assault by an entitled driver

This morning I was nearly hit and then assaulted by the driver of an SUV in Sacramento. I was crossing 14th St at the south side of P St at about 7:30AM. The driver had stopped before the crosswalk, so I proceeded across, but the driver lurched forward and nearly hit me. I had to jump back to avoid being hit, and slapped the side of his vehicle to get his attention. I proceeded across the crosswalk and onto the sidewalk. The driver leapt out of this vehicle and came after me, screaming that if I ever touched his car again, he would hurt me. I don’t remember the exact words, but they were violent words. He kept saying “I didn’t see you”, not in an apologetic manner, but in a way that implied it was my fault that he didn’t see me. After yelling a number of more threats, he shoved me. This is assault.

A bystander took photos of the driver and his vehicle, seen below. The bystander used the same term that I often used, ‘entitled drivers’. She was more than happy to provide the photos to me, and expressed hope that I would file charges. I have submitted an incident report to Sacramento PD.

the vehicle: GMC Yukon, grey, license M546BO
the driver, on left, white middle aged male

I notice when walkers and bicyclist post photo of vehicles driven by offending drivers, they often blank out the license number. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is fear of retaliation, worse violence from the driver. But here you go: the license plate was CA M546BO. It is a strange license number.

Back to the entitled. Many drivers feel that they own the road, and it is the responsibility of others to get out of their way. This applies particularly to walkers and bicyclists, but it even applies to other drivers. The excuse often offered is “I didn’t see them”. I think this is often fabricated after the fact to justify what would otherwise not be justifiable, which is an intention or willingness to harm others. But in some case it is true. They didn’t see because they didn’t look. Many drivers are looking at their phones or their large in-dash information displays. In this case, the driver was looking only to the right to see traffic on one-way P Street. He probably never looked left at all. But it is the legal responsibility of drivers to look and to see. If they are not willing to do that, as is true of this driver, they should not hold a license to drive. This driver, in part because he has a large, expensive vehicle, felt entitled to be driving on the street without paying attention, particularly at a crosswalk where walkers have the right of way.

This is the people we share the streets with. And the people about whom traffic ‘safety’ agencies such as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) continue to claim that road safety is a shared responsibility. Bullshit. Drivers kill people, walkers and bicyclists (with extremely rare exceptions) do not.

This is also a street design issue. One way streets are safer to cross for walkers because you only need to look in one direction, left or right. However, for people on cross streets, they are much more dangerous because many (most?) drivers never look the other direction for people in the crosswalk or bicycling.

I hope your day is going better.

SacRT’s finest – not

This evening, while walking across Q St at 12th, with the light, a driver in a SacRT police vehicle drove directly at me, stopping just short of the crosswalk, and just short of hitting me. His comment was: “I didn’t hit you, did I?” in a smart-alecky tone. He was clearly being belligerent and trying to intimidate me with his vehicle.

Way to gain public support and trust, SacRT. Please do a better job of screening your officers. SacRT knows where its police vehicles are at all times, and who is driving them. I would hope that this person is severely disciplined. He attempted to intimidate me with his vehicle, which is assault.


Yet another criminal

I was assaulted by a vehicle driver today on J Street. Assault includes intent to harm with a deadly weapon, which is a motor vehicle, and does not require actual battery. Having learned my lesson from the last incident, I got the license number and vehicle description right. I did not get enough of a driver ID to press charges, but it will at least go on their record.

The details:
3VFM067 CA
White Toyota 4-runner, not new
White male young
J St eastbound at 10th St
Occurred about 6:25pm, 2012-05-29

A white Toyota 4-runner driven by a young white male attempted to intimidate me off the roadway by using his vehicle as a weapon. The driver gunned their engine at me for a block, and then passed within 3 inches, I felt the mirror touch my arm. I was traveling in the rightmost lane at about 20 mph. There is no bike lane in this area, and the lane is not wide enough to share. The other two eastbound travel lanes were open, at a time of light traffic, so the driver could have easily passed but chose to intimidate me. I caught up to the person and asked why he would use his vehicle to kill another person, and he flipped me off. Another vehicle immediately following did the same thing, passing too closely, so I suspect the two drivers were traveling together.

Incident 12-146316
Responding officer R. Cabrera, Sacramento Police Department