A Guest Post by Anonymous:
Be careful out there! Summertime is also roadway bullying time — a time when the roads are full of young drivers who have too much time on their hands. While I have no statistics to back me up, in my experience it gets worse this time of year (as I was so rudely reminded this week).
While hostility to anyone in smaller vehicles (or no vehicles, for that matter ) is certainly not restricted to young people, it’s also true that our current politics and society seem to encourage bullying for virtually any excuse at all.
I know that some groups say a post like this should not encourage an “us versus them” (cyclist versus motorist) attitude, yet let me remind you that bullies do NOT need a reason! If they don’t have one, they’ll make one up (e.g., “Well, HE didn’t run the stop sign, but I saw another kid run one last week.”).
Roadway bullying by motorists is real, and we all know it.
The only thing bullies require is a vulnerable victim — and, of course, we cyclists and pedestrians, having no protection, are the most vulnerable of all road users.
While there is nothing I can do to defend myself against a direct vehicular attack, I have been physically threatened as well — and I do have countermeasures (no, not a firearm ). What you decide to do is, of course up to you.
But there is something we as a community can do about hostile drivers who decide to use their vehicles as lethal weapons: sign up with the Close Call Database. These miscreant drivers are often serial offenders, and cataloging their behavior can help build a case against them when they are caught. Getting them off the street can save lives.
The database is only a private effort, but if we give it enough data, we can make a difference. If you sign up, you will also get copies of reports — and warnings — of threats in your area. The more data we give it, the better. For more on the subject of vehicular bullying here is an excellent article on the subject and the database.
Stay safe out there, everybody, as we head into the unofficial Start of Summer Weekend.