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I was just now pedaling home in the bike lane when an oncoming car made an abrupt left turn in front of me. My rear tire locked up as I braked hard and narrowly avoided a collision. The driver parked in a parking lot, and I considered confronting him but didn't think anything useful would result.

I would really like to be able to report such an incident right when it happens, especially if the driver is parked and police can talk to them. Is there any recourse I can take when something like this happens? Would it help if I had a helmet cam to document the incident?

This happened in Florida, USA.

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    I politely point out that the US has handguns and trying any kind of confrontation may be identified as provocative and lead to something worse than a near-miss. – Criggie Feb 17 '17 at 1:11
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    You can always report him to the police. Some cop shops will take a bit of notice of this, others will blow you off completely. Helmet cam footage will help, but is no guarantee (though a great help if he actually hits you and you end up suing him in court). – Daniel R Hicks Feb 17 '17 at 2:56
  • I've found that video is best described as "supporting material" and not "evidence" Various locations have rules about unnotified surveillance recordings, hence the "you are being recorded" notices on buildings. – Criggie Feb 17 '17 at 21:23
  • @Criggie "... guns ..." is it really that bad? In a much safer place, Canada, I did remind a driver that they passed me dangerously close. I kept not only a respectful and friendly tone but was quite cheerful at it. With good effect. I find it is especially easy after dangerous situations as one is both euphoric and at ones best wit after going unharmed through danger. It would be rather unfortunate however, if one were to be shot at, simply for cheerfully providing a reminder on road safety. – gschenk Feb 18 '17 at 16:53
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Depends on your location. Unless there is direct contact or injury you're wasting your time calling the police. Here in New Zealand we can report a bad driver on the local police website, providing all possible information. Your jurisdiction may have something similar.

Cameras are "after the fact" information. They don't stop anything from happening. I've found that a lot happens outside the camera's view. Behind and beside are areas where bad thing happen.

Personally I've found the best answer to be avoid dying or getting injured. There's nothing like seeing the problem and avoiding it.

A good loud bellow can be cathartic too, but there's no guarantee the driver will understand or even hear it. Modern vehicles have excellent sound insulation, to the point where emergency services vehicles can be almost inaudible.

Here's an example of proactive problem avoidance - I did not get doored, and the camera lets you lot enjoy it.

The particularly bad quality U-turn just before this footage was indicative of an unskilled driver, but it was too small to see on screen. Cameras are not as selective as the human eye at perceiving details. But post injury/death they could be invaluable to prove what happened, and who was in the wrong.

  • The video is not flipped - we ride/drive on the left side of the road in my country. – Criggie Feb 17 '17 at 1:10
  • As is only right and proper. – Useless Feb 17 '17 at 11:08
  • Curiously, this is about 10 metres from where I got my last cycling scar, as a car pushed its way left into the cycle lane and I stopped on its wing mirror. Painted cycle lanes do almost nothing – Criggie Feb 18 '17 at 21:57

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