While another bicyclist is on life support today after being hit by a car on Davie Blvd., cyclists in Boca Raton took matters into their own hands. Apparently the driver of a Lexus passed them too closely, so they attacked him and damaged his car when they caught up to him at the light. Read and watch a great one-sided story over at the Sun-Sentinel, where they apparently only interviewed the motorist and the cops who arrested one of the cyclists. What is clear from the article is that the motorist honked at them as he approached and then passed them too closely (presumably in violation of Florida’s three foot passing law) and probably even hit one of the bicyclists. Now, even though I have had many incidents with motorists where I felt like punching them in the face, I don’t approve of the bicyclists’ actions here. Neither do I approve of the police taking the side of the motorist against a group of eyewitness cyclists and ignoring the witness reports that a cyclist was hit. At the very minimum, Barish, the “victim” motorist, should be charged with violating the three foot passing law. However, I have spoken with police before about a motorist who passed me too closely; and they refuse to do anything unless they saw it.

I think an issue that this brings up is how useless the three foot passing law is. As long as police refuse to enforce it and motorists don’t know anything about it, what good does it do? I believe we need both motorist education and a change in police policy and practice regarding this and other bicycling related laws. If you have any ideas, share them in the comments.

Anyone a fan of X-Men? Apparently we have some cyclists who believe this is a war and want to strike back. Perhaps they can form the Brotherhood of Cyclists? Others, like myself, want peace between motorists and bicyclists.  Shall we form a group of Wheelmen?

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2 Responses to Revenge of the Bicyclists

  1. Arthur Pewty says:

    The 3 foot rule is yet the latest example of toothless law making by the legislature in Florida. No law is worth the ink unless enforced by the police.

    Only laws that bring in $$$ are enforced like the stupid move over law. Who in their right mind is going to jam on their brakes on a 6 lane freeway where there is absolutely no lane enforcement and you have texting, shaving, reading, make up applying knuckle draggers driving 55 in the outside lanes forcing faster cars to use the “slow” lanes to pass.
    So what do the cops do, park a Dodge Charger on the right shoulder then give those too sensible to endanger themselves tickets.

    I have been observed several bike car incidents where the mororist was clearly in the wrong but police refused to issue tickets despite a dozen witnesses. The Majority of Police do not enforce the law when a cyclist is involved. Many cops are cyclists but they are in a minority.

    Next time a driver causes a cyclist incident tell the cops “I can smell booze on his breath officer”. The chances are good that he’s been drinking and even if he doesn’t get arrested it’ll be fun to watch the driver walk the line.


  2. kathryn says:

    I disagree that the 3foot law is useless simply because many drivers and some police are. The people to take this up with are at the DOT. When you got your driver’s license, do you remember ANY questions pertaining to the safety of pedestrians or cyclists?
    I’m also a pacifist and prefer critical mass over angry pelatons.
    Where are those City Bus Shelter Ads???


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