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Sweet Justice #2

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Sweet Justice #2

Old 01-20-09, 01:25 AM
  #1  
CB HI
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Sweet Justice #2

I had a little extra fun on the commute tonight. The following are my notes on the encounter.

January 19, 2009 1740 Next to Wal-Mart HZZ106 silver Nissan Pathfinder tailgated, honked horn and made an intentional < 1 foot pass on Lanikuhana Ave. I spat on back side window. Daughter (about 28) sitting in back seat, tells dad (about 50), who slams on brakes mid-block and almost gets rear ended (HA HA). I watch as the second driver waits for a break in traffic to move left and go around the SUV. As I approach the SUV, the driver (Dad) gets out of SUV yelling “why did you spit on my car”. I told him because he passed me too close. He yells “Well I did not hit you did I, You are not a vehicle, you do not belong on the road, people in Hawaii do not spit on cars, how long you been here (racial implication), you’re a f***ing ape”. I tell him he needs to learn the traffic laws and that his actions constitute harassment. He gets a little defensive and says his honk was to let me know he was passing. (Funny thing is, I thought the honk was farther back at an intersection and did not realize it was from this guy until he admitted it). Goes on and on and then the daughter gets out and tells Dad to be quite.

She then gets in my face yelling; about spitting on her personal vehicle is harassment, on and on, gets close to my face and swaying the way gang bangers do. I tell her ”your really tough, aren’t you?” I take a photo of driver, daughter and plate. They get their cell phones out to also take pictures. Dad threatens to call 911 and I tell him to go ahead. I start writing down the plate # and descriptions. Daughter goes back to SUV and gets pen and paper, runs back to me and demands that I give her my information. I tell her that I will give it to the police when they arrive. She yells that she gave me her information (my writing down the plate #). I say, go ahead and write down YOUR information then and give it to me. She says, “OK what is your name”. I said, “NO, you write down YOUR name and GIVE it TO ME”. She gets indignant and again demands my name.

Dad walks behind my bicycle to see if there is a plate there (he did not know that my registration decal was on the down tube and my legs were blocking it from view).

I move off the road and wait for the police. They block the right lane for another 10 minutes, before wising up and the daughter moves the SUV to the side street.

The police arrive about 25 minutes after the call and the driver and daughter run up to him to get in the first word. I patently wait until the officer talks to them and then walks over to me. I gave my side of things and he says he is willing to file opposing harassment complaints. I told the officer that it would be their decision if they wanted to file a report (knowing that would put the pressure on them to back down or have a report filed against them). The officer goes back to Dad and daughter. Momma gets out of SUV and walks over to listen in.

Officer finishes talking to them and they all get in SUV and drive off.

Officer comes back and lets me know that he once cycled and that he explained to them, that since there was no bike lane, cyclist can use the lane and the driver has to move into the left lane to pass. The officer then said, “You won’t spit on any other cars, right”. I respond “It worked didn’t it?” He then recommended that I slap close passers and not spit again. (Did I hear that right, the cop suggested I SLAP cars)!

Well, three people got a lesson on safe passing. The spit was still on their SUV as they drove off.
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Old 01-20-09, 01:50 AM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
I had a little extra fun on the commute tonight. The following are my notes on the encounter.

January 19, 2009 1740 Next to Wal-Mart HZZ106 silver Nissan Pathfinder tailgated, honked horn and made an intentional < 1 foot pass on Lanikuhana Ave. I spat on back side window. Daughter (about 28) sitting in back seat, tells dad (about 50), who slams on brakes mid-block and almost gets rear ended (HA HA). I watch as the second driver waits for a break in traffic to move left and go around the SUV. As I approach the SUV, the driver (Dad) gets out of SUV yelling “why did you spit on my car”. I told him because he passed me too close. He yells “Well I did not hit you did I, You are not a vehicle, you do not belong on the road, people in Hawaii do not spit on cars, how long you been here (racial implication), you’re a f***ing ape”. I tell him he needs to learn the traffic laws and that his actions constitute harassment. He gets a little defensive and says his honk was to let me know he was passing. (Funny thing is, I thought the honk was farther back at an intersection and did not realize it was from this guy until he admitted it). Goes on and on and then the daughter gets out and tells Dad to be quite.

She then gets in my face yelling; about spitting on her personal vehicle is harassment, on and on, gets close to my face and swaying the way gang bangers do. I tell her ”your really tough, aren’t you?” I take a photo of driver, daughter and plate. They get their cell phones out to also take pictures. Dad threatens to call 911 and I tell him to go ahead. I start writing down the plate # and descriptions. Daughter goes back to SUV and gets pen and paper, runs back to me and demands that I give her my information. I tell her that I will give it to the police when they arrive. She yells that she gave me her information (my writing down the plate #). I say, go ahead and write down YOUR information then and give it to me. She says, “OK what is your name”. I said, “NO, you write down YOUR name and GIVE it TO ME”. She gets indignant and again demands my name.

Dad walks behind my bicycle to see if there is a plate there (he did not know that my registration decal was on the down tube and my legs were blocking it from view).

I move off the road and wait for the police. They block the right lane for another 10 minutes, before wising up and the daughter moves the SUV to the side street.

The police arrive about 25 minutes after the call and the driver and daughter run up to him to get in the first word. I patently wait until the officer talks to them and then walks over to me. I gave my side of things and he says he is willing to file opposing harassment complaints. I told the officer that it would be their decision if they wanted to file a report (knowing that would put the pressure on them to back down or have a report filed against them). The officer goes back to Dad and daughter. Momma gets out of SUV and walks over to listen in.

Officer finishes talking to them and they all get in SUV and drive off.

Officer comes back and lets me know that he once cycled and that he explained to them, that since there was no bike lane, cyclist can use the lane and the driver has to move into the left lane to pass. The officer then said, “You won’t spit on any other cars, right”. I respond “It worked didn’t it?” He then recommended that I slap close passers and not spit again. (Did I hear that right, the cop suggested I SLAP cars)!

Well, three people got a lesson on safe passing. The spit was still on their SUV as they drove off.
A little Machavellian, but it worked. It amazes me that the states issue licenses to people who can't remember the content of their drivers handbooks. The thing about your story that amuses me the most though is a simple fact that they were indeed caught red-handed harassing you. They got so angry because they got caught and could not get away or get away with it.
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Old 01-20-09, 02:08 AM
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CB, I'm going to make a wild guess and say they are recent transplants from the mainland. You may or may not remember but we met in Nov. of 2006 and rode together when I was in Oahu. We met at The Bike Shop. From what you told me of the islanders and from what I saw when I rode people are pretty laid back. If I remember correctly people who typically honk are usually visitors from the mainland in their rental vehicles.

After we rode together I did some more riding on the public roadways including out past Pearl Harbor and not once when I was on the road was I honked at or passed too close. This included riding on the Nimitz Hwy underneath the H1 before I had to take a turn onto the trail to head toward Pearl.
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Old 01-20-09, 02:47 AM
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Wow. What a day!

My favorite part was when after words were exchanged things escalated to an all out photography session!

Square & Compass brings up a question I've been pondering. We read posts all the time about angry drivers/teenagers shouting at bike riders as they go by, but does it ever really happen in Hawaii? I suspect it is a regional thing.
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Old 01-20-09, 03:04 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Square & Compas View Post
CB, I'm going to make a wild guess and say they are recent transplants from the mainland.
Sadly, no. They were local all the way. The daughter likely went to Hawaii Pacific University here on Oahu, as 'HER' SUV had a HPU decal on it.

Originally Posted by Square & Compas View Post
You may or may not remember but we met in Nov. of 2006 and rode together when I was in Oahu.
That was a fun ride that I definitely remember. Especially, the cheerleaders.

Since then, most drivers have continued to be courteous, many even giving more room when passing. But the 1 precentors (the 0.1 to 1% of drivers that choose to hate and act aggressive towards cyclist) have gotten much more aggressive in the last year.

It also seems most drivers have gotten use to bicycle blinkies at night and are now way to comfortable passing close to cyclist at night. I do not believe they realize just how close they are passing. No ill intent by the motorist, but still not cool.

As with everywhere, cell phones are the biggest problems now.
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Old 01-20-09, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JinbaIttai View Post
...
Square & Compass brings up a question I've been pondering. We read posts all the time about angry drivers/teenagers shouting at bike riders as they go by, but does it ever really happen in Hawaii? I suspect it is a regional thing.
Yelling out the window is rare here, unless they have passed me too close and got 'precious' (car) spat on. Those conversations are always fun.

I have not had a teenager ever pass close or harass me on Oahu. I believe that to be a result of most 4th graders on Oahu getting VC BikeEd training in school. The program is run by the Hawaii Bicycle League.
https://hbl.org/?q=node/18
The teenagers here are still not the best drivers, but they leave cyclist alone.

On other Hawaii islands, I have seen and heard of teenagers behaving badly towards cyclist.

I suspect the daughter in my story missed getting the training. Maybe they did move from another island after she went to grade school?

Last edited by CB HI; 01-20-09 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 01-20-09, 05:58 AM
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Nice story
But I'd say you were really lucky.
Cop could have just have easily not been a cyclist and could have taken their side, maybe even just arrested you without hearing your side if they cooked up a story and told him first.
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Old 01-20-09, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
Nice story
But I'd say you were really lucky.
Cop could have just have easily not been a cyclist and could have taken their side, maybe even just arrested you without hearing your side if they cooked up a story and told him first.
I think the fact that he waited calmly on the side and they rushed up to "defend" their actions might actually have helped CBHI.
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Old 01-20-09, 09:27 AM
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Interesting.

Glad the cop came down on the right side.

But don't spit on people's cars ... that's vulgar.

Slap the car, if you have to -- that's fun. But no spit. That's asking for serious trouble.
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Old 01-20-09, 10:22 AM
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My wife and I spit on parked cars - slapping them doesn't do anything and spit doesn't damage.

You don't like it, park in a proper parking spot, not in the striped entranceways.
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Old 01-20-09, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Caspar_s View Post
My wife and I spit on parked cars - slapping them doesn't do anything and spit doesn't damage.

That's just so classy in so many ways. NOT!
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Old 01-20-09, 10:28 AM
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Also slapping has miles of deniability.
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Old 01-20-09, 10:44 AM
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I spit on cars when I am walking in a crosswalk and they don't stop smash right on there windshield.
It may not be the right thing but it makes me feel good. In a helpless situation.
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Old 01-20-09, 12:00 PM
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Just tell them, 3 feet is generally considered to be a minimum safe pass, and you can't spit more than 3 feet. If their car has spit on it, it's evidence that they were not driving safely. If they stay far enough away, there's no way you can get spit onto their car.

Eh, just talking. Good job in the end. It'll be interesting to hear about if you see them on the road again.
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Old 01-20-09, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
Interesting.

Glad the cop came down on the right side.

But don't spit on people's cars ... that's vulgar.

Slap the car, if you have to -- that's fun. But no spit. That's asking for serious trouble.
Of course it is (for most), that is why it works. Motorist that engage in this type of harassment are looking for a reaction from the cyclist. They get off seeing the cyclist yell or flip the bird. On the other hand, they are beside themselves when their precious gets spat on. It simply flips the situation back on them. Which is worse, endangering a life with a car or spitting on a car?

I had childhood asthma, and sports (the adrenaline) is what kept it under control. Of course it required spitting to clear my wind pipes. Cycling now helps clear my wind pipes and still requires a fair amount of spitting. For me and many athletes, spitting is a necessity and not considered vulgar.

Originally Posted by BroadSTPhilly View Post
Also slapping has miles of deniability.
Other than this thread, who is to say I was simply clearing my throat and had the motorist not chosen to recklessly pass too close, they would not had gotten accidently spat on.
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Old 01-21-09, 11:42 AM
  #16  
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"Passing too close" is one thing, but how do you conclude "harassment?"

I really don't mind if cars are close as long as they slow down. Many motorists are under the mistaken impression that honking at you is a courtesy. Obviously, these people were also ignorant of the law based on what he said to you.

Still, so many people do so many things for so many reasons. I mean, I'm glad it worked out for you and all, but all in all it's a conflict I would have avoided.
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Old 01-21-09, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RogerB View Post
"Passing too close" is one thing, but how do you conclude "harassment?"
They were trying to scare or intimidate him through physical means. That's what harassment is though it could also be verbal. If he brought charges he'd have to convince the judge that the driver intentionally and maliciously passed close in order to use his vehicle as a threatening object. It may be difficult to prove, but that's almost certainly what happened. The driver can just claim "Oh, sorry, I didn't MEAN to pass so close. You know, I've never been good at judging where the right hand side of my car is."
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Old 01-21-09, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
They were trying to scare or intimidate him through physical means. That's what harassment is though it could also be verbal. If he brought charges he'd have to convince the judge that the driver intentionally and maliciously passed close in order to use his vehicle as a threatening object. It may be difficult to prove, but that's almost certainly what happened. The driver can just claim "Oh, sorry, I didn't MEAN to pass so close. You know, I've never been good at judging where the right hand side of my car is."
About then a good judge worth his salt would comment... "uh, perhaps you need some further training to help you visualize the right side of your car... Boom, traffic school."

Unfortunately that is not likely to happen, as the judge would probably think like a driver too.
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Old 01-21-09, 01:13 PM
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The thing is, as soon as you retaliate in any way, you jeopardize your credibility and legal high ground. While it may have been ethically justifiable, it seems that any action perceived as hostile on your part (even as insignificant as spitting) constitutes some degree of assault, thereby diminishing the gravity of the others' actions. I had a guy threaten me last summer: driving to within two or three feet of my wheel then, passing within a foot. He then took the time to roll his window down and yell at me only to turn in a block's distance. I pointed and yelled back at him, my finger glansing off his window. I called the cops and described the situation, when they later followed up with me they mentioned that he said that I banged on his window. They said that he could press charges as well, as if his assault with a vehicle and my inadvertant window tap were offsetting penalties. I tried to follow up with a citizen's arrest but the magistrate denied my petition. I guess it always pays to keep your cool.
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Old 01-21-09, 01:35 PM
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Why would anybody spit on a car? It seems like an action that will usually provoke a strong reaction.
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Old 01-21-09, 01:43 PM
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I've been mad enough to spit on a car before, but never did. I'm too worried they might go all road ragey on me. They don't have to have a gun, they can kill me with their car!
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Old 01-21-09, 01:46 PM
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It's a good thing they got schooled...but it sure took a long time! I can't say I'd be willing to a)get into it like that and then b)stand around for more than half an hour dealing with it.
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Old 01-21-09, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
It's a good thing they got schooled...
They did? From what I can gather, after a 30-40 minute time penalty the driver wasn't issued a traffic citation and the officer let him off with a verbal warning. Somehow I have a hard time believing that there was any deep philosophical conversation about the legal ramifications of endangering cyclists following this encounter. More likely, the driver (and rest of the family) have a similar feeling of "victory" that the OP does since they didn't receive any punishment, with the exception of a minor delay.
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Old 01-21-09, 03:30 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
They did? From what I can gather, after a 30-40 minute time penalty the driver wasn't issued a traffic citation and the officer let him off with a verbal warning. Somehow I have a hard time believing that there was any deep philosophical conversation about the legal ramifications of endangering cyclists following this encounter. More likely, the driver (and rest of the family) have a similar feeling of "victory" that the OP does since they didn't receive any punishment, with the exception of a minor delay.
+1. exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 01-21-09, 03:36 PM
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You should be proud.
40 minutes of your life will never be able to get back for................nothing.


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