FUBAR in OC

By Rick Bernardi, J.D.

Road rage is nothing new to cyclists. Sooner or later, every cyclist will be accosted by some driver who is focused on dishing out some abuse, when he (or she) should be focused on safely operating their vehicle. And when the vehicle itself is the violent driver’s weapon of choice, safely operating the vehicle is the exact opposite of what the driver has in mind.

Most drivers aren’t hostile, and many are even courteous and friendly. But still, some drivers are extremely hostile, and they will go out of their way to express their hostility, and even endanger our lives. It’s common enough that, as bicycle accident lawyer Bob Mionske reports, many cyclists are now riding with video equipment.

Now, just to be clear, we aren’t talking about drivers who are feeling a little annoyed because they saw some cyclist break a law. We’re talking about drivers who become angry simply because of a cyclist’s presence on the road—and then acting on that anger. These are the drivers who decide to take the law into their own hands and do something about that cyclist on the road. Never mind that the cyclist is obeying the law. These violent drivers don’t care about that. Never mind that the cyclist has a right to be on the road (and may even be prohibited by law from riding anywhere but the road). These violent drivers don’t care what the law says. They think the law is wrong, and they are willing to take the law into their own hands to enforce their own warped ideas about what the law should be.

[ Keep Reading... ]

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
Elections have consequences and that includes the one for the District Attorney. Here in New Mexico, we have Kari Brandenburg in Bernalillo County who, after scores of police shootings in Albuquerque and a Dept. of Justice finding against the dept for use of excessive force and violation of civil rights, asserts that the DA's office is not an investigative body.

Take an hour off of your training on election day and go to the polls.
# Posted By khal spencer | 7/11/14 1:27 PM
Thank you, Rick, for putting together this excellent introduction and explanation of this incredible unfolding story. The sheriffs (and DA's?) blatant bias against bicyclists is beyond belief.

In other news, the LA County DA still can't decide whether to charge the sheriff who drifted into a bike lane and killed the Napster executive last year!

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/07/10/da-hasnt...
# Posted By Serge Issakov | 7/11/14 7:49 PM
According to this, no cyclist in Orange County can assume they have the protection of the law. It would appear the DA is giving a green light to unprovoked attacks on cyclists. I am with Khal Spencer: Orange County cyclists might be well advised to organize against the incumbent DA.
# Posted By Paul Skilbeck | 7/11/14 9:10 PM
Nice job detailing this story, but as as a resident of above referenced county, and a cyclist, I can tell you that absolutely nothing will come of it. Orange county law enforcement despises cyclists and harasses them every chance they get. And if you get hit by a motor vehicle like I did, **you** will be the one blamed, **not** the driver. Been there. Done that.
# Posted By Greensleeves | 7/11/14 9:21 PM
To add to what Greensleeves said, one county to the south, San Diego County Sheriffs put extra patrols on during mass cycling events such as century rides, not to protect the cyclists, but to cite them in a zero-tolerance crackdown on cycling. There were several cases of cyclists cited for leaving the bike lane to pass other cyclists, something that is legal under the CVC. (PS. it's "PCH", not "the PCH". PPS "Cali" sounds stupid.)
# Posted By DaveofThisWorld | 7/13/14 12:19 PM