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Old 07-10-05, 02:50 PM   #1
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National Database of Dangerous Drivers

This is probably already being done, but...

What do you think about creating a database that contained license number, state, car type, color, make, details of the near miss (or hit) and perhaps other information of the cars (and owners) that are creating problems for bicyclists.

I would envision an online entry form where you can enter information about the event. Possibly an additional form so that the person being reported on could respond (unlikely!).

It would be available online for anyone to search by state, license number, car type/color, etc. to determine if a person (car) has a history of trying to run down or harrass a bicycle rider. Over a period of time, as the amount of data increases, I can see that it could be useful for law enforcement and/or court actions against some idiot that is a repeat offender.

If it is being done, can someone post a url to the site. If it is not being done - do you think the idea has any merit? What kind of information would you think should be kept on the offending motorist? Other suggestions?
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Old 07-10-05, 03:06 PM   #2
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I've thought about it. I often take license plates of cars that try to run me off the road or do crazy stuff. It's usually disorganized, but if there was a database, I'd definitely enter the info. It's just a matter of time before some of these road ragers actually hit a cyclist.

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Old 07-10-05, 03:32 PM   #3
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I can add the following plate: PA FVW-1960 this guy got pissed because I was going to slow for him, but I was going 10mph over the speed limit (I was going 35mph and the posted limit was 25mph) When he finally passed me after laying on the horn for a long time it seamed like he was going 2x the speed I was going.
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Old 07-10-05, 04:15 PM   #4
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I can add the following plate: PA FVW-1960 this guy got pissed because I was going to slow for him, but I was going 10mph over the speed limit (I was going 35mph and the posted limit was 25mph) When he finally passed me after laying on the horn for a long time it seamed like he was going 2x the speed I was going.

The 10 seconds you slowed him down for were 10 seconds longer
he had to wait for his pizza and 12-pak. No wonder he was pissed.
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Old 07-10-05, 04:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lookinUp
What do you think about creating a database that contained license number, state, car type, color, make, details of the near miss (or hit) and perhaps other information of the cars (and owners) that are creating problems for bicyclists.
Bad idea. A license plate does not properly identify the real problem: the driver. In fact, in some states, the license plate follows the car so if a car is sold, the license plate goes with it.
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Old 07-10-05, 05:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by khuon
Bad idea. A license plate does not properly identify the real problem: the driver. In fact, in some states, the license plate follows the car so if a car is sold, the license plate goes with it.

Ahhh... hadn't thought of that. You're right!
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Old 07-10-05, 05:28 PM   #7
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Yeah, but I would think the majority of license plates are assigned to the correct person. Even if it isn't, it would be easy to track the offender.

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Old 07-10-05, 05:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Yeah, but I would think the majority of license plates are assigned to the correct person. Even if it isn't, it would be easy to track the offender.
A license plate does not identify a person. It identifies a vehicle.
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Old 07-10-05, 05:44 PM   #9
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That's cool. It's a starting point, and it's better than nothing at all.

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Old 07-10-05, 05:50 PM   #10
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Taken to the extreme, the more accurate way to do this would be to require that all vehicles use biometric logins in order to be operated. This biometric data would be logged and available for analysis. This data would periodically be sent to a central database that would then keep track of who operates what vehicle and by crossreferencing with vehicle locations transmitted through the use of assisted-GPS information, the activities of the drivers could be tracked. When a cyclist reports an encounter with a hostile driver, this information could be easily looked up. Sounds like a wonderful world. No?
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Old 07-10-05, 07:12 PM   #11
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I've thought about doing this many times where I live. I don't have the capabilties to do it yet (don't have web space or the smarts to build a database app), but I imagine I could get both of those fairly easily. Here in Washington, plates are assigned to vehicles instead of people. While it would still be impossible to identify the driver without a picture, a plate number is a start... especially if it's possible to get the state to give up the owner's info. If I'm able to implement such a system, I'm going to include an interface to upload camera phone pictures.
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Old 07-10-05, 07:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
Taken to the extreme, the more accurate way to do this would be to require that all vehicles use biometric logins in order to be operated. This biometric data would be logged and available for analysis. This data would periodically be sent to a central database that would then keep track of who operates what vehicle and by crossreferencing with vehicle locations transmitted through the use of assisted-GPS information, the activities of the drivers could be tracked. When a cyclist reports an encounter with a hostile driver, this information could be easily looked up. Sounds like a wonderful world. No?
That could apply to bicycles also. Bringing up technology like that could backfire on cyclists. It might jsut be better to make a mandatory 30 day jail sentence for driving without a license, then make the test 100 questions, with only missing 10 being the cutoff.
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Old 07-10-05, 07:32 PM   #13
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That could apply to bicycles also. Bringing up technology like that could backfire on cyclists.
Exactly.
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Old 07-10-05, 07:43 PM   #14
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Hey that's a great idea. Then we can have an ID number tattooed on their arm and send them to work in special places or camps. OH! wait. thats been done hasn't it!!! Darn, it was such a good idea
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Old 07-10-05, 07:45 PM   #15
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Hey that's a great idea. Then we can have an ID number tattooed on their arm and send them to work in special places or camps. OH! wait. thats been done hasn't it!!! Darn, it was such a good idea
You need to think more high-tech! Implanted RFID is the answer.
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Old 07-10-05, 07:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
Taken to the extreme, the more accurate way to do this would be to require that all vehicles use biometric logins in order to be operated. This biometric data would be logged and available for analysis. This data would periodically be sent to a central database that would then keep track of who operates what vehicle and by crossreferencing with vehicle locations transmitted through the use of assisted-GPS information, the activities of the drivers could be tracked. When a cyclist reports an encounter with a hostile driver, this information could be easily looked up. Sounds like a wonderful world. No?
Or... perhaps we could implant RFID chips in everyone, every car - and every bike could carry a minature RFID scanner!! <g>
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Old 07-10-05, 08:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by fallstorm
I've thought about doing this many times where I live. I don't have the capabilties to do it yet (don't have web space or the smarts to build a database app), but I imagine I could get both of those fairly easily. Here in Washington, plates are assigned to vehicles instead of people. While it would still be impossible to identify the driver without a picture, a plate number is a start... especially if it's possible to get the state to give up the owner's info. If I'm able to implement such a system, I'm going to include an interface to upload camera phone pictures.
Getting it done is no problem, I develop data-based websites and would be willing to create and host it. From the posts to this thread so far, it looks like more people think it's not a great idea. I know... 'Big Brother is watching' and all that, but isn't it time to make these drivers more accountable?
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Old 07-10-05, 08:10 PM   #18
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A license plate can be used to cite an offender but it must be done short-term and the persistance of the information is suspect as time goes on due to vehicles changing hands even disregarding sales... think rental cars, spouse/family members borrowing the vehicle, etc...

That said, I posted this a while back...

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I had an idea a few days ago for the Ultimate Traffic Raffle. Here are the details:
  1. All participants are allowed to submit a photograph or video footage of someone doing something stupid to their local police or highway patrol department. Participants must be able to capture some sort of indentification of the offending vehicle. This of course works great against cars since they have a license plate.
  2. At the end of some time period (weekly, monthly or daily... I like daily), a drawing will occur from those submissions.
  3. The winner of the drawing gets a dinner or lunch courtesy of the offender along with a signed apology. The law enforcement department may add additional fines for which they will receive direct payment.

I think that combined with my idea for an integrated helmet-cam, this could bring about some pretty good results... or at the very least some very well fed cyclists.
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Old 07-10-05, 09:00 PM   #19
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Getting it done is no problem, I develop data-based websites and would be willing to create and host it. From the posts to this thread so far, it looks like more people think it's not a great idea.
This Fred chips in two cents for the database. I think it's a great idea. However, I'd like to suggest a slight change of focus. Instead of attempting to identify who is harassing cyclists, why not focus on the where. In addition to reporting motorist harassment incidents, encourge the reporting of all injury and fatality incidents -- again, focusing on the where.

As the data is collected, patterns will emerge. Intersections with high rates of cycling accidents, roads that need shoulders, neighborhoods with high rates of reported harassment of cyclists by motorists. These high frequency locations can be reported to the responsible jurisdictions. I would imagine that if a town has the most dangerous cycling intersection or road in the nation, they would work to fix it to remove that stigma.
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Old 07-10-05, 09:11 PM   #20
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Exactly what are you going to do with such a database? Are we going to start riding our bikes, looking out for a blue Dodge Neon with Va. license plate YBR-2894? Of use to law enforcement? Heresay. 14 rabid cyclists put in unverifyable information when "one of our own" is offended by a close call, and the cops give the guy a ticket for being an ass-clown? Or are we supposed to make sure we get "photographic evidence" of each infraction so that we can prove it's valid? You want to try that when you've been run off the road? Or did you get "run off the road" because you were fiddling around with your camera, just in case you have someone pass by too close?

Why not just ride your bike, watch your back, and enjoy yourself? If I were worried about getting information to report, I'm sure I'd have a lot more run-ins with motorists because I'd be concentrating more on that than on riding my bike safely. Get real.
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Old 07-10-05, 09:14 PM   #21
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Exactly what are you going to do with such a database? Are we going to start riding our bikes, looking out for a blue Dodge Neon with Va. license plate YBR-2894?
You mean you don't ride around with a roladex chock full of known offending license plate numbers? How do you ever feel safe?!?!
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Old 07-10-05, 09:15 PM   #22
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You mean you don't ride around with a roladex chock full of known offending license plate numbers? How do you ever feel safe?!?!
No, I find my helmet mirror to be much faster and more reliable.
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Old 07-10-05, 10:23 PM   #23
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Geez folks,calm down. Databases != Big Brother

I think a database with a general discription would be a good idea. A page could be set up sorted by city to give cyclists a heads-up. Like if your local area has a dozen reports on a white BMW with a certain vanity plate,and you saw it on the road,you'd know to give it some extra room. Not anything govt run,just an enthusiest site.
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Old 07-10-05, 10:31 PM   #24
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A license plate does not identify a person. It identifies a vehicle.
Ohio (more specifically Toledo) doesn't seem to care about the difference. Red light cameras are being put up all over the place. The cameras take a picture of the license plate and the owner of the vehicle is sent a ticket.
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Old 07-10-05, 10:37 PM   #25
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Ohio (more specifically Toledo) doesn't seem to care about the difference. Red light cameras are being put up all over the place. The cameras take a picture of the license plate and the owner of the vehicle is sent a ticket.
Dunno about Toledo, but around here the photo-tickets are just a fine, with no points on your license. I personally think it's a fair way to handle it, if you've lent your car out you know who to see for the $50. I'm not sure I like the idea of being policed by a camera, but it seems to have had positive effects around here.
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