
    (v) animals;
    (vi) surface hazards; or
    (vii) a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

  • 42214 June 26, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Show me in you code citation that a bike can ride on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic, zip in and out and between cars, cut infront of a car trying to turn onto the street from a driveway and not yield to anyone without some type of liability. Where is the cyclist’s “legal and moral” responsibility. Cyclists ride on the sidewalk because they’re “admonished” to do so by drivers?

  • allan_d June 26, 2015 at 11:21 am

    @42214, that’s a pretty convoluted request. If you are on the side of law-abiding behavior and respect for others, I’m on your side. I teach cycling courses in which i demonstrate how much better off we all are when we follow the rules of the road and treat one another with respect. My online courses are used by courts like Defensive Driving courses, to educate cyclists who have been ticketed for sidewalk riding where illegal, riding against traffic, running stop signs and stop lights, and more. I’m working hard to make the transportation mix a better one for all of us.

    We all have a legal and moral obligation to operate with care, whether we are walking, riding a bike or driving a car. And yes, many cyclists ride on the sidewalk because they are buzzed or honked at by drivers, or have things thrown at them.

    Having police officers tell people riding bikes that they are required to ride to the “extreme right side of the roadway” when that is not what the law says (and is more dangerous for riders and drivers) helps no one.

  • 42214 June 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I thought my question was pretty straight forward. Section 1106 speaks of negligent collision and yielding right of way. Here is a “simple” question to an expert on bike laws. If title 41 requires all bikes to obey basic traffic laws , what happens if you have a club riding single file 12″ tire to tire and a bike goes down causing a chain reaction crash of 20 bikes or so. Does each cyclist get cited for 41-6a-711, following too close.

  • allan_d June 26, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    The laws can vary considerably from state to state, but from looking at the Utah code and the relevant definitions, that would seem to be the case for all but the lead rider.

    The laws are written by people, resulting in gaps and in situations not fully considered (hence the reason for the Court system). There are also gaps and errors in enforcement. For example, even in states where the law requires that drivers pass ‘vulnerable road users’ with at least three feet of space, seldom are drivers who strike and kill law-abiding riders, pedestrians or roadside workers cited, despite the fact that the collision is prima facie evidence of an infraction.

    It’s easy to get caught up in pointing fingers, but the fact is that there are errors made by members of all groups of road users (I hold anyone taking my cycling courses to a *very* high standard). The litmus test is how we as individuals would treat others if there were no laws. If our primary consideration is our own convenience or haste over the safety of others (or the desire to point out their errors while we ignore our own), we need to seriously rethink our approach.

    • 42214 June 26, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Truce. I probably agree with you on most if not all your points. I merely feel too many cyclists ride irresponsably through traffic and parking lots etc and it’s refreshing to finally see one held accountable.

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