Judge Judy gets a vehicle/bicycle collision right!

While Judge Judy sometimes displays ignorance of traffic laws especially if it involves a cyclist or pedestrian she made the correct decision this time. A cyclist crossing an intersection was struck by a car. The driver was suing the cyclist who they claimed was at fault. The cyclist claimed the driver was at fault. The car suffered damage to the front bumper and the windshield was smashed. The driver was uninjured. The bicycle was destroyed and the cyclist miraculously suffered a couple of minor scrapes and bruises. The driver was asking for his $500 insurance deductible plus cost of rental car. Judge Judy with the usual nastiness shouted “FORGET THE RENTAL CAR”! The cyclist stated that he was just riding his bike and didn’t see the car until a second before it hit him. He accused the driver of not paying attention and not stopping when they could have. Judge Judy said she understood there was a video. The driver produced it. The video was from a camera mounted inside a city bus. It had a view of the entire windshield. The first thing I saw was the spandex clad/helmeted cyclist crossing the intersection from left to right at tour de france downhill speed! The car appears in the right hand lane passing the bus and immediately broadsides the cyclist who smashes the cars windshield and disappears on the far side of the car. The video is only about 5 seconds long! Judge Judy asked to see it again to be sure of the light. I didn’t have time to realize there was a light. The traffic light is green for the entire video. The bus driver brakes when they see the cyclist which is why the car with the driver lacking X-Ray vision and unable to see through the bus is passing it at 25mph or less. The car’s brake lights illuminate just before impact. Judge Judy states “You ran a red light” to the cyclist who replied “yeah” with a so what attitude. She asked if there was a reason he ran the red light? “I was in a hurry”. The next thing out of Judge Judy’s mouth was “Judgment for the plaintive $500” followed by “how much was the rental car”? Driver answered $410. Judge Judy states "judgment for the plaintive $910. Cyclist later commented. “These drivers need to pay attention and watch for cyclists”! “All I can say is stay away from crazy drivers”! I wish all I had to look out for was “crazy drivers” like the one here!

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Bicycles have the right of way BUT must follow traffic laws exactly like cars. Judgement for the plaintiff!

Bicycles follow traffic rules !
You only WALK facing traffic NOT bicycle.
You bicycle with traffic and within traffic rules !

Good for Judge Judy. She sould have tacked on another thousand for arrogance and stupidity !

Boston needs her.

Actually, her last-minute decision to make the cyclist responsible for the car rental fees of the plaintiff was based on–in her own words–the pig-headed attitude of the cyclist, who refused to acknowledge that he was in the wrong.

I agree with sgtrock that Judge Judy has rendered some questionable decisions in MV cases in the past, but in this case, she was right on the money!

The light may be the saving grace. In Chicago at unmarked intersections with a crosswalk once the pedestrian steps off a curb, they have the right of way. I treat all pedestrians that way, though most are not so brazen to step into oncoming traffic but have seen my fair share that seem not even to look to see if there is any traffic.

“9-24-050 Pedestrians in roadway to have right-of- way when.
When the movement of traffic is not controlled by traffic-control devices, a police officer or traffic control aide, the operator of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

VDCdriver I forgot about the pig-headed attitude comment. Thanks for reminding me.

I wonder if that cyclist is still alive or uninjured today. Sure sounds like he just doesn’t get it and I’ve seen that same attitude from some of them around here. If he is still in one piece there’s a good chance that at some point his luck is going to run out; maybe under a city bus instead of by it.

For some reason they think riding a bike is equivalent to piloting an ambulance on an emergency run; clear out and let me through.

Another example of adult bicyclist having less common sense than a 12 year old bicyclist.

keith I was thinking about the very same thing while posting. Most 12 through 15 year olds tend to obey the law, use common sense, and be courteous. Of course there are a few who don’t but the age group which seem to have the highest percentage of bad cyclists are 20s thru early 40s. They know better but tend to elevate their importance above those they are supposed to be “sharing” the road with.

Bicycles have the right of way BUT must follow traffic laws exactly like cars.

Not always. Around here, bicycles are allowed to run red lights as long as the intersection is clear. It’s idiotic.

They also have bikers-with-attitude all over the place. They’ve been known to take over streets by spreading all the way across them and riding at walking pace so cars can’t pass. They also like to dart in front of you intentionally because they think it’s funny when you slam on the brakes and get mad.

Frankly I think if such behavior continues, bikes should be restricted to paths and not allowed to be in traffic.

Where do bicyclists have the right of way. Someone cite an ordinance or any documentation that specifically grants them the right of way. They have the right of way in the same situations that a car would have the right of way, they do not have special laws for them.

"Frankly I think if such behavior continues, bikes should be restricted to paths and not allowed to be in traffic."

+1, sadly, the trend seems to be in the opposite direction, blaming motorists for being unaccommodating.

“I think if such behavior continues, bikes should be restricted to paths and not allowed to be in traffic.”

What’s that old saying about…Be careful what you wish for?

In my case, my biggest bike-related problem takes place on the fairly narrow paths in the state parks that are adjacent to my house. Even though the signage clearly states that cyclists are supposed to yield to pedestrians, and that both cyclists and pedestrians are supposed to yield to horses, the vast majority of bikers come dangerously close when approaching pedestrians and horses, and most never announce their approach with their voices or with a horn.

I have actually had people on bikes pass me from the rear–at high speed–with less than six inches to spare, and I had no idea that they were approaching me. If I had moved just slightly to one side in order to avoid a branch, or a rock, or some animal droppings, they would have undoubtedly hit me.

The day is fast approaching when someone is going to wind up in the Delaware & Raritan Canal, which is adjacent to one of my favorite walking paths. And…trust me…the person who winds up in that canal isn’t going to be me. You never know how a startled senior citizen will react to a sudden scare, and if my reaction causes a bike and biker to wind up in the canal…oh well…

And, if one of those horses rears-up and manages to throw one of those menacing bikers into the canal…even better.

“They also have bikers-with-attitude all over the place.”

And plenty of car drivers here with "attitude all over the place."
I ride to work ~ 2 miles every day.
I avoid the main streets, stop at stop signs & red lights, slow down at green lights, keep as far to the right as I safely can.
Yet drivers come up behind me, blow their horns or gun the accelerator as they go by.
I got knocked down once by a driver who zoomed up from behind as I was going straight through an intersection and made a right turn without getting fully in front of me.
Another car followed her and made her stop. She claimed she never saw or heard me.
My only damage was a torn handlebar grip that put a crease down her rear quarter panel.
That’s been my one “incident” in 24 years of biking to work.


“I have actually had people on bikes pass me from the rear–at high speed–with less than six inches to spare, and I had no idea that they were approaching me.”

I’ve had this happen walking on city sidewalks.
There are many bikers who are afraid to go out on the street or feel safer on the sidewalk, but still feel compelled to go full tilt all the time.
On those rare occasions I HAVE to ride on the sidewalk I slow to walking speed if any pedestrians are in sight and say “on your left” when passing.

keith The only cyclist “Right of Way” I can think of is designated and clearly marked bicycle lanes. For example a motorist turning right and crossing a bicycle lane must yield to cyclists. On public streets and highways cyclists have the same right of way requirements/privileges as motor vehicles. Bicycles typically are banned from sidewalks in a business district which is usually posted. An exception is when the rider is dismounted. Cyclists legally riding on sidewalks and paths are required to be responsible and cautious yielding to pedestrians. Some states may grant cyclists additional rights that I am not aware of.

Kinda funny but the guy in the Honda Civic is me. I was headed back to work and that guy came out of no where. I got info but he was very hard to track drown. But I got him served eventually. I was extremely nervous on her show but looking back at it now I wish I made a bigger impression instead of being on my best behavior. I can’t find that episode anywhere

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I never understood the reason why cyclist should go in the direction the cars are. it make more sense to me to go the opposite of the flow of traffic so a cyclist can see the cars coming. a vehicle can see the cyclist no matter which way he is going, but a cyclist cant see what is coming behind him.

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On narrow roads a person walking facing traffic can jump up on the side walk if it appears the vehicle will occupy the space the walker needs . A person on a bicycle can’t do that . Have you never ridden a bicycle on public streets ? Also I think that most or all states in the US have laws saying bicycle’s must go in the same direction as vehicle traffic.