I was wondering if anyone can cite or remembers any examples of what happens when a courier has an accident on the job.
I got to thinking about this when I got stopped for running a red light while working. it went as follows..
I make a left turn up the wrong way on a one way street(the lane I was in was a parking lane, so I was relatively shielded from traffic), I noticed I had to go further up the street to get to the address I had to be at, so I turned around and continued the right way up the street, I get to the same intersection not 10 feet away and cross it, after looking both ways and not seeing a single car, even though it was a red-light.
I find the address I need to be at, and then I hear a siren behind me. Now I know I broke the law. I can accept that. What I have a problem with is m interaction with the cop. She was pissed the hell off(I did run the light fairly blatantly in front of her, she was in a red car that I assumed was fire department... turns out it was a cop). She screams "are you trying to get killed" " you just nearly got killed twice" "I dont want to have to wipe your brains off the road" and a couple other zingers I can't quite remember. Basically it was clear that she thought I was a maniac, and that she thought what I was doing was very dangerous. I didn't argue with her and just took the ticket(she was nice about only getting me for the red light and not for going up the wrong way).
What I did really wasn't particularly dangerous though. I was in good control of my bike the whole time, aware of traffic around me, I didn't get in the way of any cars and I most definitely did not nearly get killed.
On the other hand on a daily basis I narrowly avoid at least two or three incidents that could leave me very hurt. In a months of riding only one of those was caused by my actions(mistimed a light and got stuck between two directions of traffic, it was very scary) most of the time, and I do mean overwhelmingly most of the time these near death encounters are caused by Jaywalkers, cars making illegal u-turns, or cars making perfectly legal if not careless u-turns on quiet residential streets. And theres the cars that pass me going way too fast and waaaaay to close.
Now if I ran a red and got hit by a car doing so I wouldn't expect the law to be on my side. But if someone pulled a Uturn in front of me and hit me I would expect the law to back me up. Somehow though I feel that the mentality that I am a crazy bike messenger would be enough for the cops to ignore my side of the story. Any stories about situations like this and how they play out?
Please lets not turn this into a discussion about how I should follow traffic laws, it's not really an option and not really insightful. I know laws exist for a reason and I'm usually fairly law abiding.