Pedal Pub Crash That Injured 15 Renews Discussion Around Safety of Bars on Wheels

Five passengers were seriously injured and 10 others suffered minor injuries when the pedal pub’s driver, 28-year-old James Anthony Johnson, allegedly took a left turn too quickly and flipped, police said. He has been charged with DUI.

The terrifying moment a pedal pub flipped over in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, trapping revelers beneath it, was caught on camera.  

Within seconds, passersby rushed into action to right the vehicle and free those injured.  

“I saw it flip over to the side and immediately the public came running out of their cars, taking it back up and saving people that were lying underneath,” one witness said. “People were clearly hurt.”  

Five passengers were seriously injured in the crash, while 10 others suffered minor injuries.  

The crash happened when the pedal pub’s driver, 28-year-old James Anthony Johnson, took a left turn too fast and flipped, according to police. He has been charged with DUI.  

Pedal bars like the one that flipped over, which are partially powered by the passengers themselves, operate in cities across the United States. They’re popular with tourists looking to celebrate birthdays, bachelorette parties and other notable moments.  

But a recent Inside Edition investigation revealed that pedal bars and similar vehicles raise serious safety concerns.   

Video shows a party bus in Nashville, Tennessee, come to a sudden halt after someone runs in front of it, sending passengers flying. In a video of another incident, an apparently drunken man, who was not a paying rider, climbed onto a pedal tavern, before stumbling off into oncoming traffic.  

His head bounced off the side of a passing car. Luckily, he walked away unfazed. The owners of the pedal tavern told Inside Edition that the man falling into the street was not a paying customer and they had told him to leave. They also say they screen guests for intoxication and check all IDs. 

Inside Edition tagged along on a party bike tour with a group celebrating a reveler’s 21st birthday in Nashville.  

There was a quick safety briefing before embarking. The party bike, which belonged to a company that has had zero accidents, averages about 10 miles per hour and drinking games are encouraged. When asked if the group felt safe during the ride, they said yes. 

But some residents, such as Jim Schmitz, the spokesperson for "Safe Fun Nashville," which promotes safe partying in the city, has said they want stricter regulations in place. 

“We've seen the videos, and those are just the ones that have been captured on video of people falling off. It’s just a matter of time before it happens again,” Schmitz said. 

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