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most agressive, but legal, way to subdue drivers?(33 posts)

most agressive, but legal, way to subdue drivers?ishmael
Sep 1, 2003 4:33 PM
What am I allowed to legally do if someone has gotten out of their car and come within striking distance? Can I legally hit first? What about mace?

I dont plan to do anything, just wondering what's legal.
Pepper SprayInspector Gadget
Sep 1, 2003 5:21 PM
It may vary, depending on where you live, but I carry pepper spray, for use against people as well as dogs. I was assaulted (pushed a little, really) by a drunk guy five years ago. The cop who responded to the call actually suggested the pepper spray. You do have a right to defend yourself without waiting to be injured first. That said, I suggest the pepper spray because it incapacitates without permanent damage. Striking first is not a good idea. Too many variables.
Pepper Spray...Quartermasters.comLone Gunman
Sep 1, 2003 5:38 PM
Got mine from them. You want the type that shoots a stream of the juice, not an atomized spray. Shoots about 10 to 15 feet. I went for a ride yesterday without it and felt sort of like I was driving without wearing a seatbelt.
I agree...pepperspray may be best.DERICK
Sep 1, 2003 6:33 PM
unless you have specific training with handheld weapons pepperspray is the best bet.

A bit of advice:
*Keep it where you can reach it quickly without getting off your bike. (Things can happen fast, someone who really wants to hurt you won't give any warning.)

*Never display it or flash it at someone to scare them off. As with any weapon it should stay hidden from your attacker until you use it. Don't give them the chance to defend against it.

*Get used to shooting it. Some companies sell dummy pepperspray for practice. Using it has to come naturaly, like using the brakes on your bike. If you have to think about it you will fumble under the stress of having your life threatened.

*remember, pepperspray won't affect everyone the same. Some people will go down while others will only be mildly affected. You may still have to fight.

*MOST IMPORTANTLY, if carrying it affects your behavior then don't. Carrying it does not mean you can yell back at cars and use your middle finger more often. It really is like a seatbelt or helmet in that you want to avoid using it at all costs. They aren't so you can drive or ride recklesly and a weapon isn't there so you can act agressively. They will only improve your chances of coming out of a bad situation alive, maybe...if you're lucky.
Not much, unless he does something first...timfire
Sep 1, 2003 6:00 PM
[First off, this should probably be in the non-cycling forum, but I'll answer it anyway.]

Unless they do something first, there isn't much you can do first. While I am far from being an expert, I know the basics.

First off, you need to make sure you are not perceived as the aggressor. If you are, then you can theorectically be sued for civil assault. (Unlike battery, no physical contact is needed for civil assault.) Because of this, you need to be careful how you argue with someone. Definitely DO NOT make any sort of threats.

Assuming then that you are not provoking the driver, and they got out of the car with the purpose of arguing with/ assaulting you, then what you can do basically depends on how threatened you believe you are. In other words, you can only respond with a level of force reasonably equal to the level of the threat.

So, just because someone comes at you, you can't just automatically start swinging. You must believe you are threatened to respond. If someone comes at you anger-ly, you could probably get away with mace, since it is an option that won't really hurt anyone.

If you do honestly feel you are about to be attacked, then you can theorectically strike first. But you can't use excessive force, again meaning that the response must fit the threat. If you strike and they back off, you can't keep going after them.

But something else to consider, especially concerning a bike/car situation, is that in some states if a victim has the opportunity to retreat, then they also have a obligation to retreat; meaning you can only use self-defense if you're back against a wall, so to speak. So if you're still on the bike and they get out of their car, then you should just try and ride away.

Kill them with a gun!the bull
Sep 1, 2003 6:48 PM
Thats pretty agressive!
Just remember:
1) You were in fear of your life!
2) It looked like he had a gun and was going to shoot you.
This happened to me once...Synchronicity
Sep 1, 2003 9:08 PM
I was going through an uphill intersection when this car races up from the road at the left. At the time I went accross, there was no car there. He was obviously speeding, and it was a blind hill. He should have slowed down for this pedestrian crossing just before the intersection.

As I went through, he went around me, and about 100 feet up the road he stops and gets out of his car. I had to swerve a real lot to miss him. He grabbed out at me already. As I went past I basically just said his number plate loud enough for him to hear. THAT WAS IT.

He followed me at my side, If I sped up so did he, if I slowed down, he followed. There were no turnoffs for me to go down. Cars were piling up from behind. He was arguing from inside his car, insisting that I should apologise. I explained the situation how it happened, and he started saying he only had 1 point left on his licence as he hit a pedestrian (accidently!) blah blah blah...

I'm swaring at him saying I was in the right, etc. Wasn't good enough for him. There was no way I was getting off the bike and into a fight though.

He eventually drove off so I gave him the wanker action symbol. That was my biggest mistake. He was up the road waiting for me, PARKED PERPENDICULAR TO THE LANE, BLOCKING IT.

Again I had to go onto the wrong side of the road to go 'round him. Again he drove off & I gave hime the wanker symbol when he was a fair bit down the road (an even bigger mistake, but I had the adrenaline flowing, you know). When I looked up the downloaded HR info later, my heart rate went to 200, going about 15 mph!

So he does a U turn and comes at me again! Eventually we get to the next intersection, all the while arguing. I was starting to fear for my life.
I basically scream at the top of my lungs with about 15 or 20 people (witnesses) within the vicinity:

and the really loud bit:

(Interspersed with many colourful metaphors, by the way)

He buggered off, but I didn't give the wanker symbol again.
I've really thought hard about carrying mace with me after that. I think it is illegal here in AUS, but I wouldn't care.
Are you serious?mobil1
Sep 2, 2003 11:09 AM
Based on what you just described, I have difficulty determining who the real "wanker" is. And now there are postings about carrying firearms while riding. What is wrong with this picture?
Yes, absolutely.Synchronicity
Sep 2, 2003 4:36 PM
But I wouldn't even consider carrying a gun. Here in aussie-land, no-one does. Besides, I'd be too tempted to actually use it. ;-)

Had I known beforehand how the guy was going to be almost stalking me, I wouldn't have done what I did. But it all unfolds so quickly and at the time you're **very** angry.
At the time what else could I do??? If I had have actually stopped, he would have got out of his car. I'm a thin, lanky guy who, with cycling shoes, just wouldn't be able to defend himself. There's no way he thought he was in the wrong, but believe me he was. I'm not going to agree with the silly git, and lie and say that /I/ was in the wrong.

You just don't think he's gonna come back out of his way... People aren't normally like that. My mistake was I assumed that everybody isn't like that. But this guy was. I'll never make that symbol again, especially to a dipstick in an Alpha Romeo with only one point on his licence.

Anyway, what would you have done? I genuinely would like to know another way out of the situation, if you can offer one.
no one does....surly357
Sep 2, 2003 5:47 PM
isn't that because no one CAN? It's my understanding the politicians LEGISLATED you into defenselessness....
re: most agressive, but legal, way to subdue drivers?Woof the dog
Sep 1, 2003 9:20 PM
I just bought a gun a month ago. I carry it with me everywhere i ride.

Woof the dog.
Does it go in your jersey pocket, or water bottle cage?Mr Nick
Sep 1, 2003 10:20 PM
How much does it weigh? ;-) nmgf99
Sep 2, 2003 3:04 AM
Come on, how common are assaults, really?huffer
Sep 1, 2003 11:55 PM
I mean really, feeling like your "driving without a seatbelt" when you forget to bring your pepper spray? Am I just naive thinking that I'm never going to be attacked riding my bike? The chances of anyone attacking me while riding are probably a million in one in my opinion. My normal routes are through county roads outside of town, so maybe thats why I'm not terrified to ride my bike without mace. Maybe the pepper spray crowd rides through crime-ridden inner-city type places (at night). Or maybe picked on too much as a kid. Or then again maybe I'm just naive.
Come on, how many times does it take to be killed ?DERICK
Sep 2, 2003 3:41 AM
I believe you are naive. Random violence can happen anywhere. All it takes is 1 inbred hick driving down your country road and seeing the "queer in spandex" to cause trouble. Out in the middle of nowhere you have to take care of yourself because no one else will. Trying to ride away ONLY works if the driver decides to let you go.

I don't think carrying a bottle of spray or other weapon is all that difficult. The difficult thing is coming to the realization that you may one day have to defend your own life. That your prior planning and ability to act will determin whether your family ever sees you alive again.
Come on, how many times does it take to be killed ?lemmy999
Sep 2, 2003 5:02 AM
I live in Knoxville, TN and I have more problems closer to the city with soccer moms and other yuppies than when I ride way out in the rural areas. I went on a 50 mile ride in a very rural area the other day and everyone was so polite and drivers would stay behind until it was safe to pass and many people were waving at us (and not with the middle finger extended). We stopped at one instersection and I pulled out a map and a car came along and stopped and asked if we needed any help. I was really shocked.
'whether your family ever sees you alive again'Steve_0
Sep 2, 2003 6:06 AM
you goin' to Bosnia, or a country bike ride?

Being prepared to act is one thing. Fearing 'inbred hicks' out to kill 'queers in spandex' is downright paranoid.
agree. i always laugh at these guys.Steve_0
Sep 2, 2003 5:20 AM
I regularly ride roads from 'hick' country roads to
crime-ridden inner-city type places (at night) such as Camden, NPhila, and WPhila (areas where biketheft and violence is not uncommen). Never been 'attacked' or felt I needed protection.

I'm Not naive enough to think i'm 'safe' at all times, but I'm certainly not in such grave danger that I need to arm myself.

These folks have a different thought process than you and me, I suspect.
agree. i always laugh at these guys.DERICK
Sep 2, 2003 8:23 AM
My point was simply that you don't have to be in a bad area to be attacked. Not that any one group of people are out to get cyclists.

If your plan for defending yourself works for you that's fine. Luck is always a factor. Relying on luck %100 just seems a bit irresponsable to me.
Sep 2, 2003 8:35 AM
I agree that relying on luck, even 1% of the time is a bit irresponsible.

I personally feel relying on weaponry is a bit irresonpsible. I feel confident enough in my mental and physical abilities that, even as a card-carrying NRA member, I've never had the urge to carry a weapon for the purposes of defense.

BTW - We're all at far greater risk of dying under an autombile than receiving so much as a black eye from an aggressor. You're simly relying on luck that you wont be run over.
it seems oprtions are either get hit by a car or a fistishmael
Sep 2, 2003 9:50 AM
I can slip along the side of the road unnoticed and risk being squished by a car, or I can be a bit more assertive and risk upseting someone and getting smacked by a fist.

I get into an altercation about twice or three times a year. By that I mean a potential altercation, they slow down and yell and it has the potential to get much worse.
bad areasgtx
Sep 2, 2003 10:02 AM
When I lived in SF I had to ride through some sketchy neighborhood and some super wealthy neighborhoods. I had way more close calls in the wealthy neighborhoods, which had less traffic. Lots of horrible and belligerent drivers in Land Rovers and BMWs (no joke).

I just carry a cell phone. I also prefer riding with mtb shoes/pedals if I have to get off the bike.
to those opposedSynchronicity
Sep 2, 2003 4:59 PM
You might never have been in a true confrontational situation.

For example:
Drivers that make really nasty mistakes, in the process nearly killing you, then you responding by giving that someone the finger and/or yelling a profanity and them driving off IS NOT A CONFRONTATION.

A true confrontation is when they continue to linger (or worse stop and get out) while being argumentative & belligerent. From there the argument can becomes more & more divergant (i.e both sides not seeing the other's point of view). Before long, the situation esculates (or deteriorates?) and you have a potential fight on your hands.

We all know that we're far more likely to get run over than slaughtered out there on the road. But you can't prepare for being run over. Recall how many deaths/murders each year due to violence? Isn't it something like 600,000 deaths in America since John Lennon was shot.

Need I remind you:
Some people are totally sick, and I don't think Derick is at all paranoid for believing that all it takes is one stupid bugger in a pickup truck to notice "a queer in lycra" to get into a lot of trouble. I think more likely /you're/ too naive. This kind of thing happens in real life, not just in the movies. There are people out there who cut people's limbs off, stuff 'em in a few suitcases & toss it into the woods. It happened just the other day here in Australia.
This guy even took several taxi rides to dump off those suitcases. The victim was a neighbour. Police now think that neighbour asked to many questions.

I know it isn't quite the same thing as out on the road, but my point is that not everybody has good intentions.
not naive.Steve_0
Sep 3, 2003 3:41 AM
i'm not naive. I read the paper. I've seen violent attacks firsthand. You need not remind me that some people are 'sick'.

Need I remind you, John Lennon carried a gun. It didnt save his life. Many police officers die every year. They're all armed. If you think mace or heat will protect you from someone who really wants to do you harm, YOURE the one who's naive. Survival depends upon mental and physical preparedness for evasion; not confrontation.

Be prepared. Don't be paranoid. This is cycling. Enjoy it. Dont make it a survivalistic endeavour.
I am certainly not advocating the use of guns.Synchronicity
Sep 3, 2003 6:39 PM
In fact, I think they should all be banned! Except for cops' guns. I don't even carry mace, but I've thought about it. It may come as a surprise to you, but I actually agree with you:

Evasion IS the answer, not confrontation.

But spraying an agressor in the face with mace, WILL buy you some time to escape, or at least call for help. You're assuming though, that you /can/ evade them - often, because bicycles are much slower than cars, this is not a possibility.

But I don't carry mace - I've never even seen the stuff! Just thought a few times about getting it, **strictly** as a last resort, if there are no other options.

But with the spate of recent posts about cyclists being run over & killed, I think this whole "confrontation" topic is a little exaggerated.
It only has to happen one time to convince me to carryLone Gunman
Sep 2, 2003 3:21 PM
spray. I ride out in an area where there are more cows than people. That is where my most recent confrontation took place. The chances are not a million to one. I had 2 MAJOR confrontations this season, both were out in the sticks. One was minutes after I had a blowout and crash and my wounds were being attended to in a persons driveway. The person's rational for the tirade? "I got sick kittens in the car". Where do you get the idea that anyone is "terrified to ride without mace." It is now part of my equipment, just like a helmet. Doubt that many people go out with the intention of having a confrontation on a ride, it does happen, if a driver wants to take it to the next level, then we cyclists have a right to defend ourselves, how we choose to do so is an individual decision.
Come on, how common are assaults, really?davidxy
Nov 4, 2003 9:08 PM
Yes, you are stupid, and you're out of touch. I had an idiot come within 4" of running me off the road in dump truck in Southern Virginia Beach. In the country. . .
Just get up close and look down at thembimini
Sep 2, 2003 9:17 AM
I am fortunate in that I am a tall big guy. I don't need to yell, scream or threaten. I just walk up toe to toe with them and look down at them and try to keep things calm. I use my physical size to intimidate them. Most of the folks with this type of rage issue have low self image / esteem issues so they usally back off like a wooped dog. There may be a lot of noise coming from their mouths but they get back in the car and drive off like the Pussies they are. I have done this a couple of times. Both times it was little fat men in big oversized trucks.

If I was a wise man I would just call the cops on my cell phone as soon as the car pulled over.
Big scares me more than tall (nm)lemmy999
Sep 2, 2003 9:39 AM
a tall skinny guy wouldn't scare me as much as a short but strong/fit guy. (not saying you are skinny, but I don't see height as much of an advantage in a street fight).
ok, so it wasn't really nm (nm...for real this time)lemmy999
Sep 2, 2003 9:39 AM
re: Im more scared of "hit & run" driversjrm
Sep 2, 2003 12:18 PM
Now thats scary shlt. But i carry pepper spray just the same.
Doktor's prescription: Bowling for Columbinedoktor
Sep 2, 2003 5:27 PM
There is a culture of fear in this country. The ever-present "other" is out to get us. Does "legally hit first" ring a bell? Sounds like the current U.S. administration's doctrine of preemption. Violence begets violence begets violence, as current events show us.

Maybe I'll move to Canada.
...move to Canada....surly357
Sep 2, 2003 5:53 PM
I wish Michael Moore would move to Canada.....