Car/Cyclist conflicts: Road Rage in Fremont, BBs in West Seattle

Watch your backs and memorize license plates, Seattle area cyclists. Thursday November 1st Peter McKay suffered a punctured lung after being shot from a moving car. The police speculate the weapon was a .22 hand gun loaded with b-bs. Check out the comments on Peter’s blog to see the outpouring of support form the commuter and Randonneur community.

Earlier in the week police were called to the scene of a road rage incident. A SUV driver tried to hit a cyclist or run him off the road, apparently following him from the Freemont Bridge to Stone Way. Police were called when the driver pulled his car sharply into the bike lane, causing the cyclist to reach out and hit the car’s window.

Update: The PI’s chimed in with an article about tensions between cyclist and cars, specifically citing these two cases. As always, the ‘sound off’ section proves educational about just what people think about cyclists.

I’d imagine most of these incidents go unreported and un-responded to. So Huggers, have you had experiences like these recently? What would you do to reduce tensions between motorists and cyclists?



17 Comments

In Minneapolis this summer, a guy hit my elbow with his mirror, then decided to run me down and threw his sport drink at me, hitting my chainstay and taking a chunk of paint. Luckily, I wasn’t injured. I got his license plate, but the police and insurance told me without witnesses there was nothing they could do.

Get those licenses and go back for witnessses!

One of these might help: http://www.atc2k.com/. Only half joking…

Just had various people come up real close to yell and screech off.  I can never catch what they’re saying.

Recently, one woman who apparently couldn’t wait the distance of an intersection to pass me very nearly forced me into a line of parked cars.

It’s taken me years to learn how to not react. Remember that if you show any aggression to a driver, your also at fault. In Wa state, road rage is similar to domestic violence.

I don’t understand why the guy rode home, then later called police non-emergency number. “I’ve been shot. No biggie.”

The shooting occurred just a few blocks from s.w. precinct. Police would have been there in a flash. Perhaps someone witnessed the incident? Too late to go back to the scene for that.

What would you do if you’d been shot while riding? As a parent, what do you tell your kids to do?

I am not trying to pick on the victim, but I’m having difficulty understanding his reaction. Kind of the opposite of road rage?

He was possibly just stunned and in shock. I got hit in the head once while mountain biking with shotgun shot from nearby (one pellet and I had a helmet on) and was disorientated for a long time. I wasn’t thinking of Law and Order but more, do I have a head injury, am I going to die, etc.

I’ve been yelled at and have had cars see how close they can get to me. I know, hard to prove except for the most recent incident when there was no one coming from the other direction and it was a straight away. It helps if you get the license plate, vehicle description, and the police find a threatening note to cyclists taped in the vehicle’s window:

<a href=“http://sipclipandgo.wordpress.com/2007/11/04/on-the-dl/”>On the DL</a

Heather,

I attempted to pursue charges against a driver that brushed several of us with his mirror. And didn’t get anywhere because no harm was done. A bicycle friendly prosecutor is all we can hope for in intimidation situations.

Proof is what the police need.  How about strapping a hero cam pointing backwards during commute rides?

http://www.goprocamera.com/

A group of kids pelted me in the head with an egg on Halloween night as I was riding home.  They were lucky that I didn’t lose control and that I don’t have a short temper, otherwise someone would have had to peel them off the sidewalk.

I think it’s the buddy system. Commute by 2s.

I was riding through Innis Arden (north of Seattle) a couple of years ago and a couple of rednecks in a pickup thought they would have some fun by edging me off the road. Fortunately, I was going uphill, so wasn’t going too fast when I had to go into the ditch.

There was nobody else around, but a car came around the corner a few seconds later. Flagged her down and asked her to get the pickup license plate (which she did) and called it into the police.

Unfortunately, the Shoreline police must have had better things to do with their time (like get doughnuts) and refused to press charges, saying it basically boiled down to “he said, she said” without any other evidence.

Hope I put the fear of God in that guy that cyclists can and will track them down.

Anarchist groups (such as Critical Mass) that ride around in large groups purposefully disobeying laws are creating higher aggression toward all cyclists and of course the result is single bike commuter is the likely target of the outrage when nobody is looking.

You can “thank” them for making it safer for us all by pushing the borderline mentally stable people over the edge.

I certainly do not appreciate what they are doing for cyclists.

I read some of Peter McKay’s blog and now understand that he didn’t know he’d been shot at the time it occurred. My apologies Peter.

I live and ride in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Thankfully I haven’t been shot at yet, but I have had to fend off a minivan with my hand, and was told by the officer that I’m lucky they didn’t cite me for disorderly conduct for striking the car.  I have gotten a helmet camera that I wear every time I’m on the road.  It doesn’t help every time I get run off the road.  I am currently waiting for a call back from a local police chief regarding a near miss accident where, despite video evidence of the drivers violation of the law, only a warning was issued.  It’s very frustrating.

Unfortunately someone has to be killed or really hurt, with witnesses, before the police take an interest. Hopefully we will all stay safe and continue to be lucky. Seems drivers are more aggressive than ever and angry at the world. I continually have drivers pass me by crossing the yellow line, on hills too, and cause oncoming drivers to have to run off the road to avoid being hit head on. People have to learn that staying behind a cyclist for a few seconds until it is safe to pass is not going to make them late for anything. I am going to get a camera and see if having an electronic witness helps with any potential case. I have a website concerning the three foot laws that several states have passed or are trying to pass. Not sure how the law will be enforced if an officer does not witness the events. <a href=“http://www.atleastthreefeet.org/” rel=“nofollow”><a href=“http://www.atleastthreefeet.org/” rel=“nofollow”>http://www.atleastthreefeet.org/</a></a> This week I had to call the police after a driver did a extremely close pass and then swerved towards the white line. I motioned for the driver to move over with a wave of my arm after he passed. I was pissed. He slammed on the brakes, pulled over and yelled at me to stop and he was going to beat my a$@! I simply road by. he pulled back on the road, almost clipping my rear wheel (intimidation) then whipped it onto the edge of the road as if to say, I can run you over. The police said they could not do anything without a witness. I filed a report and they said they would pay a visit to the driver. Unless the person said something that indicated he was drivig, they would not be able to do anything. Even though I know I could pick him out of a line up, they said it would be his word against mine. Sucks I know. But even if the guy denies everything, maybe next time he will think twice about his actions next time he encounters a cyclist, runner or whatever. By the way, there was no oncming traffic, he could have moved way over to give me room. Just a jerk being himself.

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