I attended the hearing this morning for the driver in the video linked below. This incident happened in December. The officer told me he originally intended to charge careless driving, but the driver was, in the officer’s words, “such an ass” when contacted that he decided to charge him with reckless driving.
They allowed him to plead guilty to careless driving today, which is a roughly $300 fine and 3 points on his license. I did not speak to the driver, but his attorney assures me that he understands that what he did was wrong.
The officer asked me not to make the video public until the case was resolved, and it is. So here is a link to what happened. (Warning: NSFW. I was a bit angry and verbal)
I called 911 immediately, described what happened, and told the officer that I had video. He asked me to e-mail it to him, which I did. He called me the next day and said he was going to contact the driver, that the video supported at least a careless driving charge. He called again a few days later to tell me he upped it to reckless because the driver was less than forthcoming with details–even denying being there, until the officer told him about the video.
@ajbooth, Sorry we didnt connect, but it looks like you got a good outcome. Did you mention the 4-foot law to the officer? I know reckless driving is a more serious charge, but it would be nice to see the police gain awareness to the new law.
Also, I need to get a video camera; I see shit like this at least every few weeks – especially in the south hills.
I’ve been very pleased with my interactions with the Mt Lebanon Police. They take these things seriously. I did have a conversation with this officer, and asked why the four foot law was not applied. He said they went with the more serious charge because first, the driver’s action in passing me the way he did was deemed to be intentionally threatening, and second, because slamming on the brakes twice was dangerous.
He also said the attorney was trying to get this down to a “no-points” offense, but the officer and prosecutor both said no. He said if they did not take the careless plea with points, he would have pursued reckless at trial.
That’s great news. It’s so good to see this happen.
Makes me think of getting a cam, for sure.
On the vid: I used to ride that road when I was in high school. I’ve ahd some harrowing experiences on it.
If it were me, I would have called the driver a drunkard – it’s the curse I use for drivers, party because it tends to be accurate. Also, I would be quite pleased to go in front of a court with a video of me shouting “HEY DRUNKARD! What are you doing?”
Not that the guy was necessarily drunk,then, but heavy drinkers get road rage when they are hung over, too. A sober drunkard is still a drunkard. I’d bet a dollar that guy had more than 4 drinks in the preceding 24 hours, y’know? I could lose, sure, but I’d still make that bet.
The times I’ve been level headed enough to remember using your “Drunkard” line I’ve noticed that just about every pedestrian stops and looks to see what’s going on; And yelling asshole or f**k’er doesn’t seem to draw as much attention. Too bad “WTF-Asshole” rolls off the tongue so easily.