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-   -   Finally, a cop shop taking heat for bad investigation of cyclists collisions (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/926223-finally-cop-shop-taking-heat-bad-investigation-cyclists-collisions.html)

CB HI 12-15-13 12:37 AM

Finally, a cop shop taking heat for bad investigation of cyclists collisions
 
SFPD has long had a reputation for refusing to take police reports unless the cyclist had to ride in an ambulance.

Their lack of caring for cyclist deaths now has a light shown on it.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/201...-investigated/

turbo1889 12-15-13 12:48 AM

SFPD is by no means unique in this. In fact I would say that they are only being normal and this is the default situation in most PDs. As far as I'm concerned this is "par for the course". Not saying its right, just saying this is how it is normally and anything better is the exception.

CB HI 12-15-13 12:58 AM

Agreed:

http://floridacyclinglaw.com/blog/ar...s-and-cyclists

Chris516 12-15-13 02:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turbo1889 (Post 16331225)
SFPD is by no means unique in this. In fact I would say that they are only being normal and this is the default situation in most PDs. As far as I'm concerned this is "par for the course". Not saying its right, just saying this is how it is normally and anything better is the exception.

PDs' not only marginalize a cyclist after they have been killed by a motorist, by either blaming the cyclist outright, or not investigating altogether. They also do it when the cyclist is not fatality. Then they do it by, not taking cyclists' seriously in cases where close-pass laws are involved.

bigfred 12-15-13 03:16 AM

Sometimes it's not just cyclists. My wife and I were involved in a motor vehicle on motor vehicle collisoin during rush hour. We phoned the police to report it. We were asked if anyone was in need of medical attention(no), if we were blocking a traffic lane(we had moved off the road) and if there was any disagreement regarding fault (there was but the operator determined that could be decided by the insurers). We were informed that no officer would be attending and if we insisted we could report to the station to fill out a report.

SOP, in some areas regardless of whether one is on a bicycle or not.

rydabent 12-15-13 09:21 AM

Too bad a person had to die before the SFPD was forced to change. But it seems to be pretty much the country over, killing a cyclist seems to be no big deal. As I have posted before a judges wife here in Lincoln ran over a cyclist and killed him, and the Co Att didnt even file charges.

Looigi 12-15-13 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rydabent (Post 16331613)
Too bad a person had to die before the SFPD was forced to change...

They changed?

genec 12-15-13 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigfred (Post 16331317)
Sometimes it's not just cyclists. My wife and I were involved in a motor vehicle on motor vehicle collisoin during rush hour. We phoned the police to report it. We were asked if anyone was in need of medical attention(no), if we were blocking a traffic lane(we had moved off the road) and if there was any disagreement regarding fault (there was but the operator determined that could be decided by the insurers). We were informed that no officer would be attending and if we insisted we could report to the station to fill out a report.

SOP, in some areas regardless of whether one is on a bicycle or not.

However in the case of motor vehicle collisions, does the PD start with the assumption that a particular car is most likely at fault just for being on the road?

walrus1 12-15-13 12:02 PM

I'm glad their taking heat. As other have stated this is pretty much expected standard operating procedure for many departments. The NYPD has taken this a step further. Sometimes their investigation after a fatal car vs cyclist collision is to ask the driver what happened since he or she is still alive they must know, driver blames cyclist, cops put that in the report and call it a day.

The NYPD is taking a hell of a lot of heat for their lackadaisical approach to collision investigation. However, they show no sign of changing. Many people seem to have faith that Bill De Blasio. He has unfortunately backed away from cyclist safety after winning the mayoral primary and I haven't heard any mention of this after winning the election. While his appointed police commissioner William Bratton has paid lip service to street safety he seems way more concerned with jaywalking then cyclist safety. Even if he wanted to do something so many NYPD officers don't care about cyclists or see them as an easy and safe way to hit their ticket quotas that I doubt he can do much. I wish San Francisco all the luck in the world in reforming the SFPD but I really don't believe police departments that have shown such indifference or hostility towards members of their community can be reformed without first being reconstructed from the ground up.

dynodonn 12-15-13 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by walrus1 (Post 16331981)
.....but I really don't believe police departments that have shown such indifference or hostility towards members of their community can be reformed without first being reconstructed from the ground up.

In SFPD's case, this could be the long awaited first step in that reconstruction process.

walrus1 12-15-13 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 16331998)
In SFPD's case, this could be the long awaited first step in that reconstruction process.

I hope so but I really don't believe they are going to do a proper reconstruction. Low ranking patrolman operate with such disregard because they are allowed to by their sergeants, lieutenants, captains ect, ect. Unless they're willing to fire a large part of their senior brass they will revert to old ways soon enough.

dynodonn 12-15-13 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by walrus1 (Post 16332014)
I hope so but I really don't believe they are going to do a proper reconstruction. Low ranking patrolman operate with such disregard because they are allowed to by their sergeants, lieutenants, captains ect, ect. Unless they're willing to fire a large part of their senior brass they will revert to old ways soon enough.

Rome wasn't built overnight, I am not expecting an instant change as well, but the ball is now in motion when it comes down to SF cyclists and SFPD.

turbo1889 12-15-13 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigfred (Post 16331317)
Sometimes it's not just cyclists. My wife and I were involved in a motor vehicle on motor vehicle collisoin during rush hour. We phoned the police to report it. We were asked if anyone was in need of medical attention(no), if we were blocking a traffic lane(we had moved off the road) and if there was any disagreement regarding fault (there was but the operator determined that could be decided by the insurers). We were informed that no officer would be attending and if we insisted we could report to the station to fill out a report.

SOP, in some areas regardless of whether one is on a bicycle or not.


The only problem I have with that (including in a bike/car collision) is that it wasn't a clear answer that there was no disagreement about who was at fault. If it was a clear "no" answer to all three of those questions then I would have no problem with police prioritizing for other more important calls then a traffic collision with a triple-no answer to those questions (assuming there are more important calls or a reason to sustain a minimum reserve, now on the other hand if everyone is down at the station with their feet up on their desks twiddling their thumbs that would be different).

I pray for the day when a cyclist can always insist on going down to the station and filling out a report and actually having full access to that option and it not being denied to him/her. Can't even count on that with a bike/car collision or even a bike/ANYthing-else collision including bike/bike and bike/ped.

bigfred 12-15-13 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turbo1889 (Post 16332234)
The only problem I have with that (including in a bike/car collision) is that it wasn't a clear answer that there was no disagreement about who was at fault. ....

Sort of my exact point. In instances where there is disagreement between road users the police force is often finding itself in a position to need to triage their response. From what I learned, the standard was basically, unless it resulted in need for ambulance transport or was going to impeed traffic to such a degree as to inconvenience a large number of commuters and potentially get reported via the media, there wasn't going to be a police response.

I'm in no way refuting that often cyclists don't get a fair shake. Simply pointing out that it's not only cyclists that suffer as a consequence of some of the standing orders that seem to exist. In the instance above, neither of our insurance companies were pleased with the fact that there was no police establish fault and ended up covering their own insured. When it should have been a cut and dried case of one vehicle being at fault.

phoebeisis 12-15-13 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by genec (Post 16331913)
However in the case of motor vehicle collisions, does the PD start with the assumption that a particular car is most likely at fault just for being on the road?

In MOST of the country-no injury-means cops don't assume anyone is at fault.
They just leave it to the insurance companies to sort out.
They are doing the same thing with bike accidents if there isn't an injury.

So was the truck driver ticketed-?
What was it for-violation?
No criminal charges-usual story if not drunk or if it isn't intentional(road rage)

CB HI 12-15-13 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 16331998)
In SFPD's case, this could be the long awaited first step in that reconstruction process.

Keep in mind that the very first Critical Mass was in SF in part due to SFPDs handling of bike/car collisions. If I recall correctly, one of the big collisions was between a cabbie and a messenger.

dynodonn 12-15-13 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CB HI (Post 16332328)
Keep in mind that the very first Critical Mass was in SF in part due to SFPDs handling of bike/car collisions. If I recall correctly, one of the big collisions was between a cabbie and a messenger.

20 years ago, cyclist numbers in SF was smaller, with today's cyclist numbers and with even more people with political and legal clout on board , SFPD cannot easily sidestep this issue as in years past.

B. Carfree 12-15-13 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 16331998)
In SFPD's case, this could be the long awaited first step in that reconstruction process.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OP's link
Supervisor Scott Wiener placed the bicycle issue on the Public Safety Committee agenda because of the outcry over how Moullac’s death was investigated.

“In general, I think they take these accidents very seriously,” he said, referring to police. Wiener said he believes San Francisco police officers generally act properly when responding to bicycle crashes.

This doesn't look like much of a first step; I think this baby is still crawling.

Currently SF takes public nudity more seriously than dangerous driving. In fact, since the passage of the Weiner Bill, they have taken a zero-tolerance approach to nudity. Imagine how safe the streets would be if they took that same zero-tolerance approach to traffic law.

B. Carfree 12-15-13 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CB HI (Post 16332328)
Keep in mind that the very first Critical Mass was in SF in part due to SFPDs handling of bike/car collisions. If I recall correctly, one of the big collisions was between a cabbie and a messenger.

And then there was that little incident where a trucker killed a messenger with a 2X4 because he was angry that a group of messengers were riding too slowly. They were on their way back from a colleagues funeral; the colleague had been killed by a motorist. (I don't think any charges were ever filed against either killer, but it has been a while, so I can't be certain.)

CB HI 12-15-13 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Carfree (Post 16332475)
And then there was that little incident where a trucker killed a messenger with a 2X4 because he was angry that a group of messengers were riding too slowly. They were on their way back from a colleagues funeral; the colleague had been killed by a motorist. (I don't think any charges were ever filed against either killer, but it has been a while, so I can't be certain.)

That is my memory as well.

dynodonn 12-15-13 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Carfree (Post 16332472)
This doesn't look like much of a first step; I think this baby is still crawling.

Oh, I think it's a step and not a crawl, the burner has been cranked up a couple of notches regardless what the PR department says, the heat is on.

Chris516 12-15-13 05:20 PM

In the DC-Metro region, depending on how far I bike, I have to contend with the ignorant policies of the state police(Maryland and Virginia), county police(Montgomery, Frederick), city police(Gaithersburg, Rockville, Takoma Park, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax), and government police(Montgomery County Sheriff, Frederick County Sheriff, National Institutes of Health). I have to contend with all those jurisdictions(not daily), any one of which could have a hostile policy towards cyclists'. Now it makes me want to look into it.


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