21804. (a) The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic, as defined in Section 620, approaching on the highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.
There are two separate witnesses to the incident and they both get the motorist's license plate. One by writing it down and the other by chasing the motorist on a bicycle and photographing the license, the motorist, and the passenger.
The cyclist who pursued the motorist told the motorist to return to the scene of the incident, the motorist and her passenger vehemently deny responsibility, pointing out that they didn't hit the cyclist.
An LAPD patrol car cruises by, the cyclist yells for help, the LAPD continue on their way. Another LAPD patrol car cruises by, this one stops and gets the information, returning to the scene of the incident.
Ultimately, the motorist returns to the scene but the LAPD decide "no report, no crime."
This is where the real "incident" begins. The LAPD failed the injured cyclist.
1) The motorist violated the cyclist's right of way.
2) The violation of the cyclist's right of way caused the cyclist to take evasive action resulting in injury.
3) The motorist left the scene of an "incident" that was her responsibility.
"Hit & Run" is a bit of a misnomer. The actual violation (CVC 20001 "Duty to Stop at Scene of Accident") doesn't refer to contact but merely states responsibilities. Cause and responsibility get determined by investigation but the basic obligation is to stop, not flee.
I hate the term "Accident" and prefer the more neutral "Incident" but nevertheless, the term used is not collision. It does not require contact but merely refers to causality. The person causing an "Accident" is not free to simply leave the scene because there was no contact. They are required to stay and exchange information and/or render aid.
20001. (a) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and 20004.
So it was that the cyclists of Los Angeles spent another Sunday afternoon tweeting each other for advice and beseeching the LAPD to step up and to protect the cyclists on the streets of Los Angeles by enforcing the law. Of course, this requires the LAPD to know the law.
On Sunday, two LAPD officers on the street refused to act in support of the downed cyclist. The Watch Commander of the Northeast Division supported the position of the LAPD officers on the Street. He also called the Watch Commander of Central Traffic and was again supported in the "no report, no crime" position of the LAPD.
To make things worse, the two officers on the street informed the protesting witness "This really isn't any of your business." The witness insisted that it was his business. The LAPD responded "It's not a hit and run. We're not going to do a report."
At the first meeting of the Cyclists/LAPD Task Force, one of the recommendations presented to the LAPD was that they approach "cyclist down" scenes as potential crime scenes. Too often, cyclists on the losing end of an encounter with an inattentive or aggressive motorist are left with less than sympathetic investigators, such as the officers, the supervisors and the Watch Commanders who err in favor of the primacy of the motorist on the streets of Los Angeles.
That needs to change.
The Cyclists' Bill of Rights holds that:
3) Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.
4) Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure, or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.