As I was riding along Route 28 in Rockville several Sundays ago, I was hit in the back wheel by a driver. The driver obviously wasn’t paying attention and skidded and was about to come to a complete stop just before she hit me. I lunged forward when I got hit but didn’t get knocked off my bike, and amazingly there was no damage to the wheel. The driver was totally unapologetic and if anything was annoyed that I was there getting in her way. Since it was a busy intersection, I asked her to meet me past the intersection so we could exchange information. Well, guess what? She took off!
An unapologetic driver taking off on me was the right combination of factors to report the incident to the local police as a hit-and-run. Luckily the driver behind her saw the whole thing, wrote down the license plate number and gave it to me. I need to mention here that the driver had a temporary license plate on her car. I called the Montgomery County Police and reported the incident. The indignity of getting hit by an arrogant driver was about to be made worse. The officer told me that they can’t trace temporary license plates back to a specific driver. I asked if he was going to file a report, and he said that he “could” if I made the request for it but it probably wouldn’t lead to anything.
I didn’t get hurt. I didn’t even have any damage to my bike. But I consider hit-and-run to be a serious offense, and according to the law, it IS a serious offense. Now that I think about it, I probably should’ve filed the report just to press the issue with the police officer and so that I would have something on the record. If I had suffered serious physical injury as a result of the collision or had been killed, would the officer been a bit more determined to find the offender? This is just a wild guess but if a Montgomery County Police Officer had been injured or just struck by a hit-and-run driver, I get the feeling that somehow, they would track down the owner of the vehicle if all they had was the temporary tag number.