news 5 Steps to Fight Road Harassment
MCBC has continued to work with the Marin County District Attorney (DA) and California Highway Patrol (CHP) to develop a clear set of actions for you to take if you are harassed while riding your bicycle.
TO SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTE MOTORISTS WHO THREATEN YOUR SAFETY, YOU MUST CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY, AND THEN FOLLOW UP WITH A WRITTEN POLICE REPORT.
You can also take an important preemptive step. Images can be critical in determining whether an incident is prosecuted. A video recording is often the objective evidence law enforcement relies on when making a filing decision. The DA, CHP, MCBC and other agencies recommend the use of forward- and backward-facing video recordings, which can be captured with helmet or light-mounted cameras.
WHAT TO DO IF THREATENED/HARASSED
1 – Clearly identify the perpetrator.
Physically describe the perpetrator to yourself – be able to positively ID them. If you can’t describe and identify the driver, the DA’s office cannot prosecute the case. A vehicle description is not enough.
2 – Note the Time / Date / Location of the incident.
Specific mile markers, weather, road conditions, visibility all matter in verifying evidence. Make/record notes. Take photos if possible.
3 – Call 911 Immediately
Report the crime through a 911 call as soon as you can safely use your phone. Prompt reporting is a necessity, enhancing the reliability of facts since events are “fresh” in your mind. If you can’t remain at the scene, you can file a report in person (or have the CHP come to your residence to take the report). But, it’s important that you file a report as soon as possible to underscore the seriousness of the attack.
4 – Follow Up Fast: Report First – Share Later
The credibility of your account of the incident can be discredited if it is discovered that you shared and discussed the information before it was recorded and documented by law enforcement. Get your report filed ASAP and do not post video, photos or other commentary publicly.
5 – Video Matters
A video recording can be the single most convincing piece of evidence in determining whether law enforcement has a prosecutable case. MCBC recommends using forward- and backward-facing video cameras.