Police investigating hit-and-run on bicyclist

The bicyclist was injured; the driver, unidentified.

Juneau Police Department is investigating a Wednesday evening vehicular hit-and-run on a bicyclist, which police say left the cyclist injured.

“This report is currently under investigation,” said Lt. Krag Campbell in an email. “The registered owner claims to have sold the vehicle sometime recently, so we are trying to track down the new owners.”

The hit and run occurred on Mendenhall Loop Road, according to the police report.

It’s possible that the driver could be charged with a failure to give information and render assistance, Campbell said, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or up to a year in prison. Other charges regarding the requirement to notify law enforcement about a crash resulting in injury might also be preferred, Campbell said.

Protect yourself

“As a bicyclist, or just someone riding their bike on the roadway, or crossing an intersection, always keep your eyes out for motorists. Bicycles have a smaller profile than vehicles and often contain less lighting,” Campbell said. “Drivers often have many distractions going on while driving, such as cell phones, vehicle traffic, or other passengers in the vehicle; so they may not be paying close attention to everyone on the roadway.”

Fluorescent and reflective clothing, as well as active lighting on one’s bike, also significantly increases visibility, reducing risk of collision, Campbell said.

“I try to remind people that nobody is going to pay more closely to their safety than they are,” Campbell said. “So make it a priority.”

Bicycle helmets markedly decrease risk of traumatic brain injury as well, Campbell said. Every rider should wear one.

Protect your bike

You can register your bike online at https://beta.juneau.org/police/bike-registration.

“A few years back, JPD and community members collaborated to do online bike registration. It’s fast, free and easy,” Campbell said. “There is even a mobile app for your phone called 529 Garage. This helps in case your bike is ever stolen. All the information can then be given to the police in case the bike is recovered.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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