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February 18, 2011

Video: Fla. cyclist hit by cruiser on dark road
The road on which the incident happened is poorly lit, according to residents
By PoliceOne Staff

NAPLES, Fla. - A woman on a bicycle was struck by a cruiser while crossing a poorly lit street in Florida last week.

The incident was caught on the cruiser's dash cam. The cyclist was hit so hard that the camera was knocked from the dashboard and the woman would up underneath the car, according to Examiner.com. She survived the incident.

The road, which has speed limits of 45 and 50 miles per hour, is poorly lit, according to residents.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, according to Examiner.com.
 

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Lighting is not the problem here, at least not on the street. Lights on the bike might have helped, but looking both ways before crossing the street would have been better, as would crossing in a crosswalk (she was walking her bike).
 

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weirdo
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m85476585 said:
Lighting is not the problem here, at least not on the street. Lights on the bike might have helped, but looking both ways before crossing the street would have been better, as would crossing in a crosswalk (she was walking her bike).
No kidding. WTF was she thinking?
Didn`t say how she fared- hope she gets back on her feet and buys some lights&reflective goodies. And learns to watch the road.
 

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The cop didn't do a great job either, though. They should be able to see much better than what we see through the camera, but they didn't swerve and they barely braked (I'm not even sure they did, but it looks like the car might have nosed down a bit at the last instant). And if nothing else, they were cruising through a poorly lit area without paying attention. Cyclist in the middle of the road, cyclist on the shoulder, pedestrian, kid, drunk, wildlife, garbage, broken car...lots of unexpected hazards to watch out for.

But yeah, crossing there doesn't seem smart. Being a pedestrian and having to detour blocks and blocks to cross at a "safe" location sucks. On a bike though, just take 30 seconds and ride the extra block or two.
 

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Hmmmm.At night, poorly lit area, crossing the street. How could anyone NOT see the headlights of a car coming at you? I don't blame the cop as it might as well be a deer jumping out into the road. You just don't see them until they are in front of you.
 

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Investigating.... not sure it needs a big long investigation. Pretty clear form the camera footage, you can't see the cyclist until less than a second out. Not really much the officer could have done. I know I would have hit the cyclist too!

So many things could have been done by the cyclist to prevent this...
-taking the time to find a better crossing point
-using lights
-Using anything reflective at all on the bike
-wearing clothing that isn't dark brown and black... at night

MAYBE the officer could have been a little more attentive... but honestly, even knowing what's coming, on the video, you don't see the cyclist until literally a split second before impact.
 

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weirdo
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Maybe the bike lady was actually trying to pay attention to traffic after all, but the cruiser was very hard to see with only a pair of 55W halogen lights and a few amber corner markers. He really should have had a reflective bra over the grill and Superflash going on the rear bumper if he knew he was going to be out patrolling after dark..
 

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I thought it was fascinating how she seems to come out of nowhere, even when you know it's coming. We see cyclists like this too often, they seem to believe they are seen or that their mad skills will save them. It would be a good video to show in drivers ed or something, maybe a few would decide to be visible if they ride.
 

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rodar y rodar said:
Maybe the bike lady was actually trying to pay attention to traffic after all, but the cruiser was very hard to see with only a pair of 55W halogen lights and a few amber corner markers. He really should have had a reflective bra over the grill and Superflash going on the rear bumper if he knew he was going to be out patrolling after dark..
I don't usually actually laugh out loud, but I did at this one... nice! :lol:
 

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The video isn't a good representation of what the driver would have seen. The pedestrian appears out of nowhere at the last second because the camera has a narrow field of view, and the camera's brightness is calibrating to the headlights, oncoming lights, and reflective stuff. The cheap camera makes this seem more sudden than in probably was, and the human eye should have had a lot more information.

And as an example of that, before the crash you can see that the pedestrian is silhouetted against the oncoming lights. On the screen you really have to look for it because it doesn't pop out, but in the real world with stereo vision it's the sort of clue that driving is all about.

So absolutely the pedestrian was dumb, but I still think there's a pretty big element of "I've driven this completely empty road 1,000 times and never seen anything unexpected before..." That attitude is natural, but that complacency is what leads to texting, reading, eating, or just not cluing in to potential hazards.
 

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Remember we are looking through a camera....the cop should have been able to see a lot more field of view....

and observed the cars that didn't hit her...

Not at all straight forward.
 

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Great minds etc...:D

A lot of things struck me and you nailed them! (sorry, had to!)

Camera angle/sensitivity is NOT an accurate depiction. They misrepresent.
Things that obscure lights then don't SHOULD set off 'something's wrong here' panic mode.
(Saved my life many times. Often you don't even get to say: "I've got a bad feeling...")
I mean she had to cross in front of oncoming traffic first, and that should have been easy to see unless an obscuring vehicle we don't see got in the way.
Officer may have been distracted by job related activity.
Here at times, as much as 50% of drivers I see are, so that's news?
My videos (may understate visibility a bit) say that you need a lot of reflective gear to show up in a brakeable distance, the rider was Ninja in the glare of oncoming lights. Like mechBgon, you need to outreflect them. :thumbsup: Interestingly, IMHO, this clothing works as well or better than bright bike lights in full sun , about equal under some cloud.
Reflective sidewalls and rims are nice, but at high closing speeds? Inadequate.
All they do is tell the driver that they are about to hit a bicycle.:madman:
Yes, the video is VERY close to what I saw hitting an 8 point buck in the interstate until the carcas forced the hood over the windshield and saved my life. (A '195 pound after it was dressed' deer in my lap at 65 mph would have been a 'fatal distraction'.)
You tend to tunnel vision down the road especially listening attentively to a radio or other audio input, and miss a low vis object, (though with a median, the stag eclipsed nothing, unlike the pedestrian above)
Walking with your bike lights on at night while crossing a busy street away from the crosswalk is a very good idea. As is using your common sense/eyes.
You can't daydream crossing a busy road!
The high visibility of the cruiser would lead me to investigate attempted suicide by cop.
She entered his lane 50' -100' into path of cruiser doing 45-50 mph? WHAT?
Blood tests also appropriate.
Sorry for her pain and injury, but if not intentional, she might be a candidate for a 2011 Darwin Award!
 

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weirdo
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Yeah, I`ll grant that the driver should have been able to prevent it too, but...
Man! What the hell was the bike walker thinking? I mean, HOW could somebody walk straight out in front of a fast moving vehicle like that? She was across the first lane, not like she just popped out from behind a parked bus while she was studying a receipt or something. That`s what really gets me.
 

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^ people do dumb things all the time. Assuming she wasn't drunk/crazy/suicidal I will propose that:

She's done this 1,000 times, and she's never been hit before
Traffic on the right had been clear for awhile
She's waiting, waiting, waiting for a break in traffic on the left
There's an opening on the left, and off she goes with brain in "off" mode

That might not be how it happened, but there could be lots of reasons why her focus wasn't where it should have been. Either way, it's dumb and illegal. But we kind of expect people will daydream when controlling a 2,000lbs+ vehicle at 50mph, and it can happen when crossing a street too.

Personally I would just hope that a video like this wouldn't be admissible in court if visibility is the concern. You show this video (or a similar one) to a jury and it is absolutely damning for the pedestrian. But even in a less dramatic case the camera's limited field of view, poor dynamic range, and lack of depth perception would always make it look really bad for the pedestrian/cyclist and really good for the driver.
 

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^ thanks. I was wondering about the leadup, and if the cruiser had just turned onto the road or if it had been going straight for awhile.

I don't know that this makes it look any worse for the pedestrian. What they did was still illegal and dumb. But at the beginning of the longer video the cruiser drives through an intersection that doesn't look like it has crosswalks, walklights or sidewalks. So how far away was the nearest safe place to cross?

As for the cruiser, in the longer video you can totally track a shadow as it blocks the oncoming lights, which means that there's something on the road up ahead. That gave them 4 seconds to respond. But a long straight stretch of road with great visibility and no distractions is exactly when people stop paying attention.
 

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Yeah, the longer one even factoring in the poorer light sensitivity of camera versus eye, it looks unavoidable from the officer's point of view. Just dumb.

In the daytime I see technozombies on cell phones or with iPods walking this inattentively crossing busy Main Street here with decent crosswalks even one mid-block.
 

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There's a lot of conjecture over what the officer could have should have or did see, but the only evidence we have is what we see on the camera. We can suppose or speculate that the naked eye would see better, but we really have no way of knowing.

From the only evidence we have (the video footage) I don't think we can say that a reasonable driver should have been able to avoid hitting the cyclist.

I still stand by the fact that there's really no fault to the driver in this. It is an unfortunate incident, and I hope the best for the cyclist of course, but there's really nothing I would have done different from the officer's perspective.... now, from the cyclist's perspective, well, that's a different story, unfortunately. Probably didn't make the best series of decisions leading up to this incident.
 
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