May 30, 2004 - 9:13 am
at 1:30 last night, c and i walked home from the cinematheque. as we approched an intersection, we saw a car hit a cyclist. it was the craziest thing i've witnessed in this city. i was shaking. we hailed an abulance and and the driver pulled over and got out of her car. the cyclist was hit hard and he lay on the ground for quite awhile until he suddenly got up, cursing the driver, grabbing his bike and taking off. the ambulance guys tried to calm him down but it wasn't working. some guy in his suv stopped only long enough to yell "you deserved it you fucking bum!". the police came after that but the cyclist was already gone.
c and i watched the police talking with the driver and they were fucking laughing about the whole thing! the police weren't asking for witnesses, nor were they asking the driver if she had any drinks that night or demanded a breathalyzer test. the attidude of the entire situation was despicable. were the police and driver not taking the situation seriously because the cyclist obviously had some mental problems or was on drugs? he was hit really hard and witnessing the whole thing was very emotional for me. my adrenaline was running and i'm sure it was adrenaline that made the cyclist hop up and take off. he's obviously going to be in a lot of pain today.
but it was the attitude of the people around us that was the most disturbing and made me feel sick. no one fucking cared for the fact that a driver hit a cyclist. the driver didn't seem to care. the police didn't care. c and i expressed our shock and disbelief to the police but it was falling on deaf ears. obviously, as a cyclist, i am biased, but i was shocked that nothing was done. i was sickened by the public and police attitude over the possible homeless victim. the driver wasn't driving defensively and she hit a cyclist head on. i kept wondering if i was the cyclist would the situation have been any different? somehow i doubt it.
i cried pretty much the whole way home and i'm still upset this morning. i don't know what i can do to help things. will joining a critical mass ride help? i doubt it. it makes me feel helpless and i hate that feeling. it's feeling desperate and losing control that makes me angry.
i ride my bike home every day through rush hour traffic and i'm extra cautious when i ride. i'm shoulder checking constantly and i'm aware of car tires and parked cars with doors ready to open. i've witnessed the careless drivers using cell phones and drivers who come way to close or cut me off. as a cyclist i know that i am vulnerable to serious injury. the rare times, we drive a car, i am the tense passenger noticing the poor drivers who don't signal when changing lanes. i've taken my bicycle sensitivity into the car, whether i'm the driver or the passenger and i hate it.