'Road Rage' Case Highlights Cyclist Vs. Driver Tension [NPR]
A bicyclist rides down the street during this year's Bike to Work Day in San Francisco. Events such as this promote biking as a viable form of commuting, but tensions between cyclists and drivers persist.
Bicycling magazine called it "the road rage incident heard 'round the cycling world."
A driver in Los Angeles was recently convicted of using his car as a weapon against two cyclists. And the case is focusing attention on the often uneasy relationship between motorists and bicyclists who have to share the road.
It happened last year on the Fourth of July, on a steep, narrow road in L.A.'s Mandeville Canyon. Cyclists Christian Stoehr and Ron Peterson were riding side by side when a doctor who lived in the neighborhood came up from behind in a sedan.
"There was an exchange of words," Stoehr recalls. "He then accelerated within five feet in front of us, pulled over and slammed on the brakes."
Stoehr says there was no time for them to stop. He was thrown over the car and landed across the road. But Peterson didn't have time to swerve.
"And he went right in through the back window of the car," says Stoehr, adding that Peterson crashed headfirst. "I think they found his teeth in the back seat."