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Old 05-22-14, 04:47 AM   #1
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Truck Driver Could be Charged After Fight With Bicyclist

This story was reported on NBC affiliate WRC Channel 4 in Washington, D.C.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/lo...260008981.html

Police tell News4 the driver of a pick-up truck could soon face charges for his role in an altercation with a bicyclist.

D.C. resident Evan Wilder has a camera mounted to his bike, so when he crashed into a truck along R Street NE May 9, the entire event was caught on camera. The narrow, one-way street is clearly marked, encouraging bicyclists to share the road with cars and vice versa.

Just before the collision at a four-way stop, the pick-up truck driver and Wilder come dangerously close to each other.

The video from Wilder's camera shows the truck driver veering into the cyclist's path just before the stop sign. Wilder says he wasn't able to stop in time, and crashed his bike into the back of the truck. No visible damage was done to the truck.

The driver is seen exiting the car, approaching Wilder and repeatedly shouting obscenities about the crash.

"He was so threatening, he was so hot and so loud," Wilder said. "My first thought was he's trying to steal my bike or smash my bike. It was just raw, this anger he had."

The driver then picks up Wilder's bike and throws it over his truck and onto the ground, causing $400 in damage. Wilder was hospitalized as a precaution, and received a $100 ticket from police for following too closely to a car.

D.C. police told News4 they are reviewing the video, and sources say the driver could be charged.



This is typical. Vehicle passes cyclist ignoring laws about passing a cyclist. Then the cyclist gets accused/cited of/for following too closely. Motorized society just loves this!!!
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Old 05-22-14, 05:04 AM   #2
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Slightly off-topic: Being a member of BF has jaded my opinion of our peace officers, though I have only once or twice in my life had a negative interaction with the police. How many cyclists, I wonder, have been victims of stupidity or anger, and yet held responsible by the police. Rhetorical statement. I realize there is no real answer. A ticket for following too close? The officer must have hear both sides of the story before writing the ticket.
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Old 05-22-14, 06:23 AM   #3
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T police do not know laws, pertaining to bicycling. I have asked every single one of our officers, and not one had any answers. Sad, but true.
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Old 05-22-14, 07:01 AM   #4
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I've never used a cam on a bike but this makes me think maybe I should. Without the cam, the cyclist would be SOL when it came to the police charges.
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Old 05-22-14, 07:19 AM   #5
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With that bike cam, it clearly shows the truck driver at fault.

BTW if the police have the names of the wittnesses that claim "the bike was following too close" they should be hauled into court and charged with false wittness.
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Old 05-22-14, 07:33 AM   #6
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I personally ride further left to keep motorists from pinching me into a similar situation, and if caught in a similar situation with no other cars following behind, I would have slowed considerably and got out of that situation. As for following to closely, it seems that the cyclist was too focused on the motorist and not enough on the stop sign that was coming up. First plan of action is to distance one self as far away from motorists like the one in the video.
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Old 05-22-14, 07:37 AM   #7
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One more reason to get a camera. I'm glad the news report was very clear on the bicycle laws in D.C.. A lot of people have no idea what sharrows mean.
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Old 05-22-14, 08:06 AM   #8
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"Might" be charged? What's the "investigation" about, whether the cyclist provoked the illegal pass and illegal brake check? And if that would make the illegal assault OK?

If he did that to someone in a car, and then stormed up and kicked his car, he'd be arrested in a heartbeat. Something is seriously out of whack in that police department.
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Old 05-22-14, 08:18 AM   #9
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With that bike cam, it clearly shows the truck driver at fault.

BTW if the police have the names of the wittnesses that claim "the bike was following too close" they should be hauled into court and charged with false wittness.
In watching the video, the cyclist was not showing good urban riding skills, especially in letting himself get caught up in an incident such as this. A few seconds on the brakes on the cyclist's part when the motorist pulled along side, video the motorist's license plate, and if the cyclist chose to do so, report the motorist to law enforcement for an unsafe pass.
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Old 05-22-14, 08:23 AM   #10
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It takes two to tango and so on, all of that could have been avoided.
Imagine the truck drivers anguish when he woke the next morning to surfboard wax all over his windshield.
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Old 05-22-14, 08:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
I personally ride further left to keep motorists from pinching me into a similar situation,
There are a few notable short sections on my commute where I personally ride further right to discourage drivers from engaging in dangerous actions, specifically like passing too close when there is not room enough in a lane for a car to attempt to share a lane or safely pass a bicyclist.
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Old 05-22-14, 09:02 AM   #12
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I personally ride further left to keep motorists from pinching me into a similar situation, and if caught in a similar situation with no other cars following behind, I would have slowed considerably and got out of that situation. As for following to closely, it seems that the cyclist was too focused on the motorist and not enough on the stop sign that was coming up. First plan of action is to distance one self as far away from motorists like the one in the video.
The motorist was a total a..h... but the cyclist screwed up and could have avoided that entirely. I don't know if he did it through ignorance or a desire to "stand his ground", but he maintained the worst possible location to be in near a vehicle.

Still, the ticket is questionable, and the motorist should be charged for road rage.
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Old 05-22-14, 09:06 AM   #13
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I hope someone local can follow this to see if the video is used in court. I think dynodonn is correct, that urban riding skills could have avoided this, first by properly taking the lane, and second as soon as the motorist pulled along side slowing to provide a buffer between the cyclist and the motorist. Also it will be interesting to see if the driver is even ticketed, the wording makes me suspect that the police either are hoping the event blows over or the DA is not sure they want to go to court with this one for whatever reason.
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Old 05-22-14, 10:22 AM   #14
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The motorist was a total a..h... but the cyclist screwed up and could have avoided that entirely. I don't know if he did it through ignorance or a desire to "stand his ground", but he maintained the worst possible location to be in near a vehicle.
Keep in mind the length of time they were actually moving is about 10 seconds. Half of that is the driver passing close, the other half actually threatening the rider. Things happen quick and it's pretty hard to judge someone's reaction in that amount of time.
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Old 05-22-14, 10:37 AM   #15
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I personally ride further left to keep motorists from pinching me into a similar situation, and if caught in a similar situation with no other cars following behind, I would have slowed considerably and got out of that situation.
I have had this exact scenario play out, except I didn't crash and the motorist didn't get out of his truck. If there is no misbehavior up until the slamming of brakes, it's really hard to be ready for something like this to happen. I ride on a one way road near my work that is used by people as a through road to avoid just the littlest amount of traffic, and that is where the incident happened. People park on both sides, so the road is too narrow to share unless the motorist drives in the door zone. The funny thing is, it is plenty wide enough to share if they do drive in the door zone, but they refuse. They want cyclists to ride in a door zone and risk being doored and run over by jerks that are taking a shortcut. I do drive this road sometimes when traffic is really backed up, but in general you have to be a jerk to drive down this quiet neighborhood road.
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Old 05-22-14, 10:47 AM   #16
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Slightly off-topic: Being a member of BF has jaded my opinion of our peace officers, though I have only once or twice in my life had a negative interaction with the police. How many cyclists, I wonder, have been victims of stupidity or anger, and yet held responsible by the police. Rhetorical statement. I realize there is no real answer. A ticket for following too close? The officer must have hear both sides of the story before writing the ticket.
It has left me, somewhat jaded too. I don't trust them. It doesn't matter what the jurisdiction is, I don't trust them, where cyclists' are concerned.
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T police do not know laws, pertaining to bicycling. I have asked every single one of our officers, and not one had any answers. Sad, but true.
They don't.
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I've never used a cam on a bike but this makes me think maybe I should. Without the cam, the cyclist would be SOL when it came to the police charges.
Yes
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With that bike cam, it clearly shows the truck driver at fault.
Yes. So the citation the cyclist was given, is egregious on the part of the officer, to say the least.
BTW if the police have the names of the witnesses that claim "the bike was following too close" they should be hauled into court and charged with false witness.
Yes they should.
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I personally ride further left to keep motorists from pinching me into a similar situation, and if caught in a similar situation with no other cars following behind, I would have slowed considerably and got out of that situation. As for following to closely, it seems that the cyclist was too focused on the motorist and not enough on the stop sign that was coming up. First plan of action is to distance one self as far away from motorists like the one in the video.
I do the same thing. The video is a perfect example of why I 'take the lane'. So, If some does make a close pass, I have the fallback room of three feet, since they didn't give it too me.
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"Might" be charged? What's the "investigation" about, whether the cyclist provoked the illegal pass and illegal brake check? And if that would make the illegal assault OK?
If he did that to someone in a car, and then stormed up and kicked his car, he'd be arrested in a heartbeat. Something is seriously out of whack in that police department.
That department is terribly out of whack. No slam on Cathy Lanier being the department's first female police chief. But it is still 'business as usual' there.
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The motorist was a total a..h... but the cyclist screwed up and could have avoided that entirely. I don't know if he did it through ignorance or a desire to "stand his ground", but he maintained the worst possible location to be in near a vehicle.

Still, the ticket is questionable, and the motorist should be charged for road rage.
I encountered a motorist like this guy on Tuesday coming home from an appointment. But I didn't have the advantage/disadvantage of a stop light at the time. It was PM-Rush and I just wanted to get home.
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I hope someone local can follow this to see if the video is used in court. I think dynodonn is correct, that urban riding skills could have avoided this, first by properly taking the lane, and second as soon as the motorist pulled along side slowing to provide a buffer between the cyclist and the motorist. Also it will be interesting to see if the driver is even ticketed, the wording makes me suspect that the police either are hoping the event blows over or the DA is not sure they want to go to court with this one for whatever reason.
That is local to me. That is near Capitol Hill. Which is only 20mi. from my house. Since it made the local NBC(and CBS: http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/...ent-on-camera/) affiliate. I will be checking to see if there is a follow-up story done by either network affiliate. Since the Metropolitan Police Department will be reviewing the video the cyclist took. The charges may be reversed, and the driver charged.

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Old 05-22-14, 11:19 AM   #17
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What needs to come out of this is vastly more publicity, including statements that the truck driver's activity was NOT legal. The news coverage started in the right direction... but it was only the tip of the iceberg in mentioning the three foot law.

This whole episode is also about aggressive driving and road rage and that needs better coverage. With any luck, the local PD will ticket the truck driver and the news will really publicize this in a manner that gets other drivers thinking about it.

Obviously this truck driver was not responding to a fire or death, because as soon as he thought the bike damaged his "toy" he gets out of the truck and does a tet a tet with the cyclist... so one has to wonder why the heck the truck driver was in such a hurry in the first place... was he afraid the stop sign wouldn't wait for him?
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Old 05-22-14, 11:20 AM   #18
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I would love to see the prior two min and after two minutes of that snipet of video. Would like to know what transpired before and after
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Old 05-22-14, 11:21 AM   #19
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And for those of you saying the cyclist could have done more to prevent this... sure... possibly... but bottom line is why should he have to?

Narrow road, three foot law, signs saying cyclist may use full lane, and sharrows... and still the cyclist has to "do more..." WTF?
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Old 05-22-14, 11:26 AM   #20
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Keep in mind the length of time they were actually moving is about 10 seconds. Half of that is the driver passing close, the other half actually threatening the rider. Things happen quick and it's pretty hard to judge someone's reaction in that amount of time.
Personally, bike or motorcycle, I'm always ready for the worst when I'm in that situation, and my first priority is to get out of it by slowing down or speeding up to avoid pacing a vehicle in its blind spots.
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Old 05-22-14, 11:35 AM   #21
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And for those of you saying the cyclist could have done more to prevent this... sure... possibly... but bottom line is why should he have to?
?
Of course he SHOULDN'T have to. OTOH common sense has to prevail. The cyclist is confronted by a driver making an unsafe pass, and lane shift. He can stand his ground, but if he does so, and the accident isn't immediately proximate to the lane change he's at fault.

This is a classic road rage case which proves it takes two to tango. The cyclist had time and space after being cut off to simply chalk it up to another jerk on the road and moved on with his day. But like so many, he put his rights and feeling of being denied them ahead of common sense.

No denying that the driver is a jerk, and obviously needs to be charged with willful destruction of private property, but it was easily avoided.

The cyclist is right, but if he keeps it up, he can have it engraved on his tombstone one day.
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Old 05-22-14, 11:38 AM   #22
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"Might" be charged? What's the "investigation" about, whether the cyclist provoked the illegal pass and illegal brake check? And if that would make the illegal assault OK?

If he did that to someone in a car, and then stormed up and kicked his car, he'd be arrested in a heartbeat. Something is seriously out of whack in that police department.
It wasn't a brake check - he's stopped at a stop sign.

Cyclist shouldn't be assaulted and have property damaged, but he also shouldn't have been so close to the truck. Recognize the dangerous behavior (close pass, running off road), slow down, and move in behind the truck. He's lucky the guy wasn't ultra-deranged and use the truck to push him into the parked cars.
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Old 05-22-14, 11:41 AM   #23
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Of course he SHOULDN'T have to. OTOH common sense has to prevail. The cyclist is confronted by a driver making an unsafe pass, and lane shift. He can stand his ground, but if he does so, and the accident isn't immediately proximate to the lane change he's at fault.

This is a classic road rage case which proves it takes two to tango. The cyclist had time and space after being cut off to simply chalk it up to another jerk on the road and moved on with his day. But like so many, he put his rights and feeling of being denied them ahead of common sense.

No denying that the driver is a jerk, and obviously needs to be charged with willful destruction of private property, but it was easily avoided.

The cyclist is right, but if he keeps it up, he can have it engraved on his tombstone one day.
Yes the cyclist is right... but the jerk move by the motorist is what causes cyclists to have "attitudes" that motorists complain about...

"Common sense" is that the motorist shouldn't force his way past a legitimate road user.
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Old 05-22-14, 11:57 AM   #24
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Yes the cyclist is right... but the jerk move by the motorist is what causes cyclists to have "attitudes" that motorists complain about...

"Common sense" is that the motorist shouldn't force his way past a legitimate road user.
This kind of stuff happens every day where I live. Mostly not motorist vs. cyclist, but motorist vs. motorist. The thing to keep in mind is that if someone cuts you off without causing an immediate crash, he's now in front and has the right of way. It doesn't matter how he got there anymore, you're the following vehicle and must accordingly.

nobody denies that there are jerks out there, but all road users have to decide where to go from there.

Sometimes life is like a football game. Player A commits a personal against player B, who retaliates. Who draws the penalty? 9 out of 10 it's player B, because the refs. weren't looking when it started.

As far as I'm concerned, if the worst thing that happens to me is getting cut off by a jerk in a pickup, I'm having a good day.
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Old 05-22-14, 11:59 AM   #25
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It wasn't a brake check - he's stopped at a stop sign.

Cyclist shouldn't be assaulted and have property damaged, but he also shouldn't have been so close to the truck. Recognize the dangerous behavior (close pass, running off road), slow down, and move in behind the truck. He's lucky the guy wasn't ultra-deranged and use the truck to push him into the parked cars.
I'd say it was a brake check, with or without a stop sign. Cuts him off very close, immediately brakes hard, that's explicitly illegal and in my book a deliberate brake check.

I'd like to say that I'd be braking before then to make some distance. We'd all like to say that I'm sure, but the reality is that if a motorist wants to cause a collision then it isn't always avoidable on a bike.
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