Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sheriff Files Report on 3' Violator

Mike K. and I were outbound on Upper Station Camp this morning, single file and to the right no less, when the driver of dually pickup slowed while passing with clear visibility and no oncoming traffic and proceeded to crowd us to the edge of the road, to the point where I hit the brakes to get clear. Not pleased, I then moved into his rear view, held out not one but 3 fingers and yelled "3 feet"; to which he broke again, stuck his head out, and yelled "get off the road." Having to get the last road, I retorted "PUBLIC Road." I admit I did appreciate him presenting identification: 654PVM.

This being about the 3rd such encounter in recent weeks, I had to call it in. I was put in touch with Deputy or Inspector (I'm not sure which) Travis, who I'm glad to say was concientious and did not minimize what happened. Granted, the coversation started with him questioning whether I was riding in a lawful manner, citing laws pertaining to cyclist's responsibilities. Having placed the call from home with the traffic law page of the FOGBEE website in front of me, I was able to clarify that a cyclist is to be as far right as "practicable", not "possible", and to cite the code number of the 3' law. After he explained my options and I expressed my desire to just inform the driver of our right to the road and the law requiring 3' clearance, Deputy/Inspector Travis committed to filing a report and informing the driver. Not only that, he took about 15 minutes to discuss the challenges for cyclists and the need for educating motorists on the law. He even thanked me for educating him on a few details - Double Victory!


coastdownhills said...

Good for you!

Doug_D said...

Hopefully the driver will be educated and not just become more belligerent when he sees more cyclists. It is good to see that the authorities are at least willing to file a report and contact the owner of the vehicle.

Chad Moss said...

Cudos to you all. I wish I had been there.

Tom_E said...

David, Your pro-active efforts is what it is going to take to improve safety for cyclists. We need such a stance before we read about a local cyclist hit by a car.
We have found that most law enforcement agencies do not know about the 3-foot law and won't enforce it and that the whole section on bicycle safety has been removed from the motorist Driver's Guide (our MPO Region #3 & TDOT Bike/Ped Coordinators are now working to correct that failure). I have added your report to our FOGBEE Hazards Web Page.

Nancy_P said...

Friday I was on Hogan's Branch Road and a Vintage green-blue convertible came way to close. I yelled and hopefully he heard me. If you see a car like that in the area "watch out".