Trying to Educate a Motorist Before Others’ Lives are Endangered by His Actions and Attitude by Fred Richter

I was biking east along a two lane road at 15 mph less than half a mile from my Elizabethtown home. 

A Jeep came up from behind. The driver stayed alongside me, close enough to be forcing me off the road as we approached an intersecting street.  The Jeep driver was certainly not coming close to giving me the four feet Pennsylvania law requires for the safety of cyclists.  At the street, the Jeep driver turned right, cutting in front of me.  Riding on the inside and reaching the corner at the same time, I had the right of way. The driver legally had to yield to me. 

Thus, twice the driver by not following the motor vehicle code jeopardized my wellbeing.  But that was not the scariest part of this interaction.

Turning at the intersecting street the he accelerated, exceeding the speed limit. I knew the street ended with the road being temporarily closed so I pedaled after the Jeep knowing I would eventually catch up to the driver.  

The driver blew a stop sign, turned right, drove into a parking lot and stopped.  I was right by his door when he exited the Jeep. 

I patiently waited decked out in my high viz jacket and front and rear lights blinking. He could not have not seen me. 

Now the scariest part, though the Jeep driver never approached me nor verbally threatened me:

Me: “Do you know you cut me off. Almost killed me.”

Jeep driver:  “I had my turn signal on” (First, he could have cared less he endangered my wellbeing and that’s the scariest part. Second, driving alongside me and a foot from my left elbow it would be extremely difficult for me to see the turn signals.)

Me: “By law you have to give me 4 feet and I had the right of way at the turn.”

JD: “I’m in as car, you’re on a bike.”  (I guess meaning I had no right to be on the road, which is incorrect, and he could then totally ignore my presence and run me off the road.)

Me: “The law is you must give a bike 4 feet.”

JD: “I seen you before taking advantage.”  (Never responding to my comment.)

Me: “Taking advantage of what?” (I guess, taking advantage by using the road that I should not have been on in the first place.  Which really has nothing to do with what just occurred.)

JD: Turns and walks away.

Me: “You shouldn’t be driving. You need to study the motor vehicle code.”

In summary, sure the Jeep driver endangered my life by ignoring two state laws that protect cyclists, but the worst part is he really didn’t care and thought bikes had no business on roads which are for cars and cars alone.

In the past, I have approached drivers who have violated my road rights, but they were more or less contrite.  Like “Oh, I didn’t see you, sorry.”  or  “Oops, I was texting my husband.” (True comment I once got.)   But this guy was absolutely unremorseful and consequently endangers every cyclist (and pedestrian) he encounters.

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