Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Investigative Cyclist Sting

I really have to applaud cyclist Jeff Frings, for his advocacy and efforts to educate law enforcement and the general public about giving cyclists at least 3 feet when passing. He's a Fox News photographer up in Wisconsin who in his personal time, rides a bike outfitted with cameras so that he can capture just how dangerous some drivers are and how close they pass. A cyclist sting if you will.

His cameras capture exactly what cyclists face while traveling on the roads. I see it all the time while driving and also while riding my bike. I witnessed a poignant example of it on the drive home Friday. As I was traveling south on Lamar in my car, I saw two ladies riding their bikes very close to the curb. As I came upon them, I signaled and moved over into the left lane to pass and then returned to the right. While doing so, I noticed the huge SUV behind me continue in the right lane and passing the cyclists way too close. Her SUV practically took up the entire lane. What really peeves me is that she could have easily followed me into the left lane but declined to do so. Not only did she do this once, she did it twice. Again, after the cyclists caught up with us at the next stoplight. I repeated the lane change and she continued on finally passing me. I honked at her to get her attention but she never even acknowledged me nor did she honk at me when I kept changing lanes to navigate around the cyclists. I wish I would have had a camera like this guy or even a tape recorder so that I could safely drive while taking down her license plate.

The video below documents his experiences and also the issues he faces when he reports the behavior to prosecutors and law enforcement. Wisconscin has a 3 foot law but it's rarely enforced because a lot of law enforcement don't even know about it. He hopes to change that. What better way than an expose in the media. Although we in Texas are very close to having such legislation, it's only half the battle. We still must advocate for education and enforcement.