Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thank You Sandy For Standing Up For Bicyclists

To mark the 1,500th post on this Bicycle Stories blog, I want to publicly thank cyclist Sandy Pacheco Pehl who contacted Pasco County Sheriff's deputies this week after a pickup driver stopped his vehicle in front of Sandy and a group of bicyclists outside San Antonio and threatened them with a gun.

While cyclists have drawn criticism in Pasco County lately for not being courteous on the road for not staying to the right, I don't know a single case where a bicyclist has threatened a motorist with a gun.

Yet, this is exactly what happened here when a driver threatened Sandy and her group with a gun by passing them, stopping in front of them on the road and telling them that he has guns and he's not afraid to use them.

Sandy, to her credit, reported the pickup truck's tag to law enforcement and gave statements to the sheriff's deputies in hopes of bringing this dangerous driver to justice.

Sandy's work has paid off this week. She has informed me that deputies found the driver and the passenger and they admitted to everything, including the gun threat. A report for assault is currently being filed.

On behalf of bicyclists, thank you Sandy for taking action against a dangerous driver.

My advice is that if a driver threatens your safety, please file a report with the local police. It's easy for everyone to complain and talk about incidents, but the bottom line is that we need to create a paper trail and public record of drivers imperiling the lives of bicyclists to get public help to make things safer for us.

Please, get the vehicle's tag number. If you carry a camera, take a photo of the tag and vehicle if you can and any other relevant things.

Stay safe out there everyone!

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