Photo by Jari Schroderus on Flickr.

WashCycle relays an incident where a locksmith van driver ran two cyclists off the road in Georgetown. It seems the driver was unhappy that the two, Nat Wilson and another unrelated cyclist, were taking the lane (which is completely legal).

Wilson got photos of the van, driver and license plate, and reported the incident to the police. They took a report, but didn’t give an incident number, and all they would do is radio around. If an officer spotted the van, they’d pull it over and “check ID.”

What does checking ID accomplish? If the driver has outstanding parking tickets, then they can stop him, but otherwise there’s nothing they can do?

When we let drivers intimidate cyclists (or anyone else) with impunity, the bad drivers keep doing it and cyclists get the message that their safety isn’t a priority. If it’s important for MPD to spend resources ticketing wrong-way cyclists on New Hampshire or jaywalkers in Columbia Heights, why not put some effort behind catching this guy—as WashCycle points out, the phone number is on the van!

We need a video like this one to get the word out that cyclist intimidation is a serious matter (the relevant part starts at 3:09).

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.