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More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)(15 posts)

More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)MikeC
Nov 30, 2001 5:47 PM
A fellow member of the Outdoor Club of South Jersey (OCSJ) posted this message to our list a few weeks ago:

"Last Sunday (October 21) on the Outdoor Club "A" ride, Tom, Tony, my lovely wife Lori, and I all had a near death experience.
While riding in a single pace line heading north on Smithville Road (north of 537 before you reach Pat's Mini Market), with all of us no more than inches from the right pavement edge, an "angry" car driver (let's call him Mr. Cordial) passed at high speed within 1 to 3 inches of us. There was no one approaching from the opposite direction and we were in no way impeding Mr. Cordial. As our luck would have it, Mr. Cordial was in a hurry to Pat's Mini Market. As we approached Pat's Mini Market, we noticed Mr. Cordial's car parked in Pat's lot with the motor still running. When Mr. Cordial came out of the store, we asked Mr. Cordial if he was the driver that just tried to run us over. Amazingly, he said yes. As a matter of fact, he was very proud of what he just did. After some civilized debating, we wrote down Mr. Cordial's license plate number and reported the incident to the Springfield Township (Burlington County) police. To make a long story short, we filed a careless driving complaint with the Springfield Township Municipal Court, and Mr. Cordial will be summoned to appear on November 13, 2001 at 8:45am (which also happens to be his birthday according to the complaint summons).
He hates bikers. Probably more now after he receives our summons to appear in court on his birthday. So if you plan on riding in the northern parts of Burlington County this weekend, be careful.
-Alan"

More recently, Alan posted the following:

"I found out on Saturday afternoon Mr. Cordial filed a counter complaint against us. The complaint states "Operating bicycle more than two abreast on public roadway" and "Disorderly conduct by engaging in alarming conduct, specifically lewd and offensive language towards victim, victim's wife, and 11 year old child".

The first complaint is an outright lie (we were riding in a single paceline on the right edge of the roadway at the moment he passed). With the second complaint, there was no lewd and offensive language directed towards Mr. Cordial's wife or 11 year old child (they were in the car most of the time and we never spoke to them nor did they speak to us). As to lewd and offensive language towards Mr. Cordial, this charge could be levied against both parties (Mr. Cordial had tried to kill us no more than 2 to 3 minutes before we confronted him....did he expect us to hold hands and sing Kumbaya?).

Since this whole court thing is new to Tom, Tony, my lovely wife Lori, and me, we would welcome any advise from the OCSJ attorneys (or anyone who has dealt with a similar situation) on our best approach to convince the judge that our version of the events is the correct
version of the events. Also, I just found out this morning when I called the Springfield Township Municipal Court that Mr. Cordial has retained the services of an attorney (and Mr. Cordial is driving the court clerk nuts with visits and phone calls). Is it advisable that we obtain legal
representation if we want to put on a good showing?
-Alan"

Can anyone offer advice, particularly based upon specific legal knowledge or personal experience in a similar circumstance? The court date is now set for January.

Thanks.
re: More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)weiwentg
Nov 30, 2001 6:39 PM
can't offer legal advice, but I can say I hope that s--thead gets his just desserts. perhaps he will be out on a walk and some maniac in a car will buzz him like he did you. or perhaps he will get into a major car accident on the way to the courtroom. or perhaps he will meet his gory doom in some spectacularly, poetically just fashion.
re: More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)Treviso
Dec 3, 2001 3:34 PM
I had a similar incident happen to me. My wife and I were riding as far to the right side of the road as possible, when from behind a VW bus nearly takes the both of out. As in your case the driver had plenty of room since there was no on-coming traffic. The driver happened to turn left onto a street 1 block up so we followed them. When we approached them we noticed that they were an elderly couple. My wife said to me to be nice since they were older, which I did, I politely said "excuse me, but you kinda came close to us on our bikes" before I could finish, the woman driver, started yelling at us telling me I have no right to be on the road, since I dont have a license? dont have lights or reflectors(broad daylight)and to get the hell out of here(we remained in the public street the whole time) then her husband comes from around the other side of the bus with a huge dog, threatening to feed us to him for lunch. At that point I called them a bunch of fricken rednecks and the California law states that bicycles have the same rights to the road as a motor vehicle, they had Montana plates.
I called the police once we got home and filed a complaint. The officer called us up on his cell phone, stating that he just talked to them. The officer also told me that I have no rights on the road , while that I can legally ride on the road, I have to get off as soon as a car comes(not true)As for the threat with the dog, he told me he can use any method to remove me from his property(we were'nt on it).
Knowing the officer was wrong, I personally went to the station and had a talk with his commanding officer and told him the sitution, he said we have all the rights to road and that the dog threat was considered a terrorist threat, section 422 CA. penal code. He said as soon as the officer had a shift when he was there ,he would have a talk with him.
The commanding officer called a few days after, he said he had talked to him and that the unsafe elderly couple had a clean record(how they acted, I cant believe that).
what he suggested is, if this ever happens again, dont comfront the driver, but do take down all info, including make, model and color of the car, license plate # and time and location of incident and they will look into it.

Sorry it took so long to explain my incident, it happened in the beginning of October and still fires me up!
Know of a lightweight vidcam w/ helmet mount?kenyee
Nov 30, 2001 8:20 PM
I'm starting to wonder if it'd be safer to do this. At least you'll have evidence against outright lies from gene defects like this. And he's breeding... :-P
you obviously haven't watched much porn lately.....dupe
Dec 1, 2001 7:24 AM
but on a more "serious" note:

your gonna need a lawyer. he sounds nasty and dont be surprised if he pulls more red herrings on the day. its sad but if he uses his wife or child to testify as witnesses its amazing what the pressure of the court atmosphere and a astute lawyer can do to break up obvious falsity.

if there is any way you could check his driving record to see what other incidents he may have had would be prudent.

as nothing more than a pundit i expect the odds are in your favor. but be prepared to see people lie in court - makes you sad. my response would have been far less civil and more immediate but would have landed me in court looking like the bad guy. you should be commended for your restraint and decency. good luck.

with regards to headcams; nightclub 'bouncers' in scotland are trialing the use of headmounted minicams with both a live feed to the police and also club security personel for an instant heads up and taped video for eveidence. having gained a notorious reputation they are using this as an attempt to protect themselves and swing claims of asualt their way if faced with legal proceedings.

ciao, ben
headcams in nightclubs is relatively easierkenyee
Dec 1, 2001 3:52 PM
802.11b WiFi network to the cam. Storage would be in a back room.

On a bike, you'd need something smaller camera/transmitter-wise w/ data storage that doesn't croak over a bump or two or even a crash.
Funny you should ask.firstrax
Dec 1, 2001 7:37 PM
Expect to see a small single chip camera that records 3 minutes of video to memory chips and can be downloaded into a pc and played on real player in the not too distant future. The whole thing should be about twice the size of a cateye computer.
where? name? cost?kenyee
Dec 2, 2001 1:05 PM
Just want to know where I can look for it :-)
What would be even better is some sort of USB mode so you can strap it to a portable USB hard drive...
fishingWoof the dog
Dec 1, 2001 7:14 AM
searching for info is like fishing....takes a while. Search the archives on this site, maybe something somewhat similar came up before.

Woof.
re: More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)DINOSAUR
Dec 1, 2001 10:43 AM
To make a long story short, you need to talk to a attorney.
Legal advice on the internet is worth exactly what you pay for it. Good luck...
re: More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)Applejuice
Dec 1, 2001 12:04 PM
I'm not a lawyer but I know there are books on bicycle litigation (I read a case study supplement once).

However, this does not substitute for sound legal advice. I highly recommend you get your own lawyer.

For what it's worth, I sincerely hope you kick the !@#$ out of that guy. For all of us who've been nearly clipped.

Keep on keepin' on and good luck.
A few questions...Lone Gunman
Dec 1, 2001 12:57 PM
If you filed the charges through the local PD does the District Attorney Represent you or is this at the Magistrate level? If at the latter, you need an attorney. Also you need to get your stories in order and get them on paper. Do so by writting down who, what, when, where...General to specific, positions of the riders, time, distances from store, what was said by all parties (as best as you can remember), sort of create and replay the mind video tape of the incident and collect details and put them into a cronological order. Take pictures of the area or recreate on a video tape the incident so as to make it clear to the judge/DJ what happened. But your stories must work together. Good luck.
I'd certainly give this guy a call. Read on...nigel
Dec 1, 2001 4:27 PM
Mike,

After reading your post, a light-bulb appeared over my head. I just dashed to find my latest issue of Bicycling Magazine, and...just as I remembered: there's an ad in the Marketplace section in the back of the mag for a "Cycling Accident Attorney."

Here's the information (all the text in the advertisement):
---------------
Cycling Accident Attorney
Avid cyclist for 35 years specializing in protecting the rights of injured cyclists.

Gary C. Brustin
Attorney at Law

*Official Sponsor RAAM '94-'98
*Life Member, L.A.B.

Complimentary Consultation 1-800-841-2453
---------------

Though no one was "injured," this man could surely assist in this case and either in what to expect or what steps to take. I'd absolutely give him a ring.

(FYI, L.A.B. is the League of American Bicyclists, a long-standing--and upstanding--organization)

I really hope this helps. Pass it on.

Best,
Nige
re: More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)roy Zipris
Dec 2, 2001 1:38 PM
Don't write your accounts down: the guy's lawyer will ask if you've written down any notes, and you will be obligated to turen them over. The lawyer will then use them to impeach (undermine the credibility of you and your witnesses) with any inconsistencies. Conversely, you or your lawyer should make such a demand of the guy and his witnesses.

The benefit of an attorney is the ability to cross-examine the guy and his witnesses to expose the falsehoods.

Move to sequester witnesses--keep witnesses out of the court room while another witness testifies so that they can't tailor their stories to what they've heard.

When did he file his complaint? If it was after he was served with yours, you can raise an inference of "motive to fabricate"--that is, why didn't he file promptly? Because he only filed to create some counter-leverage.

Anyone at the store who observed, heard the incident? Objective witnesses always help. More to the point, does the store have an outside security camera that may have recorded what happened? Be quick in finding out, most places don't keep them long (record over them).

Random thoughts. And I am a criminal defense lawyer. Good luck.
--Roy Zipris
re: More Road rage Advice Needed... (long)drsam
Dec 3, 2001 10:44 AM
I hate S.O.B.'s like that. I'm not a roadie per se...but I do often ride my mountain bike on the road, and the sort of driver you describe seems to be quite abundant in my neck of the woods.
I'd get a lawyer if I was you, and blast this guy.