Cyclist claims Denver Police Department motorcycles drove dangerously nearby – CBS Denver
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4)– The recent death of Coloradans killed on bicycles made a cyclist’s experience with law enforcement particularly disappointing on Wednesday. Jim Pelkie rides Lookout Mountain every week.
The seasoned cyclist knows he needs to stay alert on steep, narrow roads, but he didn’t expect the Denver cops to be the threat.
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“The police couldn’t give me respect for safety and the minimum safe distance. If the police can’t do it, how can we expect other people to do it? Pelkie said.
Pelkie installed cameras on his bike after a motorist kicked him off the road five years ago. He has since recovered from serious injuries.
Footage from his bike cameras shows several Denver police officers on motorcycles passing him on Lookout Mountain. Pelkie says they were riding dangerously close to his bike.
“Every time one of them walked past me, I got more and more angry. If they had gone from 2 by 2 to a single line passing in front of me, it would have had a lot of room. I would have been happy with that. It would have been safe for everyone, ”Pelkie said. “A less experienced person may have panicked and sidetracked. But over there, there is nowhere to deviate.
According to Colorado Cycling Law: “The driver of a motor vehicle passing a cyclist walking in the same direction must allow the cyclist a distance of at least three feet between the right side of the driver’s vehicle, including including all mirrors or other projections, and the left side of the rider at all times. “
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The Colorado Department of Transportation says motorists will not be blamed for breaking a common traffic rule of sharing the road with cyclists.
“Even three feet seem a bit close to me. You are allowed to move in the middle of the road to pass cyclists and you will not be blamed for doing so. Passing the double yellow line to pass a cyclist is actually allowed in Colorado, ”said Sam Cole, director of traffic safety communications for CDOT.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were two bicycle-related deaths in the state between January and April 2021. In the last week alone, three Coloradans were killed while biking.
“It shocked me that the police were passing so close and ignoring my safety. I know if they were on the freeway with someone’s car, writing a ticket or something, they wouldn’t tolerate someone passing by so close, ”Pelkie said.
Pelkie lodged a complaint with DPD on Thursday, the day after the incident.
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CBS4 contacted Denver Police on Friday. DPD told CBS4’s Tori Mason, “We have received the complaint and it is still in its early stages. It would not be appropriate to comment at this time until the end of the investigation. “