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At what point do you call a driver in?

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At what point do you call a driver in?

Old 03-03-14, 11:11 AM
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banerjek
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At what point do you call a driver in?

What's it take? A threat, menancing with the vehicle, just messing with you, acting recklessly? Or do you ever call them in?

This morning on the way to work, I had the closest call I've had in years. I was already hammering through the left part of the lane on a totally blind curve with this jackass in a silver Range Rover floors it to try to get around. Of course there was a car coming on the other side and the only thing that saved me was that she was just far enough back to be able to swerve behind rather than into me with heavy braking. I'm normally cool as a cucumber when people threaten me or do stupid things, but for some reason, I was really cheesed off.

As soon as the situation normalized a couple seconds later, I through a WTF!?? gesture in the air. There is no way I held her up. I was doing 24 in a 25 zone, I knew from my mirror that she had just barely caught me and couldn't have even been delayed 5 seconds, and I frequently catch cars in that section anyway.

We both needed to take a turn down a hill and she made another attempt at a pass. But due to curves, cars can't touch me on that section if I don't want them to. I left her far enough behind that I could be standing by the side of the road when she reached me. I gave a five fingered wave as I memorized her plate.

I considered calling her in, but it occurred to me that I almost never call people in -- definitely fewer than a half dozen times in my life. Given what I don't call people in for, I tried to figure out what it is that made her special. I have a theory that she represented even more of a threat to others than to me, but I also wondered if I'm turning into one of those Portland yahoos. Not doing 95% of my riding along two lane highways like I used to has definitely softened me. I know the cops wouldn't do anything, but I'm pretty sure I know where she works and that could be a very different situation.

So how do you decide whether to call someone in? Or do you ever call people in?
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Old 03-03-14, 11:15 AM
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what is the definition of " call someone in" this is not east coast lingo ???
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Old 03-03-14, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by chrismorg View Post
what is the definition of " call someone in" this is not east coast lingo ???
"Drop a dime," as they used to say.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by chrismorg View Post
what is the definition of " call someone in" this is not east coast lingo ???
reporting someone to the authorities.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:20 AM
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you've already wasted enough energy just writing about it...if doing that hasn't helped dissipate the anger, then "calling it in" ain't gonna do a d*amn thing either except keep you cheesed off and unproductive
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Old 03-03-14, 11:40 AM
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If they're just messing with me I don't call them in - rolling coal, giving me the "you're number 1" hand signal, yelling that I'm a spandex clad man-who-prefers-the-company-of-men, etc....

If they pull a gun or something I might consider it. On the other hand it makes the ride more interesting so who cares. You can get shot walking your doggie.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:42 AM
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I've called several people in. Our club was told by authorities that filing a report is normally useless unless something happens in the future and it can be used to show that the person has a pattern of that. I have had instances where our entire group was almost run off the road and we reported it and the person got a personal visit from the local police.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
you've already wasted enough energy just writing about it...if doing that hasn't helped dissipate the anger, then "calling it in" ain't gonna do a d*amn thing either except keep you cheesed off and unproductive
There's no way I'd call her in now. If I was going to do it, I needed to do it right away.

Our paths just happened to take us right by a cop who was sitting at the bottom of the hill, so one of my options was to block her at a stop sign and make an issue of it there. But that seemed like an unnecessary escalation. Also, I don't want to become one of those guys who's always whining about traffic. Especially in Portland. This place is so easy compared to anyplace I've ridden it's not even funny.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
If they pull a gun or something I might consider it. On the other hand it makes the ride more interesting so who cares. You can get shot walking your doggie.
Actually had this happen a few years ago. I didn't call them in (because it was obviously a couple idiots just trying to scare us that didn't represent an actual threat) but someone else did. About 20 min later, I encountered these guys being arrested by the side of the road. I gotta admit, it was pretty funny
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Old 03-03-14, 12:02 PM
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I would ignore it and just move on. But that's just me.
Since I pedal frequently in urban traffic, I"m used to all kinds of yahoos.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:07 PM
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I'm just waiting for karma to catch up with some of those dumbasses who pass on blind curves. have seen some near collisions that would have been pretty ugly. people fly on the country roads around here with no regard for what is coming the other way.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:10 PM
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It is advisable to report any driver who seems to be intentionally threatening you.

You need to report the type of vehicle, color, as much of the license plate as possible, location of the incident and what the driver did. The police may not take immediate action, but you can ask them to file the report. The bigger that file gets, the easier it is/more likely for police to take action.

For awhile, we had a guy in a truck terrorizing cyclists in our area. After four or five calls to the police, they made a trip to his house and told him to knock it off. Haven't had any issues with him since.

Please note, you really need to distinguish between intentional acts against you and dumb drivers. In this case, it sounds like a dumb driver who thought she could easily fit between you and oncoming traffic. I have experienced that quite a bit, and I do not like it. But I do not classify it as a driver intentionally threatening me.

Also, I'm not sure what the laws are where you live, but around here, bicycles are allowed to take the lane. In many cases, I will ride father out into the road to prevent cars from trying to pass me when there is substantial oncoming traffic.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:19 PM
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This reminds me of a close-ish call I had last year. I was on a nearly empty county road with no shoulder and some idiot in a brand new (dealer tags still on it) truck decided to pass me. They did so just as another vehicle (probably the only other vehicle for miles) was approaching. The other vehicle had to go half into the ditch otherwise this moron would have plowed right into them. I guess they were just too focused on getting past the slow cyclist to pay attention to if they could pass or not.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Actually had this happen a few years ago. I didn't call them in (because it was obviously a couple idiots just trying to scare us that didn't represent an actual threat) but someone else did. About 20 min later, I encountered these guys being arrested by the side of the road. I gotta admit, it was pretty funny
The funny thing is, since pretty much everyone here in Texas carries a pistol in his car, if someone calls another in for waving a gun (whether there was gun waving or not), the cops are probably going to find a gun and someone is going to jail before it all gets sorted out.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:35 PM
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I called the police three times. Once because a guy clipped me with his mirror, once because someone pointed a pistol at me and said he would kill me the next time he saw me on the road, and a third when I was severely injured when hit by a car, to the point that reconstructive surgery was involved. I could not get police to file a report in any of the three examples. We are talking about Flower Mound and Grapevine, Texas. We couldn't even get the police to pull traffic video of the guy who intentionally ran me down.

These days, I record the license plate information and send them a notice on attorney letterhead offering an opportunity to avoid a harassment lawsuit if they settle for a small fee. I mailed one last week, we'll see what happens, lol.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:42 PM
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Haha good luck with that... around these parts in NYC a driver pretty much has to run their car up onto sidewalk, mow down a couple peds, be DUI w/ no license/insurance and the police m-i-g-h-t take notice
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Old 03-03-14, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SirHustlerEsq View Post
I called the police three times. Once because a guy clipped me with his mirror, once because someone pointed a pistol at me and said he would kill me the next time he saw me on the road, and a third when I was severely injured when hit by a car, to the point that reconstructive surgery was involved. I could not get police to file a report in any of the three examples. We are talking about Flower Mound and Grapevine, Texas. We couldn't even get the police to pull traffic video of the guy who intentionally ran me down.

These days, I record the license plate information and send them a notice on attorney letterhead offering an opportunity to avoid a harassment lawsuit if they settle for a small fee. I mailed one last week, we'll see what happens, lol.
I have to ask are you an attorney? If not I would seriously talk to an attorney or police officer about doing such a thing. Something like that can come across as harassment from you when using attorney letterhead. Sort of like false representation which might make the court (if it came to that) take you seriously...
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Old 03-03-14, 12:53 PM
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If he's not the Esq on his username is a bit presumptuous, since it's pretty much just lawyers who use that honorific in the US.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:59 PM
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The blind corner jackasses, always on guard for them and i get the feeling one day they will regret that move. (somewhere the sadistic part of me wants to see it happen.....but only if i make it out unscathed )
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Old 03-03-14, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Please note, you really need to distinguish between intentional acts against you and dumb drivers.
It's actually the dumbasses that scare me more.

Dumbasses represent a threat to themselves as well as nearby cyclists and drivers. When someone acts hostile or wants you to jump out of your skin as a prank, it's extremely rare (hasn't happened to me yet) that they actually want to hit you so the situation looks more dangerous than it is.

Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
The blind corner jackasses, always on guard for them and i get the feeling one day they will regret that move. (somewhere the sadistic part of me wants to see it happen.....but only if i make it out unscathed )
The problem is that whoever they meet head on will be an innocent victim.
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Old 03-03-14, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
The blind corner jackasses, always on guard for them and i get the feeling one day they will regret that move. (somewhere the sadistic part of me wants to see it happen.....but only if i make it out unscathed )
Not at all productive, but I sometimes think this, too. Had a slew of dbl-yellow crossers on our Sunday ride this past week, on a normally very quiet residential road. On near-miss on a blind downhill corner, well ahead of all us cyclists. Problem is, if there's an accident you have to dodge all the debris then stick around for the police and the inevitable he-said-she-said about "biking in the middle of the road" and "taking up the whole road" causing the accident. See, even my sadistic fantasies are tainted.
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Old 03-03-14, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by shoemakerpom View Post
I have to ask are you an attorney? If not I would seriously talk to an attorney or police officer about doing such a thing. Something like that can come across as harassment from you when using attorney letterhead. Sort of like false representation which might make the court (if it came to that) take you seriously...
The document is legitimate and cease and desist letters are not a form of harassment considering it cannot be construed as an attempt to make the recipient anxious or fearful. I'm not an attorney, but somewhat experienced in corporate litigation. The intent is to dissuade the driver from behaving like this again, not to get rich off my offer of a $50 settlement. I conferred with several personal injury attorneys after my incident, and then gave up hope on any type of compensation. At the end of the day, I'm out $9,300 in copay and in need of a bicycle. My health insurer's attorneys finally ended their investigation as police required a subpoena and then the $88k in medical bills was estimated to be lower than the legal fees to take this case to court.

As cyclists, we basically have nothing to gain from catching the people who do this to us. In most of these cases where a cyclist is hit and killed, a driver pays a ~$300 citation for "failure to stop and render aid", the police will not prosecute for assault due to a lack of evidence demonstrating intent, and then insurance pays restitution for medical bills but Texas courts rarely permit non-monetary damage compensation. In the end, drivers are somewhat free to run-down and kill cyclists with relative impunity. The Dallas area has a pretty severe problem with aggressive drivers harassing cyclists, I don't know what else to do to protect myself and I am not going to live in fear. I say to film them, and then put them on notice. I am fully prepared to take photographic or video evidence to small-claims court with a $1 damage claim.
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Old 03-03-14, 02:03 PM
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I usually reserve calling the authorities for times when someone is aggressive and dangerous, or commits an actual assault. Someone yelling, revving their engine, honking, close passes, flipping the bird, etc. is annoying but hard to do much about. You just have to accept that there are more horses' arses in this world than there are horses.

If it escalated to trying to run me off the road, pulling up short in front of me and slamming on the brakes, or throwing something dangerous (like a can of beer), or actually issuing credible threats, then I'd call the cops. I've only done it once but as far as I know nothing came of it as it.
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Old 03-03-14, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
I usually reserve calling the authorities for times when someone is aggressive and dangerous, or commits an actual assault. Someone yelling, revving their engine, honking, close passes, flipping the bird, etc. is annoying but hard to do much about. You just have to accept that there are more horses' arses in this world than there are horses.

If it escalated to trying to run me off the road, pulling up short in front of me and slamming on the brakes, or throwing something dangerous (like a can of beer), or actually issuing credible threats, then I'd call the cops. I've only done it once but as far as I know nothing came of it as it.
Eventually your luck will run-out on close passes. It is a credible threat.
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Old 03-03-14, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MagicHour View Post
Haha good luck with that... around these parts in NYC a driver pretty much has to run their car up onto sidewalk, mow down a couple peds, be DUI w/ no license/insurance and the police m-i-g-h-t take notice
If every time I got buzzed, I was able to collect $50.00 from a cease and desist letter against some reckless cager, I'd be rich!
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