The mission of San Francisco’s Vision Zero campaign is to eliminate fatal bicycle and pedestrian crashes in the city. Much of the effort is focused on eliminating accidents, but sometimes there are collisions that are not accidental at all. Sometimes, motorists use their cars and trucks as weapons to inflict serious harm on cyclists.
In a recent example, an eyewitness told SFist.com that he saw a motorist strike a bicycle with his car in a fit of road rage. The incident happened outside the San Francisco Art Institute.
It is not clear what enraged the driver, but he apparently knocked the rider off his bike and ran over the bicycle. The rider suffered a leg injury, but was conscious as the driver took off, the bicycle dragging noisily underneath, leaving a white scratch on the street.
This is the second violent confrontation between a driver and a bicycle rider in about a month. On Jan. 14, a driver sped past a rider with about six inches of space between them. When the rider caught up to the car at a red light, the driver yelled at her and sprayed mace at her, getting a little of the mace in the rider’s throat and eyes. California law requires drivers to give bicycles at least three feet of buffer room.
Hopefully, neither rider suffered serious injury, though both were hurt in their respective incidents. Road rage is a problem in any scenario, but when a driver targets a cyclist or pedestrian, he or she can easily cause critical harm.