NBC Hunts Down Driver who Nearly Hits Cyclist on Chevy Chase

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Kudos to the NBC news team. After many of you called out the driver’s license plate, the news team decided to do something about it and hunt down the man in the video:

Claiming my friend hit his car is wrong and physically impossible. Let me break it down referring to the video itself:

 

If the driver was to have been assaulted, it obviously would have been done with my friend’s left hand which is visible from the start of the video in the drop position. At the :14 second mark, the two cyclists are passed by an SUV, meaning the driver in question was not a factor until after then.

At the :16 second mark of the video, we hear the car first honk and the first cyclist starts to scan behind him. My friend’s left hand disappears from view in the :17 mark, but the important clue is audio. You can hear the clicking from shifting gears at this point, which is impossible to do without holding both hands and staying upright at that speed.

His hands are obviously on the top part of the handlebars(hoods) in order to pull this off. At the :18 mark, the Audi passes the cameraman and the driver nearly hits him. There is no indication in audio of my friend hitting his car and even moreso, the cyclist’s camera remains super steady.

In other words, the cameraman had less than a second from the moment you heard the clicking to when the car passed to pull off such an act.




In order to my friend to have hit the Audi, he would have had to take his hand off the bike and you would have seen a slight veer to the right. Then, you would then have to see the bike veer in towards the driver to counterbalance the hitting motion followed by a second, highly violent jilt in the camerawork after the act occurred, which is clearly not in the video.

Try hitting or maneuvering any object with one hand while riding at a high speed without majorly altering your course. Your bike would veer significantly.

Even when the driver explains what happens, he states that the cyclist hit him with a very loud impact. Could you hear it? And if it was a large slamming like he implies, again, where’s the weave?

Exercise: While sitting in your chair, pretend to be on a bike and go through the motions of hitting a mirror to your side. You’ll understand it takes a lot of force to make that move happen, something that is not exhibited in the video.

And even if he could hit the car with his hand without falling, isn’t the Audi violating the state’s three foot rule?

At the :20 second mark, you can tell his hands are still on his bike because we see the brakes being applied just as the Audi assaults the second cyclist. In other words, had the cameraman taken a swipe at the car, to balance and grab the handlebars that quickly to brake would have caused another jilt in the camera work. It’s not there.

And if you’re in the frame of mind thinking the cyclists pestered the driver earlier, all that video is saved up too.

There are even more nuances in the video that are inconsistent with the driver’s statement, but I’ll let everyone else have fun with that.

But wait, there’s more. Look at this piece of the police report the driver filed:

PoliceReport

Fact: There are no bike lanes on Chevy Chase. He should have at least looked at google maps before making his statement.

There are sharrows(which are not considered bike lanes) on Chevy Chase, but nowhere before where the incident took place. You can check google maps and match up the video and you can tell the assault took place at the point where the very first sharrow appears.

Just match up the change in pavement surfaces in the videos with the aerials. The road widens at this point and then the sharrows appear. In other words, the honking and aggressiveness took place well before this point.

Also, his claim of moving less than the speed of traffic is false as well. It’s tough to read the speed off of the Garmin device, but you can see they are traveling at 22mph AFTER braking from the assault. Ted Rogers seemed to catch that they were at 27mph when the assault occurred, but I need a second look.

Now the speed limit on Chevy Chase is 30mph, so if we were to take the driver’s words from this statement, then he was driving excessively faster than the posted limit.

You can easily breakdown his claim of honking twice and many other statements in the video.

I also want to add a comment made from someone about the incident, just to have on record. It may be a family member, but I’m blurring the name out for now:

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Bottom line, the driver wasn’t smart speaking to the media. Any lawyer would have told him to keep his mouth shut. Instead, now we have his version of the story. And it isn’t very good.

39 thoughts on “NBC Hunts Down Driver who Nearly Hits Cyclist on Chevy Chase

  1. This driver’s main justification for driving erratically was that the cyclists were taking up the lane but what he/she doesn’t realize is that it’s not illegal for cyclists to be positioned there.

    Side note: Last time I rode that section of Chevy Chase I joked with my riding buddy that I would point at every sharrow just to make the drivers aware of their existence. For whatever reason, that part of Glendale is especially dangerous.

      1. How is going a couple miles under the speed limit “impeding” traffic? Add in the fact that there’s sharrows painted on that street… so in your mind are the cyclists only allowed to be on the street when going AT or ABOVE the speed limit, even on a place that seems to pretty obviously display signs that cyclists are allowed to be there?

        1. Cyclists should stay as close to the shoulder as much is as safely possible. And drivers should give at least 3′ and pay special attention.

  2. Hold drivers to account for their inexcusably nasty behavior. Let them keep their money and freedom, just please suspend their licenses for months.

    1. Sir, they should NEVER AGAIN be able to drive in a motor vehicle. NEVER! How would it make sense for a person with that state of mind to be able to have a driver license, which we are told is not a “right” but a “privilege”?

  3. Okay, I’m fairly on the side of the cyclists, but it’s pretty clear the one with the camera took his right hand off the hoods briefly at :21-22 and tapped the car on the driver’s side. You can hear thud. This does not constitute ‘assault’ to me because the Audi driver initiated the confrontation by driving like an idiot and veering into his friend. I would have been angry enough to react in the same way.

  4. The cyclist wouldn’t have had the chance to hit his car (it’s clear he didn’t by the way) had the idiot driver not clearly and aggressively swerved over to buzz the cyclist. He was obviously angry prior and had no business honking at them. They were not riding “two up” they were riding legally in the lane as there was no other place to ride.

    1. Again, watch :21-22. The cyclist does hit the car on what sounds like the sideview mirror like the Audi owner claims. You can even see the bike jolt to the left at the same time as the hollow sounding “thwack.” This is of course after *his* erratic driving. What we don’t know is whether anything happened in the moments prior to where the video starts. Basically I want to know if only the Audi driver is at fault or whether one of the cyclists instigated and is also partially at fault.

      1. Oh you mean AFTER the car ran them off the road and then slammed on his brakes and as the cyclist was re-passing him, hitting his driver’s side mirror. Possibly. But this guy says the hit is WHY he slammed on his brakes. He was pissed he had to share, blared his horn to try to bully them over to the side, when that didn’t work, he used his car as a weapon. Had it been me he probably wouldn’t even have a driver’s side mirror.

  5. I hope that the statement made by the driver is used against him/her. Just because someone does not like cyclists, they do not have a right to assault or threaten them. I read and reread the driver’s statement and see that the driver has not adhered to the truth. I am very glad that the cyclists were not physically hurt, but the driver has apparent anger issues that make him/her a danger to other users of the road.

  6. When you compare the video to his police report, it’s pretty funny to line up his honks with his story. “I honked and they did not respond.” Well, you only gave them one second before attempting to run them over. “I honked again and they became aggressive.” The second honk came while you were trying to run them over…

    1. I don’t think many drivers understand that there’s an involuntary physical reaction to unexpected loud noises such as a horn when the car is right on a cyclist’s wheel. That wasn’t a “Hey I’m back here so be careful toot”. That was a “Get the hell out of my way” bit of aggression all on its own.

  7. Notice that another car easily passed the cyclist with plenty of room, even with another car coming head on. No honking, no swerving. The Audi driver’s impatience was more important than the health and safety of citizens traveling close to the speed limit on bikes.

    The driver obviously violated the 3ft rule. And how exactly can you say your 3,500 lb metal machine side-swiping, by inches, a defenseless person who may have instinctively put a hand out for protection as you assaulted them? This was as assault on you? Could the cyclists instinctive action have possibly put you in a hospital or early grave?

    The Audi driver should learn how to be a decent human being and value life over having to turn his steering wheel.

  8. Unfortunately, the sharrow markings are positioned too far to the right, which gives a false representation that cyclist have to/should be farther right, as opposed to their intended and legal indication that cyclist may use the full lane.

    1. Not really. When the driver tried hitting the second cyclist, that was the first sharrow to appear on Chevy Chase. The assault began way before they approached it.

      1. Though you are correct. Each party involved most likely has ridden on these roads many times before, noticing where the placement of the sharrow signs are located. As confirmed by a clip of the social media response, the party of the driver states that the cyclists were blocking the lane. If the sharrows were placed in the center of the lane, as they should be to convey their intended meaning, there would be less confusion to motorists and cyclists as to where in the lane cyclists are legally permitted to ride.

    2. Having the sharrows too far to the right is very dangerous for cyclists! Any city that has put sharrows too far to the right would be, I would think, exposing themselves to lawsuits and those lawsuits would be based on negligent practice.

  9. When admitting to honking, the driver admits to TRYING TO RUN A LEGAL ROAD USER OFF THE ROAD. This is an incredible menace to society, equal to or worse than drunk driving. The driver should be immediately cuffed and taken to jail for the protection of all other road users.

    A wide range of transportation forms are allowed in traffic lanes, and in many states, bicycles are neither the smallest nor the slowest. The overriding principle on the entire transportation infrastructure (sidewalks, bike lanes, or traffic lanes) is that faster traffic is responsible to stay behind and pass when safe to do so.

    -full disclose, I’m a certified traffic instructor

  10. Too bad we can’t pass laws like they have in Spain. If a driver in Spain encroaches on the meter and half space to pace a cyclist he/she may be subject to a 300 euro fine. If a driver hits a cyclist they automatically loose their license and may have the car impounded.
    Maybe we can move towards similar type of laws to protect cyclists.

  11. I love how all these cyclists seems to truly believe the driver’s sole intention was to hit the cyclist and that he has road rage. As if you could possibly know what he’s thinking and his intention. Usually the ones with the road rage are the cyclists, as evident by how many of you want the drivers head on a stake even know nothing even happened.

    1. No, I suppose we can’t know what was in the driver’s mind. What was clear though is that the cyclists were riding legally. Nothing in the video supports the driver’s version that one of the cyclists hit his car. The video clearly shows the driver swerve to the right (And there was plenty of room to the left for the driver to pass). If the leading cyclist hadn’t taken evasive action when the driver swerved, he’d have been hit. If the rider with the camera hadn’t swerved around the car when it braked suddenly after passing, he’d have run into the car. That driver created an extremely dangerous situation and the only reason there were no injuries is that the cyclists both reacted well. Maybe it wasn’t road rage. But if not, then it looked a lot like calculated assault. Take your pick.

  12. No mention of the three foot law! Which, if the driver gave the three feet the accusation that the cyclist hit his car would be an impossibility. Wow!!

  13. The driver was passing pretty fast too. If the cyclist attempted to whack the guys mirror, he’d have been thrown off his bike at the speed the car was going. Also, it doesn’t look like the drivers mirror is askew. I’m sure nothing will happen to the driver, it rarely seems too. And the haters are still going to hate. I need to hook up my GoPro though.

  14. I have had similar incidents happen to me. I hope that this keeps going and something is done to help us cyclist.

  15. I saw this happen, I’m in the 2nd video coming opposite traffic at 15sec, you guys passed my house. I remember this vividly, so much that I stopped the car to take a look, that car almost plowed into you. Glad your safe.

  16. So what if he hit the car! Why is the car that close to him that he can hit it? The car is too close to the bike rider.

  17. There is clearly no bike lane and the cyclist are not taking in the whole road.
    The car shows he is aggravated by hunking his horn upfront. Its not a warning signal for sure. Last but not least… Even if the rider hit his car. it was probably not 3 feet away from the rider what is the law. He also did not directly assaulted the driver but the 3500 lb metal shield around him.
    HUGE difference with the 1mm thick lycra layer.
    They should revoke his license for a year.

  18. Obviously, the actions of the motorist are unlawful and I absolutely do not agree with it. But I am a supporter of cyclists. Because cyclists are more vulnerable, they must ride defensively, as if they were a motorist. Meaning, the cyclists should have been riding in the center of the lane to deter the motorist from passing, especially with an oncoming car passing. The cyclist with the camera was riding a little to the right, which allowed the motorist to pass closely within the same lane. Can a few feet make a difference? Yes, as evident in the video. This technique is taught by Cycling Savvy, a national bike safety class. Google it and take a class. Lastly, if one thinks that it is illegal to pass a double yellow, well it is, but most police officers will not cite someone for doing it to pass a cyclists. So, if cyclists do not control the lane when necessary, though undesired, a close pass can happen, or worse. Get a mirror to give you confidence and to monitor from behind when you ride in the center of the lane and you will find that close passes do not happen when you use lane control. https://www.facebook.com/balhallard/videos/735365289811623/

    1. The issue is intentional assault with his vehicle, not passing too close. The driver steered his car into the bikes path with the assumed intent to hit the rider or cause him to loose control and crash. The driver’s intent might have been just to scare and “teach” the riders a lesson for daring to be on his road, but the result is the same. Intentional use of his vehicle as a weapon against bicyclists he was angry at for having to share the road.

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