Monday, May 24, 2010

Bicyclist In San Ann Area Is Harassed By Motorist

I was informed of an unfortunate incident in the San Antonio area.

Robbin Lorenz, who cycles in the San Ann area, reports that, "Yesterday I was in San Ann on a training ride and some guy decided to use me as target practice by throwing a plastic koozie at me and smacking me in the back. The truck was so close to me that I thought that his side view mirror had hit me. As the truck drove down the road the guy in the passenger seat had his head out the window laughing and checking out his throwing skills. It all happened so fast and I was so surprised that I wasn't able to get a tag number."

Robbin contacted Laura Hallam, executive director of the Florida Bicycle Association, who shared it with George Martin, the FBA's bike laws director who visited Tampa several months ago to talk with Tampa Police. George is developing bike laws modules to teach law enforcement agencies about bicycle laws.

George says, "Of course the police won't be able to respond without a tag number, but it should be reported anyway. Description of vehicle, location, etc. It is probably happening to others as well. Get it on the record. The police, the county commission, the MPO, all other senior officials in the county and municipality, if you were in a city. If all of these are reported, a pattern will emerge which the officials cannot ignore. They need to know when these things happen . . . That is battery, a felony."

Robbin then reports contacting the sheriff's office:

"I just got off the phone with the Pasco County Sheriff department. They will not take a statement over the phone and want me to come to the office there in Pasco to report the issue. I feel that it is important enough so I have an appointment to go and give a statement tomorrow morning.

"Thanks everyone for all your help. I will keep you posted. Not sure what if anything can be done at this point but like most of you pointed out at least it will be on record."

* * *

I'm urging the sheriff's office in Pasco County to take the harassment of bicyclists seriously and treat it with as much as a priority as they have with monitoring the conduct of bicyclists on the roads outside San Ann.

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