You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

This Toronto cyclist caught his hit-and-run on video. It was the beginning of his frustrations

Toronto Star logo Toronto Star 2018-06-22 Gilbert Ngabo - StarMetro Toronto
Mike Hoye was hit by a vehicle near Queen and Carlaw Sts. in Toronto on May 22. He says the driver gave him a phone number — which turned out to be fake — and took off. When he called police, he was told to report the incident to the Collision Reporting Centre in Scarborough. © Eduardo Lima Mike Hoye was hit by a vehicle near Queen and Carlaw Sts. in Toronto on May 22. He says the driver gave him a phone number — which turned out to be fake — and took off. When he called police, he was told to report the incident to the Collision Reporting Centre in Scarborough.

A hit-and-run last month has left Toronto cyclist Mike Hoye frustrated with how police responded to the incident.

The 43-year-old said he was biking his regular route near Queen and Carlaw Sts. on May 22 when an oncoming motorist entered his lane, knocked him and he ended up going over the car’s hood.

“I was really lucky I didn’t go under the wheels,” he said.

The incident was captured on his GoPro camera. On Tuesday, he posted the video along with an account of his interactions with the driver, who he says quickly left the scene, and police.

The tweets were then posted on Reddit.com, where they drew hundreds of comments in a case that highlights cyclists’ complaints amid a wave of deaths on city streets.

In Hoye’s video, the car is seen making a sudden left turn from a far-right lane before hitting the cyclist.

Hoye did not sustain any injuries. He said he talked to the driver, who gave him his phone number, which turned out to be fake, and drove off.

Given it was a road collision, Hoye thought it was his duty to call the police and report the incident for further investigation. He said he hoped the driver would be held accountable.

He said after he told the 911 dispatcher that he didn’t need an ambulance, he was advised to contact Toronto police operations. He said a staffer there told him no officers would be coming to the scene. He said he was told to bring his damaged bicycle to the Collision Reporting Centre in Scarborough.

“It was clear to me that the safety of cyclists and pedestrians is not an institutional priority,” said Hoye, an engineering community manager at Mozilla.

He later filed the report at the collision centre, where he said he was “shocked” when someone told him their system didn’t have bicycles as an option for reporting collisions. He submitted the video of the incident, the car’s licence plate number and contact information for a witness. Nearly four weeks later, he has not received any followup from police.

In an emailed statement to the Star, Toronto police Const. Clinton Stibbe with traffic services division said an investigation into Hoye’s case is currently underway.

Stibbe said the Collision Reporting Centre’s system does have an option for bicycles and added that the centre regularly deals with bicycle accidents.

Stibbe said he cannot disclose any other information related to Hoye’s case.

The Star attempted to locate the car’s owner through a search of the province’s licence plate registry but was unsuccessful.

According to police statistics, nearly 100 pedestrians or cyclists have died since Mayor John Tory unveiled the plan to end pedestrian deaths, which the city has dubbed “Vision Zero” after the international movement.

Numbers compiled by the Star show 18 pedestrians and four cyclists have died so far this year.

Hoye’s frustrations with the police response are a common complaint from Toronto cyclists, who say the police’s lack of willingness to investigate collisions and near-misses where car drivers fail to remain on the scene could lead to far more damaging situations in the future.

In a recent Toronto Star story, cyclist Brandon Driscoll shared the frustration of being clipped by a driver downtown and reporting the incident to police. Three weeks after he filed the report, he said he got a call from an officer who told him police wouldn’t pursue the matter.

Toronto police confirmed to the Star the matter is closed and no further action will be taken.

University of Toronto law professor David Schneiderman had a similar experience last week that left him equally frustrated.

As he was biking through the Bay and Yorkville Sts. intersection, he said a Beck Taxi knocked him on the ground and sped off. Schneiderman called police and said he was told to wait on the scene, but no one showed up for nearly two hours.

Later that day he got a call from a police officer who told him to report the damage at the collision centre.

“It was an egregious way to respond to a hit-and-run incident,” he said, calling the police behaviour a failure to enforce the law and lack of interest to better protect vulnerable road users. “A taxi driver who makes a living by driving on Toronto streets, to think that they can hit you and get away with it like that, it’s pretty shocking.”

Stibbe said in Schneiderman’s case an officer was dispatched and when the officer arrived at the location, Schneiderman was not there. He said the officer contacted Schneiderman by phone “so they could meet and report the collision.” He said Schneiderman told him he would not be returning to the scene because he was a distance away. Since there was no indication of injuries identified on the call an ambulance was not requested.

Stibbe said the officer advised Schneiderman that he could go to the collision centre to make the report, “however he never did and as a result the collision was never reported to police.”

“Firstly, I’m on my bike, I wasn’t going to bike to Scarborough. They may assume I have a car, but there’s no reason to,” Schneiderman said. “So the police are basically leaving it up to me to go drive to Scarborough, that is the bottom line.”

Beck Taxi operations manager Kristine Hubbard said the company is aware of the incident and has tried to reach out to Schneiderman. She said the driver in question has been suspended and the vehicle placed out of service as they continue to investigate the matter.

With files from Premila D’Sa, Claire Floody and Ben Spurr

Gilbert Ngabo is a general assignment reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @dugilbo

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Toronto Star

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon