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Old 12-19-05, 10:53 AM   #1
ajay677
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We had a fairly significant snowfall late last week, 3 or 4 inches accumulated during the workday on top of a couple of inches that had fallen overnight. Road conditions were lousy and bike lanes were full of plowed up snow (as they are most of the winter). There were wheel tracks that were fairly clear so I was riding in the right hand track, taking the lane. I heard a vehicle behind me following closely, suddenly rev up. He buzzed me close enough that I banged my arm on his car, trying to maintain my balance, forcing me right and almost crashing . This a$$hat at first tried to flee, accelerating hard and fishtailing down the road. He must have looked in his rearview and seen I was still up because he stopped up the road to inspect his car. He then ran 100 feet up the street to where I was stopped and tried to grab me and knock me off my bike. All the while he was screaming that I was in his way and shouldn't be in the road and that I had kicked his car. (a neat trick while riding with toe clips) I shouted at him that I was going to call the police and that he should get away from me and get back in his car. I disengaged from him and rode toward his car and loudly shouted out his license plate number several times and that I would be calling the police.

When I returned home I phoned the police non-emergency number. The police response: A lecture. "It's snowing out. Road conditions are horrible. Why are you riding a bike? You shouldn't be riding in the street. You could slip and fall under a car. Imagine how horrible the car driver would feel". The police communicator or constable who answered did not identify themself so I don't know if a complaint to the police about their lack of service would be worthwhile. What do you think?

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Old 12-19-05, 11:05 AM   #2
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Yes, it's worth a complaint. The guy assaulted you. There is no excuse for that. Also, see if you can file a criminal complaint against the driver for assault. If the cops won't help, try the local prosecutor's office.

If the cops don't do anything or don't apologize, complain to your local government.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:09 AM   #3
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I'm telling all bicyclists to pack pepper spray (if its legal for your area) and hotsauce the asshats first, call 911 second....if they don't want to come out and investigate, fine by me

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Old 12-19-05, 11:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ajay677
We has a fairly significant snowfall late last week, 3 or 4 inches accumulated during the workday on top of a couple of inches that had fallen overnight. Road conditions were lousy and bike lanes were full of plowed up snow (as they are most of the winter). There were wheel tracks that were fairly clear so I was riding in the right hand track, taking the lane. I heard a vehicle behind me following closely, suddenly rev up. He buzzed me close enough that I banged my arm on his car, trying to maintain my balance, forcing me right and almost crashing . This a$$hat at first tried to flee, accelerating hard and fishtailing down the road. He must have looked in his rearview and seen I was still up because he stopped up the road to inspect his car. He then ran 100 feet up the street to where I was stopped and tried to grab me and knock me off my bike. All the while he was screaming that I was in his way and shouldn't in the road and that I had kicked his car. (a neat trick while riding with toe clips) I shouted at him that I was going to call the police and that he should get away from me and get back in his car. I disengaged from him and rode toward his car and loudly shouted out his license plate number several times and that I would be calling the police.

When I returned home I phoned the police non-emergency number. The police response: A lecture. "It's snowing out. Road conditions are horrible. Why are you riding a bike? You shouldn't be riding in the street. You could slip and fall under a car. Imagine how horrible the car driver would feel". The police communicator or constable who answered did not identify themself so I don't know if a complaint to the police about their lack of service would be worthwhile. What do you think?
The cops are a joke, I mean when the police said " Imagine how horrible the driver would feel" gimmie a ****ing break. Drivers don't care about cyclists, they never have and probably never will.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:13 AM   #5
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Also, remember that a lot of police agencies log calls, so they might be able to figure out who gave you the anti-cyclist rant.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:19 AM   #6
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The cops are a joke, I mean when the police said " Imagine how horrible the driver would feel" gimmie a ****ing break. Drivers don't care about cyclists, they never have and probably never will.
...uh, er,(cough, cough) I am a bicylcist, and a "driver" I own and operate an automobile. I would guess to say most bike riders on this forum also own a car. A minority of bicyclist adults in the US do not also drive a car. Please. Lets not make rash blanket generalizations ( Drivers don't care about cyclist. That is about like saying, I saw a red truck, so therefor all trucks are red)
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Old 12-19-05, 11:22 AM   #7
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...uh, er,(cough, cough) I am a bicylcist, and a "driver" I own and operate an automobile. I would guess to say most bike riders on this forum also own a car. A minority of bicyclist adults in the US do not also drive a car. Please. Lets not make rash blanket generalizations ( Drivers don't care about cyclist. That is about like saying, I saw a red truck, so therefor all trucks are red)
What I should have said is that MOST Drivers don't care about of cyclists, because if they did they wouldn't do stupid things like trying to run them off the road.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:42 AM   #8
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What I should have said is that MOST Drivers don't care about of cyclists, because if they did they wouldn't do stupid things like trying to run them off the road.
So now you say that "MOST" drivers try to run us off the road?

You need to give up cycling. It's far too dangerous for you.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:47 AM   #9
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Definitely make a formal complaint to the chief of the police department and to your local government. Cite the laws that give you your rights and demand an apology.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:03 PM   #10
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Definitely make a formal complaint to the chief of the police department and to your local government. Cite the laws that give you your rights and demand an apology.
Amen.

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Old 12-19-05, 12:11 PM   #11
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I'm telling all bicyclists to pack pepper spray (if its legal for your area) and hotsauce the asshats first, call 911 second....if they don't want to come out and investigate, fine by me
Pepper spray is a prohibited weapon here in Canada, unless used as a dog or bear repellant. If you hosed someone with it you'd probably be charged with possessing a prohibited weapon, assault with a weapon, maybe possessing a weapon dangerous to public peace. Not that it would amount to much. With the legal system here all you'd end up with is probation and a weapon prohibition order. Anyway not an option for me.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:14 PM   #12
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The only option the police left me with is to file a report with our Road Watch programme. The driver then gets a letter in the mail. Big deal. The guy tried to run me off the road and then tried to assault me in the street. I think you may be right. I'll try and file a complaint against the driver again and look into filing a complaint about the police treatment.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:23 PM   #13
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I would write a letter to the police chief and explain that the dispatchers job is not to administer safety advice but to help the police enforce applicable laws which say nothing about bikes not being allowed on the road in snowstorms. Crazy or not, you could call a car driver crazy to be out in such conditions if you really want to get technical. After all, it is really the car driver who is in more imminent danger of losing his life as he can go much faster and the stakes are higher when he can't stop appropriately. Anyway, police shouldn't be behaving like defense lawyers at all. They are there to record what happened, enforce applicable laws, and profer assistance if required.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:29 PM   #14
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There are some conditions where police will advise drivers of all types of vehicles not to be on the road.

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Old 12-19-05, 12:29 PM   #15
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Crazy or not, you could call a car driver crazy to be out in such conditions if you really want to get technical. After all, it is really the car driver who is in more imminent danger of losing his life as he can go much faster and the stakes are higher when he can't stop appropriately.
exactly. ever watch the news after a snow storm? there are often many crashes and mishaps between automobiles. the truth is that they make the situation very dangerous for the rest of us.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:30 PM   #16
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Pepper spray is a prohibited weapon here in Canada........
what if you are a disabled person, uanble to physically defend yourself from an assault.. how do you defend your life ?

What if that guy pulled out a knife and tried to stick it in your neck ?

Would you prefer to die, or spray them and live to face the consequences ?
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Old 12-19-05, 12:41 PM   #17
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what if you are a disabled person, uanble to physically defend yourself from an assault.. how do you defend your life ?

What if that guy pulled out a knife and tried to stick it in your neck ?

Would you prefer to die, or spray them and live to face the consequences ?
We had a discussion about self defence in Canada in Politics and Religion. Do a search for Canada to Ban Handguns. The police here prefer people to call 911 and wait for help. If you carry pepper spray here for self defence, it is illegal. I do understand your point though and agree with you.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ajay677
When I returned home I phoned the police non-emergency number. The police response: A lecture. "It's snowing out. Road conditions are horrible. Why are you riding a bike? You shouldn't be riding in the street. You could slip and fall under a car. Imagine how horrible the car driver would feel".
Yes, if such an accident occurred, I'm sure the car driver would feel more horrible than you would under his tires....No trace of pro-car bias from that phone answerer. Definitely report him.
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Old 12-19-05, 01:00 PM   #19
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..... The police here prefer people to call 911 and wait for help. If you carry pepper spray here for self defence, it is illegal. I do understand your point though and agree with you.

thanks, I'll try to find the thread..

lastly, in the USA, the police are not required by law to come to save you when you call them, they don't even have to show up ...

I think that there is like 1 police officer to every 100,000 people or something like that (?)... so its kind of impossible for them to be there to help in every event + some people can't exactly make a cell phone call when someone is smashing their face into the sidwalk..... lol
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Old 12-19-05, 01:15 PM   #20
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Even if the dispatcher is correct to tell you not to be on the road, that should not have any effect on you making an assault complaint. One does not change the other. If you are doing something dangerous that does not give another person the right to assault you.

I would take the suggestions about writing to the police chief. Maybe even go down there in person.
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Old 12-19-05, 01:30 PM   #21
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Remember that this is a free country and you have a right to the road as much as the next guy. The cop that lectured you probably needs to be reminded of this as well. File a complaint and if the police don't want to take the complaint, go to the precinct in person and file the complaint. Follow up w/ the local prosecutor if they still don't want to bother.

And if you have the energy, post flyers or posters around town listing the make, model and plate # of the car along with a warning that the driver is dangerous and to be on the lookout.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:22 PM   #22
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tlastly, in the USA, the police are not required by law to come to save you when you call them, they don't even have to show up ...
That may vary by state. It may also make a difference whether you call the normal phone number or 911.

My son's cub scout troop had a state cop come in for a safety talk. When he talked about 911, he was very good about telling them NOT to be afraid to call it if they thought something bad was happening or they were truly scared, but to remember that the police are REQUIRED to dispatch on every 911 call. He told them, if you call, someone WILL COME and investigate even if your parent gets on the line and says "no, he was just playing." This is probably to combat domestic abuse or hostage situations.

This is in Michigan. YMMV.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:32 PM   #23
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Consider raising a ruckus via the media, too. Letter to the editor asking why you're not human enough to merit police protection if you happen to not have your motor vehicle with you, despite laws such-and-such (look them up and cite them word-for-word).

"Vote no the next time police funding comes up on a ballot, people, they don't even know what the laws are," and so forth.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:44 PM   #24
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What I should have said is that MOST Drivers don't care about of cyclists, because if they did they wouldn't do stupid things like trying to run them off the road.
I even think it is an exageration to say MOST. At worst, most motorist may be uneducated about the rights of bicyclist, and have not traveled outside of the U.S. where there are more bicylcist. But it is a far leap to go from saying "most drivers don't careabout cyclist, to say "do stupid things like trying to run them off the road" Those motorist that activly attempt to force someone off the road, are commiting vehicular assault, and probably are in the minority.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:48 PM   #25
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Amen.

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