N.J. cyclist recovering after being hit by texting driver

    Philadelphia City Council members say bicyclists are a menace on city streets and side walks, and they’re preparing to do something about it. But across the river, a New Jersey cyclist lies in a hospital bed, recovering from injuries she suffered when a driver ran her down while he was sending a text message.

    Philadelphia City Council members say bicyclists are a menace on city streets and side walks, and they’re preparing to do something about it. But across the river, a New Jersey cyclist lies in a hospital bed, recovering from injuries she suffered when a driver ran her down while he was sending a text message. Whatever your mode of transportation, hazards can be everywhere.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091119sptext.mp3]

    Every day, Cherry Hill resident Lisa Granert bikes to and from her job at a Southampton horse farm. Police say that on Monday 28-year-old Robert Sharrer ran off the road and hit Granert, who was wearing a reflective vest. They say he was sending a text message about a drug deal.

    Granert fractured her leg and neck. Speaking from her hospital bed, she says it’s not the first time she’s been hit.

    Granert: I think bikers pretty much know where they’re going, I mean I rode around for years without a reflector jacket, without a bike light and never got hit until people made an issue of it and as soon as I was noticeable, people started crashing into me.

    Granert, who is in stable condition, doesn’t remember the crash. She woke up on the ground, as a group of strangers worked to revive her.

    Officer Lieutenant Thomas Switick went to the crash scene in Medford Township after receiving several calls about an erratic driver. It’s illegal to text and drive in New Jersey.

    Switick: You can pretty much drive down any highway or road way in any town in New Jersey and see people on their cell phones, still. They either don’t understand it, don’t think it applies to them and want to go about their normal day and just ignore the law.

    Switick says the motorist has been charged with drug offenses and moving violations. Philadelphia will start enforcing its cellphone driving ban on December 1st. Meanwhile, City Council introduced legislation today aimed at safeguarding pedestrians by regulating bicyclists. Recent pedestrian deaths caused by bikes prompted the move.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.