Let's talk about that cop that ran into a cyclist. Recently the following video went viral. In it, GoPro footage shows the cyclist, Joe Fasanello, riding down a side road and then stopping at a stop sign at an intersection. The cyclist waits for cars to pass and, while waiting, a police car, driven by Officer Charles Wallace, turns onto the road the cyclist is on and runs into the cyclist head-on.
The following video is NSFW and includes explicit language.
The cyclist seems okay, as he was standing and heard talking. The officer tells him something about having to call another officer and then pulls his car over to the side of the road and returns to the aid of the cyclist. The cyclist asks the officer why he was texting and driving. The officer responds: "I wasn't texting, I was looking at my phone."
The biker was mostly uninjured, and was able to stand and speak, but was badly bruised and scraped. His bike was also broken and ruined. He did not seek medical attention at a hospital because he believed it was unnecessary. However, it is unclear whether he will be compensated for his bike.
Now, this incident happened in Peculiar, Missouri, and as part of normal procedures, the officer has been suspended with pay until the investigation is over.
This incident has sparked some outrage and much conversation. Police officers are often seen as distracted drivers because of their constant use of technology. For the most part, their use of technology is not against the law, because it is part of their job. However, it is also dangerous. Cops cannot be trained to safely text or use their laptops and drive, however, they often do, causing unsafe driving.
It is currently illegal in most states to text and drive or use a mobile phone to use the internet and drive. Cops issue citations daily for this, but are practically exempt from that law. The cop in the video tried to justify his actions because he wasn't "texting." Whatever he was doing, though, it caused impaired driving. He didn't see the biker waiting at the stop sign before he made the turn, he drifted into the opposite lane and again didn't see the biker in front of him in time to stop or swerve.
Now the main problem most people have with this case is that it is the exact opposite of what would have happened if it was a pedestrian that had hit a biker or even a bicycle officer. If they were to hit another pedestrian, they would be charged with distracted driving and would be held responsible for any injuries to the biker or the bike itself. If they were to hit a bicycle cop, they would not only be charged with distracted driving but would also be charged with harming a police officer, which would mostly end up in jail.
There should be stricter laws concerning what police officers are and aren't allowed to do while driving. While it is imperative at some points for them to use technology, they should learn how to do so safely, without injuring pedestrians.