NORFOLK, Va. (CBSDC) – An SUV riding in a caged pedestrian bike lane struck a woman on a bicycle.
Kelley Howell was riding her bicycle, which is equipped with a camera mounted on the handlebar, towards downtown Norfolk Saturday. Her normal bike ride turned scary in a matter of seconds when an SUV was heading towards her inside the pedestrian bike lane.
“I saw this vehicle,” Howell explained to WVEC. “Oh, my God. Brake, scream, when I realized I was hitting him. There was no way to stop it, but I had hit immediately on my hand hit the front of his car, I guess, glanced around the right, top right corner, and, then, what hit me the most was the mirror.”
Howell said she called police several hours later and exchanged information with the driver of the SUV. She said that she tried to ask the driver why he was driving in the 10-foot wide enclosed bike path, but he did not respond to her questions.
When police came to her home, she showed an officer the video that was recorded from her handlebar camera.
“I said, ‘I have video if you want to see,’ and he said, ‘Oh, why do you have video?’ and I explained that I use it to educate, and he said, ‘Oh maybe you were the person who caused the accident,'” Howell told WVEC.
The bicyclist became frustrated after the police told her that they could not investigate because they had not been on scene right after the collision took place. She also stated that there is a lot of confusion about who has the proper jurisdiction over the pedestrian/bike lane of the bridge.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya, a Virginia State Police spokeswoman, said that the Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) is the group that operates the pedestrian walkway and rules that pertain to it. She referred Howell to the Norfolk Police Department, but Howell said that the officer who came to her home Saturday afternoon said police would not be able to investigate the incident.