Police: Horn, middle finger lead to injury hit and run in Southeast

The Portland Police are on the lookout for someone who intentionally drove their car into someone riding a bicycle. The crash happened Thursday (9/23) at 7:00 p.m. near the intersection of SE 150th and Main St. The person operating the bicycle sustained a dislocated shoulder and the description of the vehicle is a white mini van.

According to PPB Sgt. Todd Davis, the collision does not appear to be related to the double hit and run that occurred at the Rose Quarter last week.

In this incident, it appears that a confrontation between both parties led to the hit and run. According to Sgt. Davis, the victim reported that the motor vehicle approached him from behind and then honked when it got about 10 feet away from him. The victim said he then flipped the person in the car off with his middle finger and kept riding. The white mini van passed him on the left then “shoved him off the road intentionally by hitting him with the right front fender of the vehicle.”

The Police do not have a lot to go on and they are looking for witnesses to help solve this case. Please call the 823-3333 if you have any information.

As I shared back in April, this incident should serve as another reminder that — no matter what happens out there — middle fingers do not usually result in positive outcomes.

As an update on the Rose Quarter double hit and run, Sgt. Davis says they’ve created an internal flyer with a photo of the Subaru WRX that has been distributed to every officer and they are continuing to follow up on tips.

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Kt
Kt
12 years ago

Hey JM, is there any way you can post a picture of the WRX from the other one? That would help the rest of us out, since there are several body styles of WRX.

Amos
12 years ago

2nd Kt. I would love to be able to help spread it around.

cyclist
cyclist
12 years ago

If it bleeds it leads?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

cyclist,

ummm no. but if it happens to a person on a bike in Portland and if it is the result of a possible teachable moment and if the suspect is still loose with a chance of being found by a reader, then it leads.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago

I can’t believe you are emphasizing the gesture, Jonathan. I guess when a cyclist gestures provocatively they had it coming…

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago

That came across too strong — my point is that a gesture in no way excuses, explains, or ameliorates an attempt to injure or kill a human being. If the driver had shot at the victim I suspect the police would not have emphasized the finger.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

spare_wheel,

I did not say the gesture led to the incident… but I think it’s important for people to keep in mind that — both from my first-hand experience and this incident — that responding with a middle finger might not be the best thing to do.

Steve
Steve
12 years ago

Driving up behind a bike and honking a horn rarely leads to a positive outcome either.

Spiffy
Spiffy
12 years ago

it’s the police that said the finger led to the incident, not Jonathan…

Jonathan is just reminding us that when a bicyclist flips off a motorist it usually just angers them and no good can come of it…

unfortunately the driver will likely never be caught… there are probably hundreds of white mini vans with fender damage out there…

if they want to make an example out of these things they would take money from the highway fund and use it to buy a helmet-mounted camera for the victim… maybe if motorists thought they’d lose out on money ever time they hit somebody then it might matter more to them… doubt it…

this article is meant to be a warning about flipping people off when their vehicle can kick your vehicle’s ass… or at least not to flip off people that are behind you…

but it will just turn into the usual flood of comments about what should have happened…

what should have happened is that both parties should have thought about what they were doing that might have pissed off the other and kept going about their merry way or stopped to chat about it…

but that would never happen because then one of them would have to be wrong…

Velocentric
Velocentric
12 years ago

If a common finger gesture triggered such a murderous response in the attacker, then I hope he is removed from society quickly.

Rebecca
Rebecca
12 years ago

I don’t think anyone’s trying to justify the violent act of the driver here.

Rather, I think it’s a reminder that as vulnerable users of the road, it is in our own best interest to do the smarter, harder thing when faced with aggression on the road. For the sake of the people who love you and depend on you, maintain your self-control and just let the asshole pass.

We are crushable. Righteous indignation is no shield for two tons of metal and simple physics, not justice, dictates that the car wins every time.

Seager
Seager
12 years ago

Often I think that smiling and waving when a car is trying to make you angry gets an even more satisfying response. Less dangerous, and it frustrates the driver who was trying to make you mad and control your emotions.

steve
steve
12 years ago

Was he wearing a short skirt?

adam
adam
12 years ago

nice, steve! I don’t think that anyone is blaming the victim here – but, JM makes a valid point – flipping drivers off, no matter how satisfying, usually escalates a fight that you won’t win.

pfarthing6
pfarthing6
12 years ago

Another cyclists and I had an altercation with someone in a white van — not quite full size, but bigger than the soccermom mini — just a couple of weeks ago.

The guy passed both of us unsafely in SW on a one lane road with traffic going both ways.

The other cyclists, much faster than I caught up to him at the next light and, you know, wanted to have a word, but nothing provocative.

The driver gets out and starts trying to pick a fight, I saw this as I was catching up.

I tried to stand up for the cyclist — I mean, this driver almost caused a major accident driving on the wrong side of the narrow road, right at oncomming traffic — and then the driver tries to pick a fight with me!

Neither myself nor the other cyclists used any provocative language. It ended by me not backing down, I assume, and he just kind inched his way back toward his van trying to egg me on with each step back.

As for the “flipping off”, I’m of the persuasion that more cyclists aught to do it. For X-sake, these people endanger our lives and we’re supposed to be nice about it? Granted, reserve such tactics for when they are really deserved, not on some old person, or obviously just oblivious person.

But someone is being stupid, give ’em the finger and let them know. Make eye contact, let them know you’re a real person, that they’re an a-hole, and let them suck it up.

Being nice to them won’t change their minds about how they feel, that we shouldn’t be on the road, that it’s their road, that we don’t count.

While I personally do my best to be considerate when both riding and driving, when someone isn’t, let ’em know in whatever way works best for you. Busting a toot out a horn when totally uneccessary is just about the same as flipping the bird, imho. Give it right back to them I say.

SkidMark
SkidMark
12 years ago

Yeah like I’m gonna ride around in fear of speaking my mind even if it is with a hand gesture. This is why we get pushed around, everyone thinks we’re pussies.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

“That came across too strong — my point is that a gesture in no way excuses, explains, or ameliorates an attempt to injure or kill a human being. If the driver had shot at the victim I suspect the police would not have emphasized the finger.” spare_wheel #6

Not just ‘a’ gesture, but that particular gesture…the upheld middle finger…is widely known and recognized for its use by people to insult and antagonize each other. Many people consider the gesture to be an invitation to fight, or respond by upping the ante in some way. A vehicle horn activated out of annoyance or irritation felt by a vehicle operator isn’t associated with anything close to the message of insult and degradation, that the upheld middle finger does.

Why wouldn’t the police have reported that a road user flipping off another road user, prompted that road user (that happened to be driving), to respond violently to the person giving the finger? That the cyclist flipped the driver off doesn’t excuse the what the driver did, or make it less wrong, but it certainly may help explain why the driver might have chosen to respond so extremely.

elaine
elaine
12 years ago

I’ve also tried the middle finger approach in the past, and things either escalated, or I had a bunch of expletives shouted at me as they furiously drove off.

After reading Jonathan’s approach from a few months back (and Seager’s post), I’ve learned to just smile and wave at irate drivers who are irritated with having to wait a couple of extra seconds to move around me, or for something that is similarly harmless.

Drivers who have been more intimidating or have crossed a line that would have ( or did) put me in danger, I’ve referred to the Pedal Power Book, called the police, and cited the driver according to the statutes.

I commute 4 days a week by bike right now. In most cases, I’ve been able to smile and wave at them, which probably makes them even more mad, but they did not get the response they were looking for.

Gregg Woodlawn
12 years ago

It is EXTREMELY threatening to have a motorist intentionally drive close and honk.

I’m sorry that this ended so tragically. I hope that the victim heals as quickly and completely as possible. I hope they find the motorist and take away their license forever.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago

“Yeah like I’m gonna ride around in fear of speaking my mind even if it is with a hand gesture. This is why we get pushed around, everyone thinks we’re pussies.”

“For X-sake, these people endanger our lives and we’re supposed to be nice about it? Granted, reserve such tactics for when they are really deserved.”

Word.

“A vehicle horn activated out of annoyance or irritation felt by a vehicle operator isn’t associated with anything close to the message of insult and degradation, that the upheld middle finger does.”

I disagree completely. That is all.

“it certainly may help explain why the driver might have chosen to respond so extremely”

this is pure speculation on your part and the officer’s part and has no bearing on the crime. it also sounds awfully close to an excuse to me.

cyclist
cyclist
12 years ago

Saturday as I was riding home I was waiting for the light to turn green when I noticed a car trying to get out of the parking lot to my right. I hadn’t noticed it at first because I was tired focused on what was right in front of me. I apologized, backed my bike up, and waved him past me. As he rolled past he stuck his head out of the window and said, “It’s really great to meet a courteous cyclist.” That reinforced two lessons 1) If you’re a courteous and respectful cyclist you’ll make a positive impression on the driving public and 2) There are a lot of assholes out there on two wheels.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
12 years ago

Arrgh! This reinforces a rant I laid out over in the forums. Essentially, I have been realizing (duh) that cars have achieved their position of supremacy on the road via bullying. It is the same kind of bullying and intimidation used by gang members to “defend” their “turf”. Many (not all) drivers want other types of road users to fear them so that those who use non-motorized modes will stay out of their way. I have come to loathe and detest phrases such as “…the bike will always lose.”, “…the laws of physics…”, “…take responsibility for your own safety…”, because even though they are true, they reflect an attitude of subtle victim-blaming and might-makes-right–“don’t bring a knife to a gun fight!” Some drivers just want to bust out a little “shock and awe” to put us cyclists and peds back in our place: cowering on the sidewalk or on out-of-the-way side streets, or on “bike trails” (I hate that term, too, because there is no such thing) that go nowhere.

The bully mentality and intimidating behavior by drivers are only reinforced by the massive amount of “driver empathy” shared among all those who primarily drive and view bikes as toys. Irrational driver empathy is why stronger laws aren’t passed, existing laws aren’t enforced, and enforced laws carry trivial consequences. As I mentioned in the forums, I’m thinking of getting a bumper sticker for my bike that says “Killing people with your car is not a crime.”

The anti-bike sentiment is further fueled by the backward notion that bikes and cyclists create a “hazard” on the road, riding a bike is dangerous (therefore, nobody should do it, and if they get hurt or killed while doing it, what did they expect?), bikes pose a “threat” to other road users, etc. The real story is that drivers who do things like pull up behind a cyclist and honk, then proceed to physically push said cyclist off the road with their car, dislocating the cyclist’s shoulder and damaging their property as a result, are the ones who pose the real threat and create a hazard for those around them.

It’s a good thing I’m riding home soon so I can pedal off my indignation at stories like this.

jeff
jeff
12 years ago

A few years back, I had some a-hole tailgating me as I rode up S.W. Main downtown doing the speed limit downtown (if not a little more). If I remember he was literally about 2 feet behind me for 2 blocks. He got the finger, then proceeded to threaten to run me over on Broadway a few seconds later. Literally swerved partially into the bike lane on Broadway going south through the intersection. Point is, a-holes are looking for an excuse and often try to initiate confrontations. High school bully syndrome. Never grew out of it apparently, and most likely never will. Don’t give them a reason to test their anger management skills.

jim
jim
12 years ago

They are both guilty of road rage. They both should get a ticket. They don’t know where the driver is, but they do know where the cyclist is and should at least give him his ticket and when they find the driver give him the same plus some.

are
12 years ago

re comment 17, i completely disagree that it is acceptable for a motorist to sound a horn in anything other than an emergency. at the receiving end, to me it seems identical to the raised finger. a cultural norm we have to work to change.

re comment 21, sometimes i get this kind of thing from motorists, and while you do not want to sour a potentially positive interaction, i always, always make it a point to say that motorists also can be jerks, etc. and in the particular case you are describing, make it clear that you are acting as a neighbor, not a cyclist.

Opus the Poet
12 years ago

OK on the one hand you have a guy honking, and getting “the” finger in response, and on the other hand you have assault with a deadly weapon in response to “the” finger. How are the police treating this? As a traffic “accident”, or as assault with a deadly?

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

“… ” …A vehicle horn activated out of annoyance or irritation felt by a vehicle operator isn’t associated with anything close to the message of insult and degradation, that the upheld middle finger does. …” wsbob #17 …

I disagree completely. That is all. …” spare_wheel in comment #20

For what reasons do you disagree? Maybe I should have explained that the upheld middle finger is generally considered to be and is recognized as a derogatory gesture with specific sexual connotations, whereas the honking of a vehicle horn generally isn’t. I shouldn’t have assumed everyone knew this.

“… “…”it certainly may help explain why the driver might have chosen to respond so extremely” …” wsbob #17

…this is pure speculation on your part and the officer’s part and has no bearing on the crime. it also sounds awfully close to an excuse to me.” spare_wheel in comment #20

I wish it was just speculation, but it’s not. It’s interesting to me…probably others reading too…that you may not personally consider there to be anything particularly different between someone receiving the ‘the finger’ and being honked at or yelled at.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago

wsbob, i disagree with your assessment of the severity of the bird. insults are idiomatic and change over time. for example, the “c” word in castilian spanish is akin to say darn.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago

“you’ll make a positive impression on the driving public”

interesting how its always cyclists who have to make a “positive impression”. is there some cycling original sin that i am not aware of? i could care less how what some random motorist thinks of me. i just want to get from point A to B, safely.

Paul Tay
Paul Tay
12 years ago

Lesson learned: If you must, flip da bird only while behind da cagjaaaaaa.

Lesson learned, Part Deux: If you must, always put traffic between you and da road ragin’ cagjaaaa, BEFORE taunting.

Lesson learned, Part Tres: Always have Plan B. Be prepared to drop EVERYTHING, and run like a banshee outta Hades to the nearest Fred Meyers, alerting/scaring everyone to call in backup popo.

are
12 years ago

re comment 27, it is interesting to me, and i would hope to others reading, that you find the routine use of the horn to express annoyance acceptable. we actually have noise ordinances that express what one supposes is an agreed contrary value.

also, the circumstance describe here is that the motorist approached close behind and then sounded the horn. this would be quite startling and might have been understood as a threat. certainly would be by me.

cyclist
cyclist
12 years ago

are #31: When I’m on a bike and someone beeps I assume it means “I’m behind you and would like to pass.” Much like when I ring my bell prior to passing a bike or pedestrian. I’ve never flipped off anyone in a car because I can’t imagine it would lead to a desirable outcome.

shirtsoff
shirtsoff
12 years ago

Re: #8 & #22

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you very much for sharing these ideas and rightfully realizing that often outlying users of the roadways are both physically marginalized (e.g. bike lanes on roadways such as Broadway which don’t need them) and psychologically marginalized (e.g. the bicyclist “brought it upon himself” or “the laws of physics means bikes lose”). It should be emphasized in the original story that the van behaved very aggressively from the start by advancing closely *and* honking while in close proximity. I don’t believe the cyclist should have flipped off the driver but I can understand that he felt inappropriately threatened.

stig
stig
12 years ago

I got road raged by a guy in a truck on the way home just this afternoon. He held his truck back at an intersection even though he had the green, let me get ahead of him then PARRRRRRRP- massively loud, earsplitting burst from his horn.

No way that thing was legal and then he gunned it past me. That road was his road apparently. Maybe he got it from a barge just for cyclists. If you think riding outer East is dangerous on a Sunday, try it during commuting hours..I think I’ll try another route.

I recommend against the finger. Road ragers have a lot less to lose than you. And if they don’t, they’ll get you then get off anyway. If the roads were designed properly and accommodated bikes then we wouldn’t have all this conflict.

WOBG
WOBG
12 years ago

Anthony 32: Good thing you’re also a bike rider, because you have no business behind the wheel of a car. Drop the keys and back away.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

“wsbob, i disagree with your assessment of the severity of the bird. insults are idiomatic and change over time. for example, the “c” word in castilian spanish is akin to say darn.” spare_wheel #28

Cool. I appreciate your willingness to explain why you disagree with my assessment of the severity of the upraised middle finger, or as it’s also called, and as you chose to call it in your comment, “…the bird…”. You’re actually correct to some extent, that certain words and gestures used in common parlance, have evolved to a point where they’re either less offensive than they once were, or are no longer offensive at all. I’d have to think for awhile to come up with some examples.

It’s highly unlikely that this evolution has altered the meaning of ‘the upraised middle finger’. You’re certainly welcome to take your chances though, and find out for yourself first hand (not that I’m in any way recommending you do.). Just in case you decide to, I think I’ll refer you to the wise advice of Meeester Taaaay, comment #30 (thanks Paul!). Memorize that advice. With your interpretation of the meaning of this gesture, you may need it sooner than you think.

By the way… “…the “c” word in castilian spanish is akin to say darn …” Hey, nice you’re willing to be deferential people with gentle sensibilities (plus not trip the spam guard), but what the heck “c” word are you talking about?

“re comment 27, it is interesting to me, and i would hope to others reading, that you find the routine use of the horn to express annoyance acceptable. …” are #31

Readers…comment #27 is, of course…a comment posted by yours truly….wsbob. Just so we have things perfectly straight, contrary to what ‘are’ somehow seems to have concluded, I do not “… find the routine use of the horn to express annoyance acceptable.”. I don’t believe I’ve ever said anything to support such a conclusion. How ‘are’ ever came up with such a notion is a mystery to me.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
12 years ago

wsbob, coño is the castilian equivalent of the c word that rhymes with runt. its a very mild swear word in spain.

George
George
12 years ago

There were some amazingly fast reaction times for all involved.

If the car was driving 25 mph and honked ten feet from behind the cyclist
the cyclist flipped the bird and the driver responded by driving his van into the cyclist all within approximately .2727_ seconds.

These are amazing human beings. Super humans really.

are
12 years ago

i guess because when a motorist sounds his horn within a few feet of me on my bike i feel that a gesture of insult and degradation has been made, while you apparently do not, see your own comment 17.

i will acknowledge that the societal norm has degraded to the point where no one “gets” this anymore. it used to be completely unacceptable to sound the horn except in an extreme emergency (when, frankly, you probably should have been focusing your attention on braking and steering, rather than sounding the horn anyway). nowadays people sound the horn just locking the doors, rather than using the key that is right there in their hand.

Mindful Cyclist
Mindful Cyclist
12 years ago

are (#41): Many newer cars require the use of a key fob to unlock the door. My partner’s two year old car does not even have a keyhole in the door to unlock it the “classic” way.

The few times I have been honked at while riding I could tell the driver (and usually passengers) was (were) looking for one thing: He was waiting for me to yell/flip bird/slap car so he could rationalize slamming on the brakes and “teach me a lesson.” I simply responded by not giving Mr. Machismo what he wanted. If this makes me “weak,” so be it. I simply chose to keep myself safe.

pfarthing6
pfarthing6
12 years ago

With regard to the horn:

inappropriate = derogatory gesture
– so, why not offer one of you’re own back?

appropriate = friendly gesture
– so wave and smile

What’s so hard to figure about that? We all know the diff. Friendly is almost allwasys short, simple, and a single or double ‘tweet’, and unfriendly sets your nerves on edge. Easy peasy to tell.

With regard to feeling justified in purposely run me off the road (like the jerk from comment #32) for giving the finger or any other reason: this isn’t a big city, and payback is a bitch. If I live, I’ll find you. I’ll find you and I will hurt you. No lie.

I’m not a man of violence, but if that’s what it takes to get the point across (since obviously our justice system doesn’t really care) then so be it. The Natural world can be a violent place.

I don’t care whether people are drivers or riders. People are either good or not. I’ll assume the best, but if I’m proven wrong by your actions, I’ll do what I have to do to protect myself and let you know that you’re behavior is unacceptable.

Whether that’s a friendly flipping off or grinding your face into the concrete once I haul your sorry butt out your steel cage, whatever gets the point across I say.

And maybe if more cyclists stood up, didn’t take it anymore, and didn’t let these people continue feeling superior, things would change for the better.

I’m not saying we should indulge in road rage, pick fights, damange someone’s property, and lower ourselves to their standards. I’m just saying we shouldn’t live in fear.

George Hayduke
George Hayduke
12 years ago

Flip the bird and add the index finger and you got yourself a peace sign. Kill ’em with kindess, I say.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

are #41 …I don’t disagree that vehicle horns can be, and sometimes are used for communicating all manner of mean and nasty suggestions to other road users. Definitely, I do not encourage or support use of vehicle horns by road users for such a dishonorable purpose.

What I have been trying to say about a difference between the upraised middle finger and the use of vehicle horns, which I think many other people will agree with, is that the former…’the finger’…has a particularly inherent offensive meaning, however it’s used, while the latter….the horn… doesn’t.

For example, it’s possible to discreetly use a vehicle horn…’toot-toot-toot’…a reasonable distance back from another road user…just to notify road users of presence, or whatever the situation calls for…accompanied by smiles, friendly waves, etc. etc.

Try doing that with ‘the finger’, and you could be in for a heap of trouble, even if, or probably especially if you accompany it with a smile.

“wsbob, coño is the castilian equivalent of the c word that rhymes with runt. its a very mild swear word in spain.” spare_wheel #40

Sure…I figured it was that word. That’s very funny actually. Been awhile since I heard it discussed, but seem to remember that what I heard is that some centuries back, the word wasn’t offensive at all.

Not today. Today, it’s kind of like the ‘n’ word sometimes used to refer to people with skin darker than white. Some people in close company say those words to each other…refer to each other…with those words, on a friendly kind of basis. Far from being wise words though, for strangers to be hollering at each other out open car windows, or for people riding bikes to be hollering at strangers driving and riding in the ca–…, whoops!…au-to-mo-biles.

cyclist
cyclist
12 years ago

are #41:

“it used to be completely unacceptable to sound the horn except in an extreme emergency (when, frankly, you probably should have been focusing your attention on braking and steering, rather than sounding the horn anyway).”

I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that this is dependant on where you grew up. I grew up in Chicago and I can unequivocally say that people honked their horns for a multitude or reasons, very few of them having to do with impending emergencies, and this goes back to the 70s at least.

As I said earlier, I’ve been honked at a few times and I’ve always taken it as the driver expressing his desire to pass, just as I ring my bell when I intend to pass another cyclist or pedestrian. Each time it’s happened I’ve moved to the side, let them pass, and then gotten back in the center of the lane again. No confrontation, no problem.

matt picio
12 years ago

“middle fingers do not usually result in positive outcomes” – while this statement is certainly true, physical violence is never justified by words or gestures. If the facts of the case are correct, then the motorist escalated the situation and committed a felony.

Jonathan (#7) – Yes, you did – though somewhat indirectly. “it appears that a confrontation between both parties led to the hit and run” The gesture was an integral part of the confrontation. The gesture does not justify the other actions, but it *did* in part lead to the incident – it’s a reasonable statement. That fact, however, does not justify the subsequent actions and escalation.

wsbob (#17) – “A vehicle horn … isn’t associated with anything close to the message of insult”. Not to motorists, it doesn’t, but to many cyclists it’s another matter entirely. This is a case where the general public needs to be re-educated about horn use, and demonstrated how loud the horn is from outside the vehicle. To put it in another context, if you were sleeping, and at 2am I stood 10 feet outside your bedroom window and blew that horn, you might consider that to be an insult, and threatening.

and in response to #44, your example of the “n” word is perfectly representative of how something can be a deadly insult to one group of people and accepted as normal by society at-large.

jim (#24) – What is the ticketable offense for flipping someone off? Please cite the offended statute.

George (#43) – in the US, yes – in many European countries that would be equally an insult.

matt picio
12 years ago

“accepted as normal by society at-large” – think the US south in 1950, before the civil rights movement – not in recent years, where the term has been generally (and rightfully) shunned by the public as defamatory.

Al from PA
Al from PA
12 years ago

Could running someone off the road (necessarily because s/he is a cyclist) be classified as a hate crime, and be prosecuted as such?

heinz kohut
heinz kohut
12 years ago

If you’re riding your bike down the road and a driver passes you, with three feet of clearance, no horn honking, but in doing so they open their window and extend to you the one fingered salute, what is your first impression?

Aggressive driver, suffering from road rage?

Why is it that if riding a bike, extending the middle finger is not considered road rage?

The same mental attitude is present, to antagonize the other person on the road.

Anger and rage is anger and rage whether behind the wheel or on a bike.

adam
adam
12 years ago

love how wide ranging these discussions can be.

I have had mixed success with throwing the Peace Sign, too. Its not obvious to the driver and there is already tension – the driver is likely to assume the bird. So, be careful with that.

The best solution for this is to start making calls to the non emergency police line 503-823-3333. My experience is that this will lead nowhere due to a low priority for this sort of offense and poor investigative abilities from the police, but at least there is a record of the complaint and you can be happy that you are “doing the right thing”.

Maybe I am a weak-kneed pacifist on this one but that has not always been the case. I have tried many responses to the threaten car problem and, honestly, I had the most trouble with the bird. Three times, the driver pulled over and got out of his car in response. While these encounters ended poorly for the drivers, they were not fun and could have ended up with me facing some real charges.

So, now, I just try to stay out of the way of irritated people in general. that’s my solution but maybe you have a better one. Time for a bikeportland poll!

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Driving up behind someone and honking at them is far more alarming and rude than a finger. People should never get behind the wheel if they are that over-emotional and unstable that they use their car as a weapon because someone showed them a finger. Pathetic.