I first heard about this story on the Boston Biker blog. Here is a little background:
According to police reports, a 40-year-old Watertown man was cycling east on Commonwealth Avenue in the 2300 block at about 5:20 p.m. and a car driven by a 38-year-old Watertown woman was heading east as well. According to witnesses, including an off-duty Wayland police officer, the cyclist was wearing a helmet and was traveling in a straight line in the far right portion of the road.
The car unexpectedly swerved to the right, according to witnesses, and hit the cyclist, knocking him under the car. The woman reportedly attempted to back up with the cyclist still underneath. Several drivers pulled over and lifted the car off the cyclist so he could breathe, according to police reports.
The cyclist was treated at the scene by Newton firefighters and EMTs and was taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. After interviewing witnesses, police determined there was no improper operation and did not cite the driver
Lt. Bruce Apotheker felt “a reasonable and prudent person would not be expecting someone on their right.”
WHAT?! This is an absolutely crazy and dangerous statement. It is without a doubt a driver’s responsibility to look before turning—or doing anything for that matter. You can’t just run someone over and be like, “Oh whoops—I assumed no one would be in my way. I am just steering this 5000lb pile of metal at high speeds, I can’t be expected to check my surroundings!” Furthermore, if the driver shouldn’t expect a cyclist on the right—where they should be riding—where should they look?