Thursday, February 24, 2011

THIS VEHICLE ALMOST KILLED ME!

We've all probably had close calls with vehicles while driving. But is it me or is it happening more this year?
Well, today, as I was at a stop light, the light turned green and I started to pedal, a suburban passed me within 1 ft. at a speed of about 30 MPH. Quite fast for the light just turning green. It was on a downhill and I assume he hadn't completely stopped at the light before it turned green.
He turned into the parking lot about a 1/8 mi ahead. I wanted to politely talk to him and let him know that he almost killed a human!
Well, he must have had a bad day, because he was in no mood to talk, and his family didn't seem too cheery either. I said "hey, we need to talk. You almost killed me." He kept walking towards the restaurant. I said "hey, is there a problem?" He said that he did have a problem, and from my interpretation he seemed more upset than just being in trouble for driving recklessly around a cyclist. He seemed to be angry in general.
As I stood in the parking lot I decided to call the police department and report the incident. A ticket can only be written if a sworn officer observes the incident and deems the driver to have committed an infraction. But, by calling the police, that particular department while have the incident documented for future reference as well as a prior "call" on the driver and vehicle.
I relayed the incident to the dispatcher and gave the license plate number.
I called the police Dispatch back a couple of hours later and they said an officer was sent to the area. However the driver must have left by then and the officer was unable to locate the vehicle.
This isn't the first time I've had a close call recently, and so as I rode home I decided that we need more advocacy and motivation for drivers to be more careful around bicyclists.
I will be making a website for cycling advocacy and driver safety.
Also, I will post pictures of vehicles that have driven dangerously close and/or recklessly around cyclists.
I would like to have others post their pictures and encounters as well. For now please email me your pictures and stories.
In closing I want to most of all remind you to do all that you can to be safe out there. Second, do what I did. When possible get their license plate, take pictures and call the police.
If you are reading this and you are not a cyclist, I beg you to be careful around any cyclist you see. Please slow down for them and if possible pass with at least 3ft between the two. Please don't talk on your phone and text while driving. It’s illegal in many states, but more importantly, you could hit a cyclist in a second.
Stay safe out there friends.



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