Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ride for Thursday, 16 August and hit by a truck

Back from a vacation in Newfoundland, waved farewell to the parents, and now catching up on past entries...

Rode in to Bedford for a physio appointment, just after the lights at Convoy Run I had a truck driving next to me about 6 inches away. I shouted through the window for the driver to give me more space, and the passenger laughed at me and flicked his cigarette ash at me. I was so surprised I just spat it back out and the driver proceeded to veer over at me. I swerved out of the way so all he did was nudge my knee, and as I stopped he stopped about 20 metres in front of me. As soon as he saw I was getting my cellphone out, he took off - not slowly enough for me to capture his license plate (EGM 233), the model (Sonoma) and colour (a particularly ugly shade of maroon). I called 911 and got through to the RCMP, who took down my details and connected me through to the HRM police, who in turn arranged for a squad car to come over.

The officer arrived after about 15 minutes and took down my details and recorded what happened. He seemed quite angry at the driver, commenting that such behaviour was "extremely inappropriate", and that I was perfectly within my rights to be on the road. We agreed that there was insufficient evidence to warrant a ticket, but he was more than willing to call the driver and inform him exactly how dangerous his actions were and what the possible implications would be. I asked the officer if he could notify the driver's insurance company, and the officer got a gleam in his eye and said that he couldn't notify the insurance directly, but he could "file the report in such as way that the insurance company would find out, which will be a better deterrent than just a ticket anyway". The officer left with a handshake, and I got a followup call a couple of days later from the desk sergeant to confirm the details, then another call a few days after that to confirm the driver had been spoken with.

I mentioned this to the guys at IdealBikes and I was told there was a letter in The Coast, the local indie paper, about a driver threatening to hit bikers. A bit of hunting around on some private networks found it:

"This goes out to all you cyclists who insist on riding in the middle of the goddamn road: FRIG OFF. Unless you can pedal as fast as I'm allowed to drive, stay as far over to the side as you can get, or ride on the sidewalk... I don't really care which: just stop pretending to be a motor vehicle and slowing everyone else down. You're not proving a point, you're just pissing people off. Eventually, I'm gonna give into (sic) road rage and give one of you buggers a nice little love tap. Trust me, it'll hurt you a lot more than it hurts my truck. - Anonymous Asshole"

The current suspicion is that this author may be the same person who hit me. If he does it again, now he has a record, I'm sure a ton of bricks will fall on him from a great height, courtesy of the legal system.

The rest of the ride was, thankfully, uneventful.

Distance logged: 24.707km
Time: 93:34
Average speed: 15.8km/hr
Max speed: 50 km/hr
Cumulative distance: 2814.479km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.29
Monthly distance: 82.254km
Monthly cost per km: $0


Blogger Jamie said...

Good lord... given your recent history I'd have been scared s***less at this. Good for you for taking it to the police and good for the police for taking it seriously.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 9:33:00 am  
Blogger Hannah said...

This is unbelievable! I'm as horrified about fuckwit in the truck as I am pleased that the cops did whatever they could to scare his sorry ass into being more careful.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 12:56:00 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

It is both amazing and horrifying that drivers get this angry and dangerous when they aren't allowed to drive as fast as they please.

Glad you were paying attention.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 8:35:00 pm  
Blogger steve said...

I'm now carrying a digital camera so if this happens again I'll have evidence. I've decided that I'm going to start reporting every incident of careless or dangerous driving.

Next step is a helmet camera, I guess...

Thursday, August 23, 2007 9:31:00 pm  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey Steve,

Good to hear you are back on the road! I have not forgot about that list. I have been pestering the last couple of days. :)..

What an asshole. Recently I have been riding further into the lane. somewhere around the right wheel track. I also always wear my Look mirror ($13 at MEC).

While riding the North West Arm Drive, I actually ride in the middle right of the road when there is no traffic and move a little right as traffic gets closer.

The way I look at it, especially when there is two lanes, I am going to take as much room as I need so that

a. People see me.
b. I don't get pushed off the road.
c. I have room to maneuver around potholes (Craters!!) etc.

I was recently musing that it might be interesting to petition the government to change the motor vehicle act to remove the "extreme right" parts of the statute.

As far as I am concerned now, there is a bike lane that runs right past my house, everywhere that I need to go. Its called the road.

Stay safe! Don't piss off the cops ;)..

Friday, August 24, 2007 11:20:00 am  
Blogger steve said...

Good call, Dougii. The restriction on "extreme right" isn't quite so bad, though; I just pulled up the text of the Motor Vehicle Act and the wording is "No person shall ride a bicycle on a highway except as near as practicable to the extreme right of the main travelled portion of the highway". The key phrase there is "as near as practicable", it is not practicable to ride all the way to the right if it means drivers of vehicles pass dangerously close, ergo it is legal to take the lane where necessary.

An interesting clause I noticed skimming the act was this:


136 (1) The driver of a vehicle within a business or residence district emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving on a sidewalk or on the sidewalk area extending across an alley way."

I've never seen a driver do that!

Friday, August 24, 2007 1:49:00 pm  
Blogger whereintheworld said...

its stories like that that made me decide to petition the city to consider expanding bike lanes in the city in their city planning session this fall which i believe is happening next week. if anyone wants to 'sign' the petition, you can find it at

and pass it on to anyone else who might support this.

don't know you, but glad to hear that you're ok.

Monday, September 03, 2007 2:27:00 pm  

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