Serious Bicycle Accident in East Providence



Serious Bicycle Accident in East Providence

crash The Projo and WPRI are reporting that East Providence

Police are investigating after a man was seriously injured when his bicycle collided with a car in East Providence. It happened at Waterman Avenue and Commercial Way Friday morning.

According to police, the 55-year-old man was not wearing a helmet, and suffered serious head injuries.

I certainly hope this cyclist recovers and send my thoughts are with everyone involved.

UPDATE:  News sources are now reporting that, according to witnesses, the cyclist suddenly veered left, into the car and struck the right, rear panel of the car, forcefully enough to break the window.  There was a four month old baby in the back seat, who was hit with flying glass.  Fortunately, the baby appears to be fine and it appears the cyclists will survive as well.

This just goes to show you that cyclists are at fault in some cases.   However, I still feel my comments below are accurate.  From now on, carefully read news coverage of bicycle and automobile collisions.

Why is it that the media always reports it as a “bicycle collided with a car?”.  This approach instantly makes it sound like the cyclist was at fault.  In the case of an automobile accident, they don’t report that a “blue car collided with a red car”, which reads as though it assigns fault to the blue car.  The media should not be making judgements, they should just report the facts!

For that matter, why do they also feel it’s necessary to report that he wasn’t wearing a helmet?  Last time I checked, it’s not legally required for a 55 year old to wear one on a bicycle.  Personally, I feel all cyclists should wear one, but it’s not the law.  This is like the media reporting a motorist was in an accident and their car didn’t have airbags.\

I’ll will try to comment this post if I read about any further details in this case.  If you notice something first, please feel free to post an update as well.

While I’m on my soap box, I’ve been meaning to post about my last few weeks.  I’ve had the “privileged” to spend more time in my car these last two weeks, as I commute with my son and drop him off at zoo camp.  It’s given me plenty of time to observe other drivers in their own environment.  It makes me wonder why there isn’t more outrage towards other drivers.  In the last two weeks:

  1. I’ve observed motorcyclists pulling wheelies down the highway, passing rush hour traffic using breakdown lanes on both sides of the road, cutting between cars with far too little space.  There are plenty of people who quickly voice their outrage toward cyclists who break the law, where is the public outrage towards motorcyclists?
  2. We arrived early a number of mornings and I had the opportunity to park near the entrance to Roger Williams Park off Elmwood.  At this entrance, the road is two-way for a short distance, before it splits into the one-way roads.  We were parked on the one-way road, leading out of the park, right near a stop sign.  As I observed cars at this intersection, I would say only 1 out of 10 (perhaps) actually stopped at the stop sign.  Of the remaining law breakers, only half even made an attempt to slow down!  Again, where is the outrage?  A cyclists who does exactly the same is shunned, yet in all likelyhood, should a cyclists get in an accident they aren’t going to kill anyone else.
  3. I was not aware of this, but apparently it is okay to park illegally, if all you are doing is stopping in for a quick donut or cup of coffee, etc.  I observed cars parked in no parking zones, fire zones, and on sidewalks!  Again, where is the outrage?

I said it before and will continue saying it, I’ll be one of the first to admit that cyclists break laws.  Many do so in a way that I would argue is respectful of other roadway users.  What bothers me is I don’t see anyone on the motoring side of the isle willing to do the same.  Until there is mutual respect between each of the different kind of roadway user, I fear there will be constant tension.


  • Dennis
    Aug 28, 2009 at 10:49 am


    1. If you do any of these things and there is no witness… did you break the law?

    2. What if a law enforcement official was there… and you weren't ticketed?.. did you break the law?

    I hear all the time that things are technically against the law, but they don't ticket (usually pertaining to parking). I'm afraid this stuff will continue until the enforcement folks (our employees, btw) enforce the laws.

    As for the East Providence accident, a follow-up article might be in order. One that ferrets out the facts and reports them. It might go a long way to informing the public, both drivers and cyclists, about the laws, rules of the road, dangers and responsibilities of using public roadways.

  • Aug 28, 2009 at 11:00 am

    1. If you do any of these things and there is no witness… did you break the law?

    2. What if a law enforcement official was there… and you weren’t ticketed?.. did you break the law?

    Yes in both cases, the person broke a law. It really doesn't matter though. My main point is that motorists are guilty of exactly the same behavior that cyclists have a bad rap for. Why aren't they outraged at other motorists?

    I agree that enforcement and prosecution are big problems in this state. Even those cases where people are issued tickets, they can go to court and the charges are reversed. My wife had a co-worker at a previous job that decided she wanted to see, after getting a speeding ticket, what traffic court was like. Her turn finally came to stand before the judge, she was asked how she plead, to which she replied guilty. The judge then looked at her record, said since this was her first violation, she would be let off with a warning. What? This is embarrassing!

  • Aug 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I just found some more information about the crash circumstances and posted an update to the main blog entry.

  • Alan Barta
    Sep 5, 2009 at 4:49 am

    "Most motorists aren't educated enough, even in their driver's handbook. … A cyclist has the right to an entire lane, even though they only occupy part of it. And it's up to them to DICTATE WHEN THEY WANT TO SHARE [my emphasis]…. If somebody comes up … they've almost stopped, they've checked, they've looked, and they go through, that's not the type of cyclist that we're giving failing-to-stop tickets to; we're giving them to the ones who are blatantly going through"-Toronto Constable Hugh Smith, who founded the city's Bicycle Police Unit.