Throw drivers in jail for attacks on cyclists

My Aug. 12 post about how to avoid raging motorists didn’t directly address the overt criminal assault on cyclists portrayed in Saturday’s CNN story, which my friend Larry talked about in the Hawkeye Bicycle Association Forum.

A couple of ideas, though:

  • Until you’re certain otherwise, assume that someone who cuts you off is going to stop short in front of you, and prepare to stop quickly to avoid a collision. It’s unfortunate, but this involves the same principal that applies to owning the right of way: It isn’t really yours until someone gives it to you. Assume nothing when you’re dealing with a couple of thousand pounds of metal and plastic and an unknown quantity behind the wheel.
  • Encourage legal authorities to prosecute drivers who commit overt acts that endanger your safety.

This isn’t just an L.A. thing. The same sort of attack alleged in the CNN story happened over the weekend in our fair corridor, according to a post on BikeIowa by Ryan Jacobsen. The cyclists in that case were fortunate to escape injury.

I’ve said it before: Maybe drivers will start to be more “friendly” after a few of them are prosecuted, fined, sued and jailed for being careless, mean and worse. Too many of them are endangering lives. The law needs to get their attention.

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