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Old 12-15-10, 05:32 PM   #1
accordionfolder
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Get buzzed, politely explain the law, get hit by truck, police indifferent. Help?

Biking home from work in good ol' Louisville, KY when a jerk in a dark colored truck buzzes the crap out of my shoulder. Nearly hits me.

He stops at the next red light. I pull up next to him and tell him (rather politely) that the law requires 3 feet of passing room. The other redneck get's out of the truck, tells me that I better ride on or else. I tell him the law politely again. He pulls something off his dash and threatens me (not sure what, something black and ominous). I'm moving out of the way when the driver hits me with his car, not hard, but hit me none-the-less. The passenger says, "Don't hit him!" I move to the side, call the police.

The police finally get's there, and to make a long story short, says that it's probably not the best idea to tell people that at night, when they can't see you at the end of rush hour (i'm fully lighted). Says that nothing will come of this (since me and my bike where fine), questioned if I REALLY wanted to file a report. I politely request the report. (seems slightly annoyed)

What should I do?
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Old 12-15-10, 05:39 PM   #2
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Geez . . . close calls are not a reason to get upset.
At 4,000+ lbs cars/trucks are a bit bigger than you; apparently you've never been really hit by a motor vehicle; I have and each time I survived and the driver was ticketed. One had license suspended for 90 days (drunk) another had restricted license revoked.
Write letter to the editor to localnewspapers.
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Old 12-15-10, 05:41 PM   #3
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Move? Somewhere where the public and police aren't such asshats?

Sorry I can't offer any more constructive advice. From my experience, when this kind of culture pervades a police department you aren't likely to get anywhere by complaining to the cop's superiors. By all means file the report, you were the victim of a hit and run after all (assult with a deadly weapon really). Don't imagine you got the plate number? (I hate when people ask that, like that's the first thing on your mind after getting run off the road.)
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Old 12-15-10, 05:44 PM   #4
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I have the plate number. I assume that my 911 call (I couldn't think straight enough to get the non emergency number at the time...) was also recorded.
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Old 12-15-10, 05:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Geez . . . close calls are not a reason to get upset.
Are you kidding? The OP was assulted with a 4000 pound weapon and he survived, just like you've been lucky enough to. What are you trying to say, that it isn't serious because he wasn't hurt?

That's awesome that you have the plate number. It's probably an uphill battle considering the attitudes of the public and law enforcement in your part of the world, but I'd say try to press charges. Psycos like that should have their right to drive revoked permenantly. Good luck.

Last edited by silver_ghost; 12-15-10 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 12-15-10, 05:50 PM   #6
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Get the phone number to the precinct and have a talk with the chief. Its FELONY HIT AND RUN if that driver left the scene.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:03 PM   #7
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You could also take things into your own hands in civil court. I'm sure you can't find a lawyer to take the case since there are no real (physical) damages, but you were clearly assaulted. If you have the free time and inclination to learn up on the legal system, why not file a civil complaint and drag the jerk into court? It's not that hard, and it could really send a message and make his life a lot harder even if in the end you only get a "nominal award" (usually a dollar) in the absence of provable damages.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:18 PM   #8
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It's not uncommon for police to discourage people from filing reports. Especially cyclists who have been hit by cars. Chances are it's a combination of believing nothing will come of it, and of not wanting to work any harder than necessary. So don't take that part personally.

I'd have to agree with the officer, that nothing good will come of lecturing errant drivers. Really, most people on the roads don't really care what the laws are, and aren't going to be told what to do by a stranger. All you're doing is opening up the opportunity for bad things to happen. The best advice I have, is to try and let this stuff go. People commute by bike because it's more enjoyable than driving in traffic, so focus on the positive and try not to let the negative ruin your day.

You could report a hit and run if the driver left the scene, but with no damage to your bike, and luckily to you, the police won't make a priority out of it, and if the driver denies it, it's your word against theirs.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:32 PM   #9
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Yeah, I probably should have dropped it. I usually do. I just can't stand it when people swerve around me, inches from my person, and then cut in front of me for no reason.

Hopefully I can transition from "usually do," to always.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:52 PM   #10
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Move? Somewhere where the public and police aren't such asshats?
That!!!
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Old 12-15-10, 06:57 PM   #11
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Let it be know, the police in Louisville are generally wonderful, and I love biking here. Much better as a whole than any other place I've lived in.

This guy was super nice too, he just seemed to belittle (what felt like to me), a serious situation.

I was just curious if I should take any action, I didn't mean to put Louisville or the Louisville Police Department in a bad light.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:21 PM   #12
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I frequently read in this forum where someone recommends reporting a matter to the police. Not uncommonly this is thought of as futile. My recommendation is that you draft a concise and factual letter to the police dept AND copy the letter to your local governor or whatever representative you have for your country's system of democracy. Ensure that in the letter, it is stated that you will be copying it to the governor. You see, it's very easy for someone to dismiss a verbal report. But it's a lot harder to take no action from a letter because documents go on files and files can be opened later and people who do not take appropriate action can get blamed for recurrences. Moreover, one would assume that your local governor wants your vote and to get it he needs to show that he is a man of action. What better way than to follow up your issue with the police in the assumption that you will recommend voting for him to your 20 or so friends in the next election!
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Old 12-15-10, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It's not uncommon for police to discourage people from filing reports. Especially cyclists who have been hit by cars. Chances are it's a combination of believing nothing will come of it, and of not wanting to work any harder than necessary. So don't take that part personally.

I'd have to agree with the officer, that nothing good will come of lecturing errant drivers. Really, most people on the roads don't really care what the laws are, and aren't going to be told what to do by a stranger. All you're doing is opening up the opportunity for bad things to happen. The best advice I have, is to try and let this stuff go. People commute by bike because it's more enjoyable than driving in traffic, so focus on the positive and try not to let the negative ruin your day.

You could report a hit and run if the driver left the scene, but with no damage to your bike, and luckily to you, the police won't make a priority out of it, and if the driver denies it, it's your word against theirs.
The OP did fine.

The cops had the license plate. All they had to do was run the plate and visit the dumb ass driver and explain what the max fine and jail time the JAM could spend in jail if the cyclist decides to prosecute.

That would be enough to end such BS with this JAM.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:57 PM   #14
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accordionfolder,

Contact Sgt. Robert Biven at the LMPD. You can find his contact information here:
http://www.louisvilleky.gov/bikelouisville/

The LMPD as a department is pretty good with cyclists, however some of the individual officers need a little more "training".

Where did this happen? I've had pretty good luck riding between Germantown and Downtown for the last few months.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:14 PM   #15
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I would get my friends to run the plate and then have my cousin "Vinny" pay them a little visit. They need to be taught a lesson or they will just do it again.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:31 PM   #16
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Next time, just smile and move along.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-15-10, 09:39 PM   #17
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Take out a headlight? U-lock justice rules! :-)
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Old 12-15-10, 10:46 PM   #18
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Hearing this just gives me that much more incentive to keep video taping all my commutes.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:22 PM   #19
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File the report so that this guy is on record.

Then, if there are any further incidents with bicyclists, or other drivers, or his wife/girlfriend, or his coworkers, etcetera, there will be a consistent pattern of aggressive behavior revealed to the authorities.

There may not be any charges filed in your case, but; you never know what this donkey has been up to or will be up to.

This is why you file the report; not necessarily to get the guy this time. You file the report so that he is on file.

I'm betting this is not the first time for him.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:53 PM   #20
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OP, I'm from Louisville, too. I live off of Preston highway. Where did this happen? Ever since that incident with the red truck that was intentionally running cyclists off the road, I've been flinching every time I hear a dually come up behind me. I think the guy was caught, but I still think about it.

http://www.whas11.com/home/Police-se...103750124.html

I'm happy you reported it. Hopefully, it'll keep him from doing the same thing to someone else.
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Old 12-16-10, 12:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
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nothing good will come of lecturing errant drivers.
This.

As if anyone has to wonder if hitting people with a couple tons of steel is bad. Hell, you can get charged with assault for practically nothing. In any case, telling someone they're an idiot doesn't make them smart. The guy was obviously trying to get into it with you and you chose to engage from a position of weakness -- that's insane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwbnyc View Post
File the report so that this guy is on record.

Then, if there are any further incidents with bicyclists, or other drivers, or his wife/girlfriend, or his coworkers, etcetera, there will be a consistent pattern of aggressive behavior revealed to the authorities.

There may not be any charges filed in your case, but; you never know what this donkey has been up to or will be up to.

This is why you file the report; not necessarily to get the guy this time. You file the report so that he is on file.

I'm betting this is not the first time for him.
And this.
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Old 12-16-10, 07:00 AM   #22
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Get the phone number to the precinct and have a talk with the chief. Its FELONY HIT AND RUN if that driver left the scene.
Actually may not be if there was no property or personal injury.
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Old 12-16-10, 07:20 AM   #23
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Wouldn't a car intentionally hitting a bicycle be at least assault with a deadly weapon? We're talking tons vs. pounds here. This kind of behavior needs to be discouraged. Lessons need to be taught. Examples need to be made. Herds need to be thinned
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Old 12-16-10, 08:01 AM   #24
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The best thing you can do in a situation like this is get 3 or 4 witnesses and then file a police report. It's easier to corroborate what you tell the officer if more than just one person agrees to the events. You know the old saying that evidence is best established by two or more witnesses. And like others have said skip lecturing the driver. Close calls are a matter of perception and the bike rider's will differ greatly from the vehicle driver.

Not being there it's hard to know what your demeanor was towards the driver. It's one thing to be like "Hey you got pretty close to me back. Just wanted you to know to be careful because you could get a ticket if the police were to see it" and "You mfing ---- ---- you could have killed me, you piece of trash!! The law says..."
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Old 12-16-10, 08:06 AM   #25
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Move? Somewhere where the public and police aren't such asshats?
Where would that place be?!?
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