Anatomy of a near hit.

The other day Dixie, the kids and I were returning from the lake and we were driving up the hill on 4th Avenue West in Prince Albert.»? As we approached the intersection I have so skillfully drawn for you (above – I can’t remember which intersection it was) there was a guy on a bike ahead of me.»? He was driving in the middle of the street.»? We both came to a stop at about the same time, us in our car (#1 in the picture) and the biker on his…well…bike (#2) — us in the left lane, the biker in the right lane.

There are stop signs for 4th Ave West and the other road, running east-west, has the right of way.»? We both stopped and when I saw the way was clear, I drove ahead (#3) intending to drive straight through (#6).

Suddenly Dixie yelled “MARC!!“.»? The biker had started turning left (#4 and #5)»? from the right lane and right in front of our car!»? I slammed on the brakes and scowled at the guy on the bike and he has the audacity to give me a “What the hell are you doing?!” look!»? I let him pass and drove on, a little shaken.

Dixie wondered if I was going to give him the what-for — I have been known to yell at local kids who run in front of the car in the middle of the street — but I didn’t.»? I should have.»? I should have given him a lecture on the logic of making turns: turn left from the left lane, turn right from the right lane.»? It’s pretty simple.
He could have been killed.

So the question is, if I had hit this guy and injured or even killed him, who would be at fault?»? Would I be charged even though I did nothing wrong?

11 thoughts on “Anatomy of a near hit.

  1. Julia

    I have long been frustrated with bikers who think they are cars when it’s convenient to do so…and then claim special cyclist status when it is not convenient. Your story adds to my ammunition. (although no car would do that). I know there are responsible cyclists out there but you sure run into (over) a lot who are not. Once a motorist hunted me down and gave me a piece of his mind when I changed lanes without checking. I have never forgotten the lesson. Back to your question….

  2. Andrew

    No, you wouldn’t be charged had you hit him. You have remarkable self-control. I think I would have lost it.

  3. Randall

    You know I hate to say it’s a PA thing, so i won’t, but I’ve had a few weird incidents like that lately too. It makes me crazy when that happens.

    By the way, your artistic representation was awe inspiring. It was like I was really in the action! I actually felt myself nearly screaming out loud as you nearly hit the cyclist!


    Glad you were ok.
    The cyclist will probably continue in such fashion untill he won’t be able to drive a bike any longer.

  4. Marcus the Bushwhacker

    Actually, if you had hit him, I think you would both be charged.

    You would be charged with failing to yield the right-of-way (he was there first, you shouldn’t have pulled up beside him, but behind him).

    He would be charged with making an improper turn, (he shoulda been in the middle or to the left of the lane) and if he didn’t signal his turn (he didn’t point over to the left, did he?) for failing to signal a turn.

  5. Marcus the Bushwhacker

    Actually, I might take that back… was that a 4-lane street? You’ve only drawn it as 2-lanes.

    If he turned from the right lane, he’d definitely be charged with improper turn, but you still would be gigged for failing to yeild.

  6. Marc

    It was a two-lane street. But he was all the way to the right. Does traffic law indicate that I should pull up behind him, even if he is the far right of the lane? I thought bikers generally stayed on the shoulder unless making a left turn?

    Incidentally, Dixie’s version of the story has us passing the biker before the intersection and him catching up at the stop sign and (possibly) not stopping before cutting me off with his left turn.

  7. Dixie

    I can tell you with 100% certainty that we passed that biker, because I remember passing him and looking at him. Which means that he must not have stopped if he caught up to us to pass in front of us after we had come to a complete stop. How else could he have passed us, since we were in a CAR and all and he was peddling with his little inconsiderate feet.

  8. Andrew

    You would most definitely not have been charged. Cyclists are required to obey traffic laws like anyone else. If he is not indicating a left hand turn, and is not in the left hand lane, then he is 100% at fault.

  9. Andrew

    I forgot to add that you were not required to yield, as he is making an improper turn — how could you be expected to anticipate someone crossing your path if they have not given proper notice of their intent to do so?

  10. Marcus the Bushwhacker

    OK, since it was 2 lanes, and you were there first, you wouldn’t be charged. He would have been.

    You shoulda hit him. 😉

  11. Ian H.

    I hate PA cyclists… the ones that tick me off the most are the young teenage boys riding 4 or 5 abreast across the entire street. Grrr…

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