Dangerous drivers thread
So I would like to start a thread where you can share your pictures, stories, descriptions of dangerous drivers.
Tonight my husband and I were riding home on black street between Negley and Chislett in east liberty. A car approached us from behind as we were riding outside of the door zone and layed on his horn. He then passed us within a foot to get to the red light. My husband screamed at him that he almost hit us and the guy stopped short of the light in front of us like he was gonna start something. Some older lady sitting on her porch yelled at us to just let it go. I snapped a photo of the license. Then we continued on our way home.
At that same moment, this happened:
YYV-5149 big black truck, another fucking horn. This one right in Millvale. The Versa in front of it had no trouble going around me.
— Stuart Strickland (@bus15237) July 5, 2013
Prior to the Versa, another pickup went screaming past me at half again the posted-25 limit on this part of North Ave, but at least gave me four feet of room, and did not honk.
This early in the thread, I suppose I should explain my term “fucking horn”. That’s where the driver lays on the horn either right alongside or just behind you. Not a friendly “JSYK I’m here” toot, but an angry getthefuckouttatheway honk, hence the name.
I will follow up on this on Monday, but to recap–I had a conversation with Steve Patchan, the bike & ped coordinator for the city. I asked him about whether or not we could report this kind of event after the fact. The problem is, for me anyway, that a lot of the time I don’t have time to call 9-1-1, sit and wait for an officer, fill out a report, and ultimately have the answer be “Send me the video when you get it loaded.” His initial reaction was “call 9-1-1 when it happens” but then he said that he was going to ask my question of one of the Zone commanders.
Sorry this happened to you guys, and glad it did not escalate.
I know most of us have stories of calling the cops and have the mostly disregard it, but I recently had a friend call the police and the responding officer actually tracked down the driver, and got the process started for my friend file “harassment” charges against the driver.
The downside: he is probably going to have to pay an attorney out of pocket to do so.
Possibly also worth mentioning, about a minute prior to this, I was first in line at the light at Grant and North in Millvale, patiently waiting out the red, which has a “No turn on red” sign. One person on the sidewalk mentioned to another, “You see, some cyclists actually do it right.”
Being that it was the 4th, I am sure there were other issues viewed as more important than a cyclist getting buzzed and harassed. Didn’t bother to call 911
This is from Sunday:
“beware of dangerously-aggressive large black pickup ZDF 1623 & FOP tag. Several loud honks, close pass on Butler St.”
Driver pulled up behind me and gave me a big loud horn–while I was pulling up to a red light at 44th. Already a little wound up after finishing a 25-mile ride on Liberty and Butler, the horn actually made me jump.
The light at 45th turns red almost as soon as the light at 44 turns green, so after pushing to get off the line I fairly well coasted half the block. Truck pulled up behind me and honked at me again, multiple times. At this point I turned around and looked at him, and he gave me a dismissive little ‘get out of my way’ wave. I simply turned back to the road. He honked at me again.
There were several parked cars on the side, so there was no room to move over if I wanted to, and I could tell from how aggressive he was being that if I moved over even a little, he was going to blow right past me and probably hit me—there was too much traffic in the other lane for him to get close to giving me four feet. So I continued taking the lane. He started laying on the horn again as soon as started moving again, but 46th was my turn; I stopped firmly in the centre of the intersection to make a left, and he passed me with about 18 inches on the right before roaring off toward Upper LV.
I thought about calling 911, but equally visible to the numbers on the plate was the FOP-donor roundel. Having experience trying to report aggressive close-passing motorists in zone 2 in the past, combined with the fact the driver apparently is a member or is associated with the police union, made me decide not to bother.
People buy those roundels so they can speed. You can get them just by donating to the FOP. It’s not necessarily someone who has any other association with them. So who knows, reporting the guy might work.
Edit: also it might help to get one for your bike…
FOP stickers are meaningless, most people who have one aren’t even active donors. Even if, by chance it was a cop, he likely was out of his own jurisdiction. In other words, cops don’t take those stickers seriously and neither should you. Just ask my friend who recently got a speeding ticket…
Cop story from NY
I did try to reach Stephen Patchan again, but he is on vacation until Monday. I’ll try again then and let you know the results.
Springville, NY? That’s right down the road from where I grew up. I’ve been to bars a one-minute walk from here.
The corner in question, in StreetView. Note the excellent sight lines in all directions, the street light right at the corner, and the four-way stop.
“To serve and protect” indeed!
Stu, if you know people in the area, you should forward the story to them. Sherriffs are typically elected, so it might behoove them to respond (I mean, like, honestly respond) to a situation like this.
A bus driver complaint I just filed:
route 61A, inbound, bus 5310
2013/7/18 11:42 am
I was bicycling westbound in the bike lane on Forbes near Dallas (before the entrance to Homewood Cemetery) and a westbound bus came up fast behind me and buzzed me about 2 feet to my left – I could have extended my arm and touched the back corner of the bus as it moved right into the lane I was biking in. This driver behaved dangerously and broke the PA 4 foot law that motorists are required to give cyclists. I suggest this driver be suspended for a week, as punishment.
Please speak with the driver, ask them if they’re aware of the 4 foot law, and ask them why they drove so close to me, and email me their response. Thanks.
I have buses buzz me inbound and outbound in the bike lanes on Forbes. My only thought is they don’t know of the 4 foot rule or they don’t think it applies when there is a bike lane. Most alarming to me is the frequency with which the buses cross into the bike lane. And Forbes between Squirrel Hill and Regent Square is so wide!
This is why I have my helmet cam facing backwards most of the time.
Yeah, but a backwards-facing helmet cam will never catch a PA license plate. I guess it’ll do fine for bus numbers though.
It might not catch a plate, but it certainly would help establish the chain of events prior to an incident much better than a front-facing cam, which might not even catch that much if one is hit from behind. Really you need both, but in the year or so I’ve been using it, I get more interesting info from rearward.
Even without a plate on camera, it would very much help identify a car if you were able to supply a partial plate number. “Grey Nissan with a roof rack” (from the camera) and BGZ on the plate (from what you could see of a car pulling away) would narrow it down pretty quickly.
Had a thought provoking incident yesterday- got buzzed very closely by a tan sedan, maybe a Camry, heading west on the Boulevard of the Allies. Caught him at a red light and tapped on the window:
“I guess you don’t believe in the four foot law.”
“You know what I believe in? I believe in RIGHTS! I pay $10,000 a year in insurance- do you pay insurance?”
“Yes, I do pay for insurance”
Light turned green, he peeled out and buzzed a motorcycle that was turning right with about 1 foot clearance.
At that point I realized his argument about insurance was crap, he was angry becuase his insurance premiums were so high, which was probably related to the fact that he is a lousy driver with anger management issues. There was no reason for me to take it personally.
Which points to necessity of two cameras with synchronized time.
If he’s paying $10k a year in insurance on a Camry, and based on the rest of the incident, I’ll bet you’re right on the money – he has a driving record that is “driving” his premiums, completely failing to connect his shitty driving to his premiums, avoiding any personal responsibility for his situation, and projecting his shittyness on others. Just supposing, of course.
edmonds59 wrote:If he’s paying $10k a year in insurance on a Camry, and based on the rest of the incident, I’ll bet you’re right on the money – he has a driving record that is “driving” his premiums, completely failing to connect his shitty driving to his premiums, avoiding any personal responsibility for his situation, and projecting his shittyness on others. Just supposing, of course.
Holy crap, 10K?!
Hey, that’s soooo not fair! The other policyholders at his insurance company should be defraying the costs of his reckless driving!
Dumb white car. Female screamed at me three times – twice when I passed her and once as she passed me. Very close. Very scary.
This came across my feed today:
Helmet cams antagonize drivers
The first comment says it all: “also if you are female make sure to wear long skirts and long sleeves and a high neckline and ideally a veil, otherwise if you are attacked it is your fault.”
PA / JBK5538
Overlook drive by the oval heading towards Greenfield Rd. (Schenley Park)
Driver honks a few times then passes me with inches to spare. (The opposing lane was empty.)
I filed a police report as that was not just badly behaved traffic but was assault.
There are several issues here that really incense me. I should explain for anyone that doesn’t know that overlook drive is a side road in the park. People park on both sides and frequently get in and out of cars making the door zone extra dangerous.
The road there has also been recently paved and is on a slight downhill grade. This means I was probably cruising along about 15 mph anyway but considering that it’s a park, I could have been riding at 2 mph and it should not be a problem.
What really got me mad though was the guy walking nearby. After the car goes by, I ask the guy for a pen to write down the plate #. He says no and follows it up with “Ha Ha Ha… He almost got you…” It’s REAL FUCKING FUNNY when someone almost hits you with a car on purpose!
I did get a pen from a person up on the oval. After that I had so much adrenaline pumping that I think I was passing cars going up hills on my single speed. I’m also glad that I resisted my urge after the initial honk to give the finger – who knows what may have happened.
Callahan wrote:Plate: JBM2521
Dumb white car. Female screamed at me three times – twice when I passed her and once as she passed me. Very close. Very scary.
I am pretty sure this lady has done the same to me. Keep an eye out for her… The car color and license plate # seem familiar and the behavior is the same as the encounter I had with her. She yelled and told me the get off the road. The passed me super close at an accelerated speed. Then I passed her and she did the same thing again, the second time cutting me off at the next light so I was not able to filter ahead. Crazy lady. She did this to me around the Hardees.
@callahan and @J.Str. I roll through Millvale a couple of times a week, and always have my backward pointed helmet cam running. I will memorize that plate and if I see her again, especially with a negative interaction, I will PM you with video and details.
Other than white, do you have a more detailed description of the car? Or her?
One asshat at a time.
Last week on the decaf ride there was a crappy white crapalier (I think) that passed a few of us going up Stanton ave. no close pass but she screamed something at me that I couldn’t make out and then screamed at the guy ahead of me to get on the sidewalk. May be different people but her screaming was unnecessary.
Well, after a long time of successfully keeping my emotions in check, I nearly got into an altercation this morning after nearly being left-crossed on the way down Beechwood. Maybe it’s lucky I was riding my new MTB because a few more mph may well have made the difference – but I was probably still doing close to 25 when I had to slam on the brakes to avoid getting clobbered. Since I was basically stopped anyways and realized he was turning onto a short dead-end street, I made the (likely ill-advised) decision to give chase. He pulled into a driveway, where I took a picture of him – honestly the driver wasn’t nearly as big of a prick as the (younger) guy who came out of the house and proceeded to threaten me, calling me “fag”, “pussy”, “you don’t belong on this street”, “you don’t pay taxes”, etc.
I managed to avoid getting into trading insults with him – I said I only wanted to get to work safely and cutting me off like that to save a couple seconds was extremely dangerous. The driver didn’t even play the “I didn’t see you” card – he said he saw me and I had “plenty of time” to avoid him, and he would have done the same if I were driving a car. Regardless, I felt like perhaps I could have had a reasonable conversation with the driver but the douchebag (son?) only continued with his threats and insults and telling me to “get off his street”, so I just gave up and went to work.
Shitty way to start the day – I was thinking what a gorgeous day it was, happily putting along enjoying my brand new bike (2nd ride!), on a quiet road near a park with actual bike lanes, and suddenly it’s a big bowl of turds.
I’m wondering how their property taxes dropped $412 over the last year.
At one point he said, “you don’t know me” – to which I obviously replied, “so? you don’t know me either”, and I considered extending my hand to introduce myself and try to salvage the whole stupid situation. But, since he was so f’n aggro, it was 2-v-1, and I was still astride the bike and thus pretty vulnerable, I thought better about getting that close.
Well, I guess I just have to reset my “days since losing my shit” board to 0 and go on… and maybe think about firing up the gopro again.
I went out for a nice ride this evening, mostly on the river trails to get away from cars – although for some reason I decided crossing the west end bridge and traversing the circle to carson would be fun… where of course I got buzzed a couple times – just enough to restore my faith in people being assholes. but otherwise it was therapeutic. I ingested some medication at OTB and rode the buses home.
Helmet cams are a good idea as long as you’re not antagonizing drivers with them.
I’m thinking about sending them some pizza as a thank you. Maybe 2 or 3 months from now.
Q – buy the pizza now. Deliver it in three months.
Makes you wonder how someone could possibly be driven to beat someone’s head in with a u lock. Not.
@salty, With bikefest just around the corner… one could put together a dead end street ride. That could be fun if the knuckle-draggers are home!
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