Anyone ever contact the police after a brush with a driver? (plus fun story)
I am considering it right now. It is beautiful out, and I was having a very relaxed ride to work. One block from Central Park on 72nd, a brand new Escalade with no plates runs me out of the right lane. Luckily there were no parked cars because it was a bus stop. We are talking about Manhattan at rush hour so he didn't get far before I got a picture of his one tiny temp plate obscured by tinted windows that you can only see if your head is level with it (hence other motorists certainly can't.
He didn't cause me any injury besides pissing me off--is it worth calling the cops and possibly giving him a hard time (over the obscured temp plate)? I'm thinking not, but it takes a lot to make me think that a driver is behaving dangerously these days, and this guy far exceeded that threshold. I also gave him a decent kick (with my Sidi) to one of the rear doors after he tried reversing up Madison Ave, so maybe buffing that out of his brand new car will give him enough time to think about awareness on the road.
edit: now with illustrations! Too bad my good camera phone is currently out of service.
How was your morning?
Last edited by lukasz; 11-22-10 at 07:44 AM.
I was hit by a passenger leaning out of a car window. Managed to get a full plate number and description of the car. CHPs response? Sorry, we didn't witness it so we can't do anything about it.
You are probably going to hear the same thing....
Yeah, I'm not going to bother. I think he just bought the car, hence his ineptitude and the temp tags. so I hope he enjoys buffing out my cleat mark. Growing up in NYC I've had enough experiences with the police to know they don't care about my incident. What they might care about is a car with no plates and tinted windows driving around the upper east side.
On my impromptu ride on Saturday, three experienced and fast riders were intimidated and threatened on RT-216 Highland Road. We were riding fast, nearing the end of a hilly 60 mile ride, single file, along the white line about a mile East of Brighton Dam Road. The silver Chrysler/Dodge mini-van, MD license number 890M444 laid on his horn right on our tails and buzzed way too close passing. The road was generally open and clear, his intention to scare us was clear too. As he passed, all three of us simultaneously yelled "HEY" which was kind of amusing. I decided this jerk needed to be reported and dealt with by the authorities.
At the BAHC symposium down at APL a month ago, I had a nice conversation with the Howard County Special Ops Police Rep who told me first, and then the group, that they DO want us to report these kinds of people. He made it very clear that we should ignore those old PSA's' that say to not call 911 but that we SHOULD use the 911 number. Long ago I put the non-emergency number in my phone but I thought it was interesting that he boldly said "we have the people and the system to deal with calls to 911 and we want you to call that number from the road". What I asked him privately was if we could provide them postage and a letter and get them to mail it to reported plate numbers. To my surprise, he informed me that they already do that when we report someone. They send a letter to the address of the vehicle stating the date and time and what the vehicle was observed doing wrong. It also finishes with a disclaimer that if they weren't using the vehicle sorry for the note. Anyway, this was pretty cool and made me feel better because they are at least scaring people, the people know they have been reported and are on record, and they are getting the law read to them.
Anyway, when I got home I called the non-emergency number (410-313-2929) and basically just explained that we had been threatened and that Capt. John McKissick told us he wanted reports. I detected a heightened level of "interest" from the phone answerer when I mentioned the meeting, the discussion and Capt. McKissick's name. She sent an officer to my house to get the details. The officer was the same one who investigated the woman recently "right-hooked" and almost run over on RT-216 and it was a great opportunity to point out more of "our view" to one of our foot-soldiers. He had called the Captain before visiting me. He took notes to add to the letter to the driver and/or meet with him/her. I made it VERY clear that while incidents occur regularly, we rarely report them except when people show malice and pre-meditation. He was aware of cyclists being shot and punched and other similar issues from the past (showing great commuication and training in the ranks of the department).
He saw my bike in the living Rroom and took interest asking if they were really as expensive as he'd heard. I showed him some details that can make a big difference in price, and my Ti Break Away travel bike was mostly packed in it's case also in the Living Room as I was packing it for an upcoming vacation for another expensive example. I let him know that the price could vary a lot and it might be difficult to tell just looking at them as a bike but also letting him know they could easily be between $4000 and $8000 for those of us who ride a lot and enjoy the sport. He was clearly impressed that I ride 3,000 plus miles a year and I also let him know that many of my friends locally ride multiples of that distance each year.
He tried to call the offending vehicle's owner, but the number was unlisted. He assured me that he would get a nasty-gram in the mail. I think it was a very positive experience, the police are clearly trying to help protect us and they understand many of the issues. Taking time to talk with me I'm sure this officer has an even better impression of cyclists.
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Bike addict, dreamer
NYPD doesn't give a crap about cyclists. I was "verbally assaulted" by a truck driver who walked into the bike lane from between cars and narrowly avoided him and I blew my air horn at him and there was a police car right next to us. I looked at them hoping they'd at least say something to the guy, but instead they just waved me to move on with annoyed look on their faces. I spread my arms in the "WTF gesture" and they just repeated the same: move on. It really would cost them nothing and take few seconds to tell the guy to calm down and explain that he's in the wrong but they couldn't be bothered.
Also, NYPD cars are the #1 offender when it comes to parking in bicycle lanes.
One day on vacation, I was riding up the Cadilac Mountain Road in Maine. It's a long, narrow, and winding road which often has steep drops. Cadilac Mountain is known for its lovely views as well as it being the first place that the sun touches in America's day, so many tourists from all over the world come to see them every year. That day, I was riding as far over to the right I deemed safe: on the many turns up the mountain, there was not much space between the side of the asphalt and the precipice of a steep cliff. In their process of approaching me, most motorists usually decreased their speed until it was safe to pass me.
But one guy decided not to. The driver of a long-distance tour bus (like greyhound buses) chose not to slow down and came within 6 inches of hitting me. The wash of his vehicle was so strong that it brought me close to going over the precipice. After stopping and collecting my wits, I took off up the remainder of the road with energy I didn't know I had. When I reached the top, the bus was parked with its driver but without passengers. I rode up and proceeded to have a conversation with him using words that I can't use on the internet. When it comes to the basic paraphrased question as to why he came so close to hitting me and/or causing me to go over a cliff, he told me I was too far out in the road and that he didn't care about what happened.
I could have notified the Mount Desert Island Park Police, but he and his bus would have been gone by the time they got there.
Complain to the touring company that this driver is risking a multimillion dollar lawsuit by the way he drives.
Originally Posted by powerhouse
I would not contact the police, especially after you made a point of putting a cleat mark in the door. They're going to focus on the fact that you damaged the car and go after you.
Exactly! I walk kand bike extensively in Philly. I have reported numerous vehicle operators to their employers. ("It's your insurance that's going to go up when this nut kills someone" I tell them. One time the person who answered the phone said "You don't even have to tell me the truck number. I already know who it is." Guess it wasn't the driver's first time.
Originally Posted by The Human Car
I even reported a taxi driver for texting while driving. I was riding in his cab and he refused to stop when I asked him to. I even told him I was going to report him. We got into a big argument, but when I got out at my destination, he basically tried to bribe me to not report him. The agency that regulates taxi drivers in the city was quite helpful. They took a report and told me that they would call the driver in for an interview. I got a call about a week later and they told me the driver was fined $100 and that he had decided not to contest the fine.
Good idea about contacting the company. I had another run-in today. Another large black SUV. This time the guy literally tried to repeatedly run me down on 5th Avenue. I wish I were making this up. He was swerving at me for about two blocks from 33rd street to 31st or so, then stopped and said he was trying to kill me. All this for me riding along in the middle of the left lane minding my own business.
I got his plate and chased him around Manhattan for a bit (luckily he was heading right for the Williamsburg Bridge). Another cyclist eventually calmed me down a bit. I know the cops won't do a thing. I had a number of witnesses trying to get his plate but as no one had I continued to chase after him and lost track of them.
It is unbelievable that a human being can behave in this way and get away with it. I'm going to go down to his cab company and try to raise a ruckus. I have his plate number as well.
God, I just read the yelp reviews. I'm going to go down there in person rather than try to use the telephone. Then I'm contacting the TLC: http://www.nyc.gov/apps/311/allServi...F-96DAE110FEB8
I'm hoping that this leads somewhere because this guy definitely crossed a line. If I were the average downtown cyclist and not someone that puts in hours and hours besides commuting I might be dead right now.
Last edited by lukasz; 12-13-10 at 05:50 PM.
Bike addict, dreamer
If his windows were opened, and he was stopped, at that point I would spray the mofo with mace and ride away without a word. Larger commercial institutions may care. The smaller cab companies don't care.
Originally Posted by lukasz
NYC Cops don't care:
I was riding down a bike lane in Queens, with a car stop to make a left turn, the car behind it comes into the bike lane and almost hits me. I am squeezed between the car and a park car, which happens to be a cop car. I ask the cop car why they didn't do anything and they say am hurt ? I answer no and they shrug and care less that the car almost hit me.
One time in Brookline, MA I was heading on my ride and a guy basically jaywalked across in front of me and I narowly avoided him, he yelled something at me, I said nothing back and thought "Doesn't matter, no point in responding, nothing happened, whatever". about 2 blocks later this dark green Ford starts trying to do the good ole swerve and cut as I pass him I realize that it is this guy.
He starts calling me an ***hole all the typical stuff, I stop at a corner and basically just tell the guy that I don't have time for this and I really don't care. He starts with the "Oh you wanna fight?" while blocking traffic at the intersection and I tell him that I can just wait all day. The guy turns off his truck and waits for like 2 lights until he finally pulls around the block and tries to wait "stealthily" for me to continue on my way.
Long story short I call the cops, he sees me on the phone, drives off, and I have to waste 30 mins waiting for the cops and describing the thing. Cops were actually really nice about it. Sadly I never got the guys plate because I was wary of getting too close to either end of the car.
In the end I feel should have pulled out my mini-lock broken a window on his car and just taken off down a direction he couldn't follow, but I decided that if I was calling the police I didn't want to have to explain his vehicle damage.