You can get mowed down at any time, and don’t expect much help from the police.
I can tell you that from harsh experience, and I’m backed up this morning by a brand new site called TBD.com, which covers local news in the DC metro area. Dave Jamieson writes about a young lady named Zoe Wiseman who was struck by a van in DC last month. When she woke up in the hospital and tried to figure out what happened:
The nurses did their best to fill her in. They said she’d apparently been hit by a car while Rollerblading. That made some sense to Wiseman. A big fan of the old-school transit method, Wiseman Rollerblades all over town, and always from her apartment in Columbia Heights to her job as a waiter and bartender at Eighteenth Street Lounge near Dupont Circle. But Wiseman, 26, didn’t know when or where the accident occurred.
She soon found a clue, in the form of a traffic ticket issued by the Metropolitan Police Department. The nurses told Wiseman it had arrived with her in the ambulance. She had been cited — while unconscious, as far as she knows — for crossing against a “don’t walk” signal, or jaywalking. The fine was $25.
Wiseman had three skull fractures, a broken cheek, three cracked ribs, and a broken pelvis. She was on morphine but conscious enough to be infuriated. “The police never followed up with me,” she says via Skype, bedridden and holding a bag of frozen peas to her face days after the accident. “They just left the ticket.”
Was Wiseman really crossing against the light? Who knows? I crossed with the light and got hit and they gave me a ticket anyway.
TBD is now keeping track of struck pedestrians on Twitter: @struckdc. They’ll be busy. This is the worst town for pedestrians I’ve ever even heard of. I’d gladly take my chances in Liberty City instead. At least there you can always reset…
Here’s wishing Zoe Wiseman a speedy recovery. She doesn’t deserve to be treated like this. Nobody does.
P.S. No, I’m not paying it.