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Handlebar Camera vs. aggressive a-hole

Don't know how else to put it...

I was in Mt Lebanon on Friday, almost home. The classic "tailgate a cyclist, rev your engine, pass closely, then cut back in front" a-hole did exactly that. I threw up my left hand in a "WTF?" gesture. A-hole slams on the brakes in front of me and screams out the window, something about fornication. I yell back, he drives off.

I was pissed. I called 9-1-1 and reported it. The officer who responded was very helpful. He gave me his card, and had me send him a video clip, on which he could clearly read the license plate. Here is his message to me from earlier today:

"I will file the charges on him and let you know when the hearing will be. That is very good quality video. I will use it in court. Thanks for your help."

We talked at the scene about careless or reckless driving, depending on what he saw in the video. He said he is leaning toward reckless, based on the revving of the engine and the closeness of the pass.

I'll update the board when I learn more.

2012-12-18 17:25:24

Wow, thanks for making the streets safer. Really makes me consider getting a camera.

2012-12-18 17:34:09

1) Glad you were not hurt

2) Awesome work @ajbooth!

3) Thanks, cops, for taking this seriously.

2012-12-18 17:34:57

Psuedacris, #3 was the main point of my call to the officer after I got the e-mail. He took it more seriously than any other officer I've encountered.

I think the reason I was not hurt was because I saw it coming. I know I've preached about this before, but my rearview mirror has kept me from being hurt on several occasions.

2012-12-18 17:46:27

Glad you aren't hurt and you got footage. It's awesome that the officer took it seriously.

From my experience, people who don't ride think that bikes belong strictly on the sidewalk. It's quite nerve racking.

2012-12-18 18:25:37

wow. incredible story.

2012-12-18 18:43:13


2012-12-18 18:43:54

This is reassuring. Have had a couple less-than-encouraging interactions with cops lately.

2012-12-18 20:49:08

Opposite for me, KBrooks...I've had two really good encounters in the past two weeks. Once in Dormont, and now in Mt Lebo. Hope it spreads to the city!

2012-12-18 20:51:51


2012-12-18 20:55:03

Geat news. Thanks Lebo cops!

2012-12-18 20:59:59

Fornication - classic comeback... Kinda effed up we have to congratulate you for this, but it's way better than fund raiser for medical expenses.

2012-12-18 21:01:52


2012-12-18 21:16:48

He said "Lube your chain!"

On the note of the WTF gesture, I give those pretty often myself, but I think a couple of times they were mistaken for giving the finger

2012-12-18 22:09:32

That's a great point, Pierce. I hadn't thought about that, but the officer said that the driver claimed I gave him the finger. The officer said he reminded the driver that even if I did, that is legal, but buzzing me with his car is not. And he did that before I responded in any way.

The officer said that despite the fact that I used some colorful language, and on the video you could not hear what the driver said to me, it still all goes back to the initial event, which was him gunning the engine and buzzing me. Everything after that was incidental.

I can post the video tomorrow if anyone wants to see it. Warning though, it is NSFW. As I mentioned, I was really angry.

2012-12-18 22:17:54

This officer sounds awesome. I wonder if he is also a cyclist?

RE posting the video, IMNAL, but if it is getting used in court, you may want to hold off a bit.

2012-12-18 22:40:39

@aj, I’ve been hesitant to post this since I don’t want to suggest something that you wouldn’t want, nor something that we couldn’t deliver. But wouldn’t it be cool to have several cyclist (with helmets in hand) sitting in the magistrate’s courtroom to show support. I know this is a minor offense as far as the court is concerned, but the possible consequences are not minor from our perspective. Maybe it would let the police know how important this is from our perspective and would encourage better enforcement even without video. Mt. Lebo is just a T-ride away.

We should probably do this for the other upcoming bike related trials too.

2012-12-18 22:54:10

I would be 110% in favor of having a presence in the courtroom. I don't know how minor the offense will be, especially if they charge reckless driving.

Thanks for the idea. I will post the hearing date and time as soon as I get it.

2012-12-18 23:20:00

But yes, please do post the video after the legalities are final.

2012-12-18 23:26:58

If we go to the courtroom, we probably shouldn't all "BOO" every time the defense speaks and "YAY" for the good guys.

Just sayin'

2012-12-18 23:46:40

Aj and copm both -- good job!

2012-12-19 00:07:09

Fantastic! What kind of camera, by the way? I'm looking for a good one.

2012-12-19 00:32:57

Joanne, it is the Contour GPS.

I got it on clearance last year at REI. It records onto a mini-SD card. I upgraded the card to a 32GB card, and now I run out of battery charge before I run out of recording space. High definition, great quality.

2012-12-19 02:10:55

it would be cool to have an ongoing tickler-file of bicycle related court hearings that are open to the public. Just one or two cyclists at each, sitting respectfully with their helmets, would be a presence.

Now, I did get some feedback yesterday on the phrase "joint use trail", please forgive me in advance for "tickler file"

2012-12-19 02:17:13

AJ, good effing job, but watch out for that driver around town, especially if you ride the same route a lot. You never know when he may want to exact some fantastic revenge scenario, and it would be too easy to nail you with a bottle or something un-fun! Just saying...

2012-12-19 02:45:02

I thought of that, Val. He lives in Bethel Park, a few miles away from me, so he would really have to go out of his way. I will be extra aware, though

2012-12-19 02:55:49

I'd also be wary of posting videos here where cyclists swear at motorists. Some don't like swearing at them (at least in this thread) and may show up to wag a finger.

You'll also probably be called out by someone about how you should've been taking the lane or something. If there's footage, it'll be analyzed ad nauseam.

2012-12-19 04:09:20

Good points quizbot...I planned to wait until any legal proceedings are over. Right now I have it privately posted on YouTube, and only the police officer has the link. I could share it via private message if anyone wants to see it.

By the way, I actually did take the lane. I was in the dead center of the right lane. Guy was behind me, then buzzed me as he passed. I'm sure the magistrate will study it pretty closely, and at the end of the day, that's the analysis that will really matter.

2012-12-19 04:18:24

i miss your videos, quizbot. i hope you stopped posting them because you were seeing fewer instances of dicketry on the road, and not because of the nitpicking from your fellow cyclists :(

2012-12-19 04:21:09

Honestly, I have been seeing fewer instances of outright dickery on my commute over the last few months, and really haven't had anything obnoxious to share.

I really don't bother though anymore with posting small motorist infractions.

I do think that paint on the road (as opposed to pole signage) is definitely helping with driver conditioning / setting expectations, at least on my route.

2012-12-19 05:19:51

Modern times have caught up with my brain. I find I actually enjoy reading the spam. The disjointed bits of syntax are like some weird abstract poetry. Like reading Steevo's posts, but less profound.

2012-12-19 13:48:13

One observation I haven't seen anyone make, deserves fair mention. Though there will never be any one technique or maneuver we execute as cyclists, that pleases all drivers. Taking The Whole Lane is no different. Just as there are some people out there who need a joke or a book explained, some drivers fail to comprehend why you're taking the whole (damn) lane. It sounds like that close-pass was a byproduct of such an intellect. The Moral to this Story? I (PERSONALLY) only ever take the whole lane, if I judge it to be a relatively high threat situation. I generally consider those to be wherever a Maneuver or Line of Sight Hazard exists, etc. Just my two cents.

2012-12-19 14:13:26

[from probably soon-to-be-deleted spam post, above]

... I've met so lots of people, I've produced a number of new friends, lost some associates, remade old friendships, made a lot of individuals hate me, identified a new enjoy, ...

I myself would love to identify a new enjoy and meet so lots of people.

[yep, gone]

2012-12-19 14:16:06

I'm coming around to thinking that a camera is a necessary accessory for commuting in the city. I am thinking of getting one for my kid too.

2012-12-19 14:33:17

Val, my non-scientific research, consisting of observations since I started taking the whole lane, tell me that it is safer and less prone to close calls. This particular driver was aggressive--he tailgated me, revved his engine, and then passed very close. The only intellect involved in his actions was aggression. If he did not understand why I was taking the lane, and simply switched lanes and yelled at me, this whole thread wouldn't even exist. But he took threatening, aggressive, dangerous action against me because I was in his way.

2012-12-19 15:07:08

this is fantastic. I need to get a camera and start using it asap.

2012-12-19 15:21:29

I use a go pro hero 2 every day on my commute in. I usually mount it to the bike (not helmet). 90% of the time I attach it to the seatpost facing rearward at encroaching drivers. If nothing eventful happens that particular day, I just delete the file. I could be wrong, but the prominence of a live HD camera facing at the motorists I encounter really has seemed to keep them in line a bit more than without.

Certainly seems like everyone plays nicer when the camera is rolling.

2012-12-19 16:03:57

@len, nice commute.

2012-12-19 16:51:15

@val you are mixing non related issues. That is true that there always be a driver who would not be pleased by bicyclist actions. Nevertheless it cannot be a ground to take or not to take a whole lane. Sorry but there is no moral in your story. One should take a lane if it is safer. And the reason for it is that if one takes whole lane then certain actions are not an option anymore such as trying ti squeeze a car between other car and bicyclist. Or right hookng.

2012-12-19 18:20:07

Len, interesting idea to have it face the rear. I mount mine forward facing on the handlebar. I don't think it has any deterrent value for me, though, because it looks more like a headlight than a camera.

I did see something earlier this year on a helmet mounted camera being built that would shoot front and back at the same time. There would not be much hiding from that!

2012-12-19 18:20:49

I would think someone genius could do something relatively simple with a conical mirrored lens and an upward facing optical sensor that would record a constant 360 deg image. Like a low rent Google streetview. Someone do it.

2012-12-19 18:52:00

the way I see it, I can pretty much survive any unanticipted jerk move by a motorist that is in my field of awareness.

Its the rear end collisions - the "your number is up" type that generally I would like to have a record of in the event of driver negligence.

Historically, this particular type of motorist/cyclist collision, while not the most common, has proven to be the most deadly.


2012-12-19 19:03:16

I guess you have a lot of confidence in your friends or heirs being interested in reconstructing the last few seconds before the accident, along with trust in the hardiness of your bikecam's SD card -- also, PA doesn't have front-facing license plates in any case.

Maybe this sounds mean -- I don't mean it to. I'm glad someone's trying to make the roads safer, but what a thing to contemplate.

2012-12-19 19:26:11

No worries Jon, when considering the worst case scenario, it would seem to me that those moments before impact would be better captured on video by facing rearward.

True, no plate, but the alternatve is hoping the camera would capture a plate after being run over while the camera is sliding along the ground.

I don't have many heirs - but I do accept the inherent risk associated with ridng n traffic and the implications that go along with it.

I think we all are contemplating our mortality to a certain extent whenever we are navigating the streets.


2012-12-19 19:39:05

Thank you for making cycling safer for us all.

2012-12-19 20:06:35

I can't help but have two reactions to this thread. I'm glad first that you're safe and second that you have that recording, but sheesh... do I have to buy a (insert expletive) camcorder now!?

Maybe if it were a cheaper option or there weren't the forward facing vs. rear facing issue to compound it I'd just forget about it and go, but it also makes me a little sick to think about because of the position it puts me when voicing my support for more people biking.

Can I do that with a straight face while contemplating the purchase of a camcorder? I mean LOTS of lights is one thing, but this is assuming the unsafe as inevitable.

I'm going to forget about this for a while, ride safe, aware, and with courtesy to car drivers (I don't think Val was off-topic there, just, from my experience I get more close passing when I invite being passed in lane, so now I mostly don't invite it).

What I will NOT do, is spend too long contemplating my mortality.

2012-12-19 20:39:31

Contemplation of mortality is the difference between a front-facing and a rear-facing camera.

2012-12-19 20:42:08

2012-12-19 22:44:59

^Riding with that set-up would make my brain go kablooey. Like riding on a Mobius strip.

2012-12-20 00:33:29

If the image were flipped, it might be akin to checking a rear view mirror...

2012-12-20 00:54:59

It surprised me that as high-end as the Hammacher-Schlemmer catalog is reputed to be, (1) the camera doesn't offer any bulk-storage or offload capability, (2) there's no specs on the video quality, and (3) the bike looks a lot like what I rode in 1973.

But it provides food for thought. If I were to envision a device for today, I'd want a GoPro camera, an SD memory card,

and I'd want some sort of threat-response system that BryBot could probably spec out - something that calculates likely rear collisions ala TCAS and activates a powerful blinky servo'd directly at the threat vehicle.

(and just to go hyperbolic) Upscale models for police bikes might include an armor-piercing Taser package that would target the front engine of the threat vehicle, short-circuiting the engine electronics and rendering the engine an inert brick.

2012-12-20 01:50:06

The downtube shifters did catch my eye!

2012-12-20 01:53:10

@Pseudacris If the image were flipped, it might be akin to checking a rear view mirror...

If the images were not reversed, it might be just similar enough to a rear-view mirror to do some damage.

2012-12-20 01:53:46

I like having the camera to record non-critical things, like the little analysis I did the other day of the Smallman & 14th St pedestrian fatality. [link]

Most of the time, I just review the day's collection and press delete.

2012-12-20 02:00:21

Same here Stu. I have the occasional bad day, when the asshats are out in force, but for the most part 19 out of 20 days worth of video just gets deleted without even being watched.

I appreciate the thoughtful nature of this thread, by the way.

2012-12-20 23:18:03

@Mikhail "Nevertheless it cannot be a ground to take or not to take a whole lane.." -I didn't even make this argument or take this position. You obviously didn't understand what I was saying. And if Driver reaction is a moot point to you, then I presume you take the whole lane, all the time? I will go on record now as saying that if bikers routinely take the whole lane in Pittsburgh, all the time, you will see fatalities go up, as well as negative interactions with motorists. I drive a pickup, own three different motorcycles and five or six bicycles, and I can tell you that being in the middle of the lane doesn't miraculously elevate you to a much safer position (in MOST situations) in terms of visibility or Driver awareness. Any of you that are avid motorcyclists can probably speak to this very basic and elemental truth. And THAT is why I said I only take the entire lane in special circumstances when the situation calls for it. But it's your bike, your ride, you get to make the call when that is...

2012-12-21 13:57:02

@val I understood. Moreover PMTCC takes a whole lane when it necessary and one of the first rule is to respect drivers. We move to shoulder when it's wide enough, clean, paved. But there are streets/roads (and Forbes and Fifth are two as an example) where we always take the whole lane. 19 going through West Liberty, Dormont, and Mt. Lebanon is road where you have to take a whole lane. Believe me -- I use this road everyday for commuting during rush hours.

You are trying to convey to me something I did not say -- I never told take always whole lane. :)

And my point was that you cannot say something that is true (e.g. there is always a driver that is pissed off at bicyclists) and use it as logical base for a conjecture. Sorry.

And statistics shows opposite -- fatalities reduced in case of taking a whole lane.

2012-12-21 14:56:14

In considering your comments I wondered what organizations would've actually done a coherent study on the topic. In searching, I came across this excellent graphic, for those of you who haven't seen it. This looks like a great tool for illustrating to motorists why cyclists ride as they do.

2012-12-21 16:53:36

@val If you just to try search for "" on this board then you would immediately find that this link is pretty well known here. or

The second link also well known. And it's one of the many schools of thoughts. Someone could agree someone could disagree. You (and me) as a driver should remember that speed limit is not right to ride always at this speed.

BTW you again mix "always" and "when appropirate or necessary".

2012-12-21 18:35:23

I'm not sure what you mean by mixing but I will take your word for it. I had never even heard of that site, so wouldn't have thought to search this board for it. But it seems like they must be pretty decent. I most definitely agree with you about the posted speed limit and what's realistic and/or safe. I almost always drive at below the speed limit just because it makes good sense in a lot of ways. It certainly does seem like most drivers can be careless at times, or worse. I'm always amazed at the way motorists drive at the same speeds as always, even in a downpour. I am always extremely grateful when I meet the occasional polite driver.

2012-12-22 00:26:42

@val By mixing I meant that no one give an advice to take whole lane ALWAYS. It depends on situation. And in case when there is no way to safely pass then take a lane. 19 through West Liberty, Dormont, Mt. Lebanon is 4 lane road (two in each direction) and one could be used as a parking lane during certain periods of day. And no shoulder at all. Shoulder appears in Upper St. Clair just after it goes over McLaughlin Rd (past USC High School). By that time speed limit is 45, people are flying up to 60 and you can find USC police "undercover" car waiting for those drivers. I know all our police cars and many officers (personally). :)

Any good advice could be not so good or even bad under some conditions. In this sense, I believe, no one here is going to say do it always so I (and other people) would agree with you that sometimes one should not take a whole line. The same 19 in USC -- I would not advise to take a whole lane. I would not advise even to use it for biking.

2012-12-22 13:47:51

Speaking of narrow, dangerous roads, I want to ride down to Ambridge and cross the river there, then return up 51. But from what I recall, there are sections that have no shoulder, and are somewhat twisty with reduced line of sight. Is anyone intimately familiar with that section of road, enough to give a thumbs up or thumbs down? Any information is good, thanks.

2012-12-22 15:54:44

The Ambridge bridge is open, but the sidewalk is hard closed. The roadway is restricted-width by jersey barriers with construction still ongoing.

So, to use the Ambridge Bridge you're in the lane. A car could only pass you by crossing the centerline. It's not bad, just info. I've been across it a few times recently and everybody cooperated nicely.

Route 51, both directions, North of the Ambridge Bridge has no consistent shoulder and its 55mph, yet it's also a State Bike Route and has ShareTheRoad signs.

51-South, from about a half-mile south of the Ambridge Bridge in Crescent Township is IMO what most would call bike-friendly; intermittent shoulder and 35mph, and they're pretty serious about enforcing the speed limit so the cars tend to really do 35.

2012-12-22 16:19:16

That is far more positive than what I expected to hear about the route. I've driven it once and vaguely remembered liking the higher-up section, looking down on the river and industrial areas. Thanks a lot for the info, I look forward to riding it, and making it part of a longer, flatter ride that takes me through town, upriver and back to Ben Avon.

2012-12-22 17:41:49

I'm not sure which direction you're approaching Ambridge Bridge from, but there's a route from Sewickley Starbucks via Beaver Street that parallels Route65 and delivers you into the south end of the Ambridge business district on Merchant Street, then turn left on 11th to get on the Ambridge Bridge. You'll pass by a great local bike shop, Ambridge Bike Shop.

2012-12-22 18:31:18

I'll be doing a counter-clockwise loop of sorts, beginning in Ben Avon, through Sewickley toward Ambridge, back up the 51 and through the Bottoms, to town, etc... I've heard of that bike shop before and meant to visit it. Do you know if there's a coffee shop nearby? I'm looking forward to this, I may even give it a whirl, tomorrow...

2012-12-23 01:09:18

@val Correct me if I am wrong but you are trying to communicate a very simple and base idea -- don't do something to piss off someone else just to piss him/her off. Avoid fight when it's possible to avoid without sacrificing too much.

2012-12-23 02:25:48

Mikhail, are you asking if that's what I was trying to convey? I guess you could put it that way, I would sum it up as, taking the lane isn't always the best thing to do. I wasn't presuming to tell anyone how they should ride, but responding to something or things others had written. I was merely positing a different perspective for consideration. Nothing more, nothing less.

2012-12-23 03:59:03

Well I know I said earlier that I don't want to contemplate buying a camera. I still don't. But in the light of my recent experience having my mirror clipped going up Greenfield Avenue and a feeling of having comparatively let others down by not having the solid info in place to catch the bastard, I'm definitely on the market now.

Looking for something cheap, all weather obviously, and convenient. Ideal would be something I can hit one button, start recording and continue overwriting oldest stuff you don't have space for so you always have last minutes of video, hit another button, stop, hit another, erase all video, plug into the computer through standard (usb, sd card) interface to the video, and not have to keep charging all the time (once a week would be ideal). Don't care a lick about anything else. What fits the bill?

2013-01-04 19:45:46

Actually, anyone ever tried using their smartphone for this? Would require an interestingly jury-rigged mount, but ~maybe~ could work, no!?

2013-01-04 21:49:46

I use a ContourROAM that was ~$175 or $200 (I don't remember). No option to automatically overwrite old files. It does have one-motion recording via a sliding switch on top which starts/stops recording. You can download software to alter the capture settings (480,720,1080 resolution). My commute is only about 30-40 minutes per day and I only have to recharge once a week while recording at 720 quality. Higher quality = less battery. There's a status button which will indicate the level of storage and battery available through a red/yellow/green light system.

2013-01-04 22:19:54

I see all kinds of problems with using a smartphone beyond mounting, such as field of view, resolution, battery power, etc. But a big advantage would be programmability and connectivity. Something like a video camera running Android would be a very cool platform for this, I think.

2013-01-05 00:53:31

I am reasonably happy with the camera I have, which I have mounted on my helmet rather than the handlebars. It's a Swann Freestyle HD that I picked upon last April for about $150. Takes 1080p video for about 2 hours. In my experience, the battery craps out before the memory does, but as an entry level camera, it does OK.

2013-01-05 17:22:25

I just jury-rigged my phone to my helmet with a wire hanger, and some knotted wire and packing tape to hold it onto the helmet (still don't have zip ties, those would be a cleaner solution).

It looks hilariously trashy, but it seems surprisingly robust. Admittedly, haven't tested with a crash yet, but jumped around like an idiot with the helmet on, and then took the helmet off for some serious shaking including upside down. Didn't even slip.

And the video quality is pretty good IMHO. Field of view may be an issue but looks reasonable. Battery life is good enough for my commute, probably about 2 hours total? Anyways, I need to keep my cell phone charged anyway, so no new hassles added really. I plan to start recording my rides on Monday assuming no precip.

If that works well I will post details, maybe a sample video, and seriously explore the programmability angle. There's a lot you could do with this. I'm excited.

2013-01-06 01:49:23

Good proof of concept cell phone mounted to helmet with wire hanger on the ride in today. Unfortunately, the aim was high... lot of trees, streetlights and skyscrapers once downtown.

Will be correcting that before the ride home. But I now count myself among the enforcers, and that's just awesome.

2013-01-07 17:42:15

I also got a helmet cam recently. It goes on its maiden voyage (in Pittsburgh) tomorrow. I used it briefly in Florida over xmas just to try it out.

Maybe I'll finally get my pickup-driving close passing nemesis on record :)

2013-01-07 18:10:46

I know I have mentioned this to some of you when I see you in person and we start talking about helmet cams but I have taken to wearing mine whenever I ride. most of the time it is turned on (when I remember and when I remember to put fresh batteries in) but even if the batteries are dead I wear make a habit of "adjusting" it when I stop at intersections. I find that this draws attention to it. I believe that drivers are much more courteous when they know they are being recorded.

2013-01-10 00:49:44

I am actually considering getting a rear facing camera for deterrent value alone since my improvised helmet cam is more in front than on top and would not necessarily be recognized as such. Only good for proving the case after the fact.

The good thing if that's your goal, it can be a total bluff, broken is fine, and then you can pick it up for nothing... if you know someone with it. I might even just start with an old water damaged cell phone since I have it on hand. Just wish the lens were more conspicuous.

2013-01-10 01:17:38

Aha! Helmet cam was rolling today when the pickup guy passed me too close - but this time on my way to work. I have a gazillion meetings today, so I won't be able to check footage until tonight. Hopefully it was light enough to catch him.

Looking forward to calling Crafton PD if I have reasonable video. For the record, this is the 4th time I've been passed too closely by the same truck.

2013-01-10 12:57:41

Oh, man, hoping...

2013-01-10 13:12:49

2013-01-10 13:12:50

Good luck pinky!

That's a really good deal on the Roam BTW. I've been using it for over a year and it's been very reliable. Low light is an issue but otherwise no complaints.

2013-01-10 15:56:38

@rr Thanx! I just bought it. :)

2013-01-10 22:24:00

OK. Here are the videos. He buzzed us (hubby and I commute together) both on the way to work, and on the way home. I can't get the YouTube upload to work tonight, but Contour's website will suffice:

Morning commute buzz

Evening commute buzz

Ignore my awful voice. I'm the chatty type while biking.

So now what? Call the cops? What does everyone else do at this point?

2013-01-11 01:21:56

So now what?

Pinky, may I ask, do either of the videos give you a solid view of the license plate?

If Yes, then I think you call up the Police who have jurisdiction over the area where it's happening, say There's a Driver Repeatedly Harrassing Me and Ive Got His License Plate.

If nobody can identify the vehicle, I'm kind of stumped to think of what the Police could do. You might try a media-move, call a bike friendly reporter but that's a limited-probability play.

2013-01-11 02:34:32

I would stop by the PD and talk to them. Be polite but firm. Tell them that this has happened repeatedly with this same vehicle; they are putting you and others in danger & tell them you have it on video. If the police say there is nothing they can do, then you may want to talk to a reporter. (Also, make sure to get names of officers you talk to).

2013-01-11 03:45:46

I'd vote for call the cops...I watched and could not see a plate, but you can give them a real good description of the vehicle, and high-resolution video. Ask them what you should do. At least get a report on file.

2013-01-11 04:02:39

I couldn't get the morning video to load, but the evening video clearly shows that truck's tires following a path easily 18-24" to the right of the half dozen cars that preceded it.

2013-01-11 07:27:57

If you get a visual id of the plate number and description of the driver, in combination with the video, I would think that would be enough to take to the Police and have them pay him a visit.

It should be possible to get the plate between the 2 of you, as soon as the hindmost one sees the truck, call it out to the forward.

2013-01-11 11:21:14

I have a visual but no video on the plate - it's how I know it's the same vehicle every time.

I've never actually seen the driver of this vehicle, but I see the vehicle like clockwork every time I commute.

I think I'm going to change my camera settings and try to get a clearer view. I want clear, clear evidence of the harassment before I take my case to the cops. Maybe I'll point my camera backwards one day to try to get the driver.

And as morbid as this is, I've previously posted the plate on another thread, just so you all know in case this guy misjudges the buzz next time.

2013-01-11 13:02:53

As long as you know what the plate number is, I don't think it's essential that you see it on the video. So you talk to the Police, show them a video buzz, give them the license plate from your visual observation, they go see the guy and the truck matches the video - ding ding ding.

As long as you've somehow got the plate number, I think it's time to go talk to the Man.

2013-01-11 14:23:25

Yeah, indeed, who knows if tomorrow won't be the day he miscalculates, get a bit too close, and knocks you off your bike. Don't delay. You don't lose anything by reporting him in any case.

2013-01-11 14:29:26

Have the URLs ready. You've got written record here that it is a repeated occurrence.

2013-01-11 14:32:51

Looking at the video it looks like this is happening in City jurisdiction? So I suppose you would go to the City station right down in the West End. But yeah, 4+ incidents, plate #, and video, I'd think you have enough to go.

2013-01-11 14:42:46

OK I think I'll stop in the police station in West End this weekend. I didn't bike today, so I'll be as safe as one can be in a car (oh the irony!).

Edmonds, you're right that it's happening either in West End or in Crafton Heights, which is city. Though the driver definitely comes to/from Crafton. It's just that our commutes haven't coincided that early/late yet.

2013-01-11 16:10:38

I would suggest putting the video on DVD, or a thumb drive, and taking it with you when you go. At least from my experience, actually having it to hand someone gets much more attention that saying you have it. And good luck. You should not have to put up with this crap, and I hope they can do something about it.

2013-01-11 16:36:50

Next time you see this guy when you're rolling video, assuming this happens again before you get to the police, try to read the plate (first letter will always be "Y" on a truck), and then YELL IT so it can be heard on the video.

But I wouldn't wait for another incident. You have enough to go on, and as you said, you have the plate already. I'm mainly saying this for anyone else in a similar situation who might happen upon this thread later.

2013-01-11 17:53:06

Pinky - if I may, No not the weekend!

Sorry to intrude, but only junior people will be there on the weekend.

2013-01-11 18:14:12

What about weekday evenings? Pursuing this during business hours is really not an option - especially for the next couple of weeks.

2013-01-11 19:49:18

What about calling the report in and meeting a police officer somewhere? Would that work?

2013-01-11 20:03:06

Update: I decided that going this morning was better than putting it off until some perfect time in the future that may never happen. I filed an official report for harassment. The officer taking my report was very nice and professional, and she was impressed that I have helmet cam footage. I should expect a detective to call me in the next day or so to follow up on the details.

2013-01-12 15:16:43

Good for you. The pickup drivers sure are ones I am always looking out for. Really, any chest pounding vehicle like that is always a concern.

2013-01-12 15:34:02

Thanks for helping make the streets safer for all of us.

2013-01-12 16:24:08

You go Pinky, good luck.

2013-01-12 16:29:19

Sounds like progress, keep us posted.

2013-01-12 18:16:41

Hopefully final update (and mini novel):

Today a detective from the Pgh police called me. She was really professional and concerned and nice. Turns out that the plate they ran on Saturday had a typo in it, and once she reran it with the info I gave her, it came back to a pickup registered to a Crafton resident.

The detective asked me what I wanted to do after she talked to the driver. She was confident that I had enough information to press charges for harassment, which is a citation offense (I think that means just a fine, like a ticket). She said she could even talk to the DA and see if there was room for a REAP (or something like that - it's reckless endangerment of a person and a much more serious offense). I told her that I didn't want to decide yet, and that I mostly wanted it to stop.

Fast forward two hours, and she called me back. She talked to the driver, who drives on the route I described. He says he had no idea that he was buzzing me, and that he remembered seeing bikes but that was it. She told him that there is video of him purposely swerving toward me and then away.

For reasons I won't get into here, this man will be in serious shit if he has anything on his record. He was very upset and told the detective repeatedly that he was sorry and wished he could apologize to me. He has even sworn to start taking a different road to avoid "being accused."

She told him that another incident will translate into an arrest and that he needs to knock it off.

She called me, filled me in. We agreed that this is a good place to leave things. If there is even one more incident, she will help me press charges.

I'm very happy with how the cops at Zone 6 handled this. So thanks to them for listening to me and acting promptly.

- -

The end

- -

2013-01-14 23:12:26

I like it.

2013-01-14 23:29:07

Well done Pinky! Very nice.

2013-01-15 00:33:34

Fantastic! Great job!

2013-01-15 02:23:28

Great Pinky! It's so nice to hear about this happening! Thatnks for stepping up.

BTW: Turns out that the plate they ran on Saturday had a typo in it

This tends to happen when the police don't want to deal with something. Not saying that is necessarily what happened here, but...

It's so good that you followed up with it.

2013-01-15 02:35:20

Awesome. Much better than how Zone 5 handled my recorded incident with the laying-on-the-horn jagoff.

2013-01-15 03:32:22


2013-01-15 03:41:28

Good stuff Pinky, I'm happy for you, and really hoping this guy is done bothering you.

2013-01-15 07:14:27

Wow, that is great! Thanks for letting us know and making one more driver not be an idiot towards us. Maybe the word will slowly get out that we are people trying to get places and have a right to be there.

2013-01-15 09:36:56

Very cool!

2013-01-15 11:47:24

"this man will be in serious shit if he has anything on his record."

Translation. . . he already has a record. Parole violation? Can't say my heart is bleeding.

2013-01-15 11:52:59

Though, re; "He has even sworn to start taking a different road to avoid "being accused."" if that's a direct quote leads me to believe he hasn't ENTIRELY gotten the point. He still hasn't accepted responsibility, probably why he's in whatever legal state he's in. Yeah, don't take a different road, just don't drive like a freaking dickhole. Uggh.

2013-01-15 12:08:33

Yeah, that "being accused" thing rubbed me the wrong way too. But my goal here was to make him know that 1) there are repercussions to being a jerk and 2) he's not anonymous in his vehicle.

Still a win in my book :)

2013-01-15 12:45:06

Yeah, good work, though I think you're being a little too kind. He was deliberately endangering your life, he should've been in serious trouble. But hopefully that will be the last time he harasses a cyclist.

2013-01-15 13:36:42

Looking at this from the perspective of looking back at this incident from months later, it's an excellent example of having your facts straight (plate, dates, times), installing and using a helmet cam, posting the relevant parts, and picking the best moment to follow up. You were not crying wolf, you had multiple reports, you approached the matter as calmly as possible, and opted not to press charges so much as "want it to stop", thus leaving the police some leeway to handle it effectively.

I sure hope the guy changes his ways.

2013-01-15 13:57:03

+1 Stu.

When I hear of police saying "It's just your word against his" (which wasn't the case here), I think about how much it means to have the police knocking on your door asking about something.

I like the imaginary conversation "My word against his? Have you talked to him? Or do you just have my word? My word is that he did a crime. What's his?"

After all, there is always the possibility that a guy like this one might start in with "Well, she was on a bike! She shouldn't be on the road! I hope I taught her a lesson!"

I'm guessing that this guy would have liked to say that, but had at least an inkling of the consequences.

I think the guy will be more cautious about bicylists, but that he still will be a road hazard. And probably a hazard off the road, too.

Still, we're on bikes a lot, so it's good for all of us. Thanks, Pinky.

2013-01-15 15:59:00
Talk of cameras spans across a couple of threads, but I decided to choose this one to drop in a camera I just picked up: New contender?: If you search SJ1000, you can find a lot of different sellers/brands for the same unit. It has a looping feature, g-sensor to counteract previously mentioned looping feature, and HD video recording. Also at cheapest price point I've seen, around $50-80 I'll let the group know how it works when I get it. At this price range though, assuming it works okay at night, it's (at $60) less than half the price of the long delayed RideEye and a 1/4th of the increasingly expensive Fly6. I don't particularly enjoy the prospect of dealing with law enforcement, but I see no other way at present to deal with the reckless driving and harassment I frequently encounter.
2014-12-04 17:36:08