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Dear PoP – My Driver’s License Got Suspended for a Bike Accident!

by Prince Of Petworth January 21, 2011 at 10:00 am 97 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user [F]oxymoron

“Dear PoP,

The short version of the question – Does anyone have experience fighting a drivers’ license suspension based on a cycling accident?

The longer version – A few months ago, I was cycling in DC and was struck by a car. Damage to myself, my bike, and the involved vehicle were fairly minimal (thankfully), and the driver admitted fault to both me and the MPD officer that arrived at the scene. In spite of the admission of fault by the driver, the officer wrote me a citation “because you don’t have an insurance company to fight.” I was flabbergasted, to say the least, and decided to contest the ticket via a letter by mail. I screwed up in that I misread the ticket and thought the letter needed to be postmarked within 60 days when in fact it needed to be received within 60 days. I have now received notice that my drivers license has been suspended and not only do I have to pay the ticket, I also have to pay twice that amount to have my license reinstated. The notice has no mention of any form of recourse, just payment methods.

My questions are: How can DC suspend my license to drive when I was cycling? Those without drivers’ licenses (minors and others) can cycle on DC streets and get into accidents, so how does it make sense that some folks can face stiffer penalties than others? Does anyone have helpful insight into how to fight the suspension and not pay to have it reinstated? At this point, I’m willing to pay the ticket just for it to go away (should have done that in the first place), but I am worried that sometime in the future, if I’m in a cycling accident again, the “admission of guilt” could come back to haunt me if i have to go to court over damages/injury.”

Wow. I fear it may be too late to remedy but is there any chance you got the driver’s contact info? If not I think you may be out of luck. What do you guys think about this specific situation?

To the larger question – Anyone know why you can get your driver’s license suspended for biking citations?

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