Take these rational steps and you can help make riding safer for all
Megan Hottman is a recognized legal expert on cycling laws and advocate in the cycling community. She provides bike law education clinics and classes to cyclists, local bike clubs and to law enforcement personnel in the state of Colorado. This post addresses the question, What can a cyclist do if harassed or threatened by a motorist?
At one point or another we’ve all uttered some version of this sentence: “I wasn’t hit, but I was harassed, yelled at, honked at, buzzed, menaced, or otherwise threatened.” But what can you do?
The truth is, being harassed, buzzed (passed so closely from behind, that the hair stands up on your arm and neck), yelled at, incessantly honked at, had objects thrown at you (beer bottles and fireworks among the most common), or any other variety of these types of behaviors, is REALLY, REALLY SCARY to a cyclist out riding their bike.
Some days it feels like motorists see a cyclist as the “dog they want to kick” after a bad day. They take out their life’s frustrations and anger and unhappiness on us while we sit there next to them in the bike lane, or to the right side of their car on the roadway, just trying to get to or from our home or office, just minding our own business. We are vulnerable and often unaware until the venom is directed our way. And man, is it unsettling. Does this outweigh our true love and enjoyment of cycling? HELL NO! But do we need to discuss this? Absolutely.
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