Stillwater News

Oct. 14 Traffic Accident Involving Bicyclist

Released:Oct 31, 2019

Case Number: 2019-31072

(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / October 31, 2019) – On October 14, 2019, at 7:08 p.m., Stillwater Police Officers were dispatched to the area of Lakeview and Washington for an injury accident investigation.

Arriving officers learned that a bicyclist was traveling west on Lakeview Road near the bridge, in the outside lane. A Chevy pickup was also traveling west on Lakeview in the same traffic lane. The pickup struck the bicyclist from behind, injuring the bicyclist.

Witnesses stated the operator of the bicycle had a red flashing light on the back of his helmet at the time of the accident.

The officer investigating the accident noted in his report that the driver of the pickup failed to maintain the required three feet of clearance for a cyclist, and the driver’s unsafe/unlawful action of following too close contributed to the accident. The officer noted that the bicyclist had no known actions that contributed to the crash. The investigating officer decided not to issue a citation to the driver of the pickup for following too close or failing to maintain a three-foot safety zone.

The officer’s decision to not issue a citation recently became the topic of inquiry as to why no citation was issued. Per Stillwater Police Department Policy, “Officers are not required by policy to issue citations at every traffic accident. Officers are expected to evaluate each traffic collision as an individual incident and issue citations, warnings, or make arrests as the officer determines appropriate.”

When investigating accidents officers take into consideration a variety of factors that influence their decision on whether or not to issue a citation.

Stillwater Police want to remind motorists that bicyclists have the same rights to the road as the motoring public and such motorists should be more attentive to bicyclists as they are likely to be injured during a collision.  

During 2017, Stillwater Police reported a total of 1,498 accidents. Of those accidents, eight involved bicycles. No citations were written in accidents involving bicycles. In all of the accidents, 19% resulted in citations.

During 2018, Stillwater Police reported a total of 1,358 accidents. Of those accidents, seven involved bicycles. No citations were written in accidents involving bicycles. In all of the accidents, 18% resulted in citations.

To date, in 2019, Stillwater Police reported a total of 1,134 accidents. Of those accidents, twelve involved bicycles. Of those twelve, citations were written in two of the accidents. In all other accidents, 35% resulted in citations.



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