Lawyer Ray Thomas must be very proud. Back in January I posted about a new campaign he was promoting that would take advantage of existing statutes to empower cyclists to initiate a legal process to bring motorists to justice even if the motorist wasn’t cited at the scene of the crash.
Ray published a pamphlet for cyclists called, “Pedal Power: The do-it-yourself guide to citizen initiation of violation proceedings” (full PDF here) that allowed victims of a crash to take the law into their own hands by using existing legal statutes to bring unsafe motorists to justice.
Just yesterday, the first case ever to use this process won success in court.
On September 22, 2005 Mike Reuter was hit and seriously injured by a motorist on Hawthorne and Grand. Mike was taken away by an ambulance and spent the night in the ICU. However, despite several witnesses that saw a Dodge mini-van run a red light and hit him, the motorist was not cited by the responding Police officer.
Six and a half months later, after Mike wrote a letter to the Mayor and initiated a citizen complaint, the motorist was cited and fined for running a red light.
I strongly recommend that we all educate ourselves about this process. Here are some resources and information