“Wow, that car almost hit me!”
“…that $#^^#*@ threw a soda bottle at me as he went past!”
Most of us have experienced close calls, if not exactly one of those two scenarios, then one just as unsettling or dangerous. Your heart races, and flashes of what might have happened go through your mind. Now there’s a place we all go to report problem motorists. A database called “Close Call” has been established to help identify them.
Let’s say a car comes up behind your group cycling on hilly, narrow rural roads. The driver pulls up close to the last rider, backs off, then does it over and over. She tries to pass, but since the roads are narrow and hilly she can’t get around you without taking a chance that a car may be coming in the opposite direction just around that corner. Eventually, she pulls out and floors it, taking a chance with her own life, and with the lives of the riders in your group.
You call the local police, and are told that since the officer was not there to see what happened, it’s your word against hers. Therefore, they won’t do anything…
This is not a hypothetical. It happened to me and some friends.
The reality of that situation is that this is probably not the first time that motorist did this. And it probably will not be the last. The Close Call Database can provide a means of tracking such drivers. After a close call, you can log in to report the incident. Enter as much data as you have, and information about it will be shared with cyclists in your area. When others report an incident, you’ll get information on that, too. Serial offenders will be identified, and police will be contacted.
In addition, the database being built will give police information so that if a future incident occurs with one of those same drivers, there will be evidence to show that no, it wasn’t just a one-time lapse of judgment.
So do yourself…and your fellow riders…a service and register on the database. Go to the Close Call Database. We’ll all be glad you did.