02

Blog

End the Punishment Pass

It’s the ride you’ve been waiting for all week. You’re on a country road, maybe with a few friends, maybe in your favorite new kit. You’ve been out for 2 hours already, your legs are strong, the big ring feels small. Your real-world worries have faded away, and the road ahead asks more from you. You hear the breeze, your tires, the chain, and your heart. You’ve reached that place that all cyclists know.

And then, it happens. Your peripheral view overcomes your vision, you see a storm of color enveloping you, you are violently shoved by a concussion of air, and you hear nothing but an explosion of ugly sound.

Internally, the euphoria of endorphins is overcome by a surge of stress and fear hormones, triggering terror, a racing heart, and a body bracing for impact. The car that veered so close to you — steered into you — races off. Your ride has been ruined, but when you calm down you say you were lucky not to have been killed.

You Experienced the Punishment Pass

This tragedy has happened to every single one of us. It is a tragedy in the most classical sense, this horrible contrast between your expansive heroic nature a moment before, and belittling pure fear after.

You were buzzed by a car. For my almost 40 years of riding, that’s what we’ve called it, being “buzzed.” Many drivers (and much worse, too many law enforcement officers) don’t really see the big deal with buzzing. Drivers have never experienced it from our side, and they certainly have not been in our shoes when one of our tribe is struck, hurt, or killed.  The punishment pass is an illegal act by a driver to punish us for riding our bikes. It is an illegal act that can and does hurt and kill.

End the Punishment Pass

Today we announce a campaign to address the problem of close calls and the punishment head on. We are joining others and calling it “End the Punishment Pass.”

At Bike Law, we are devoting significant and on-going resources to do what we can, across the country, to bring attention to this problem, and offer tools to punish those criminal drivers that persist in endangering our lives. Our goal is that this inhumane behavior is recognized for what it is, prevented, punished, and ultimately eliminated.

We have been working on this for months so far, and in the coming days and weeks, we will release more about our campaign to End The Punishment Pass.

Comments

Human Shield Bike Lane
Bruce Hagen Jul 29, 2019

If you ride bikes around Atlanta, chances are that you know Niklas Vollmer and Andreas Wolfe.  They’re some of the many people in town who seem to live on their bikes and can be seen riding everywhere.  While they both have their “day jobs,” folks in the cycling world know them for their place in […]

Read More
Bruce Hagen Jul 19, 2019

This is a time when advocacy efforts are crucial to making our streets safer for everyone. Within 24 hours from the Two Wheel Tuesday gathering we suffered two more casualties.  On Wednesday morning, Marten Bijvank was on his way to work on his bicycle when he was struck and killed by an unlicensed DUI driver […]

Read More
AJ's Bicycle Shop in Iowa
Jim Freeman Jul 15, 2019

Bicycling Magazine recently published an article titled, “Hey, Bike Shops; Stop Treating Customers Like Garbage.”  The story follows a heavy-set 59 year old’s sad tale of how he was treated poorly from a number of local bike shops.   First and foremost, I would be clear that bikes are for almost everyone.  If you are big, […]

Read More
Bike accident scene
Rick Bernardi Jul 12, 2019

The big bike news out of the Oregon legislature this year was the passage of a Stop as Yield law. This was an enormous legislative victory for Oregon cyclists, the culmination of over a decade of advocacy. But it wasn’t the only legislative victory for Oregon cyclists this legislative session. A less glamorous but equally […]

Read More
Uber Biking Escort
Charlie Thomas Jul 11, 2019

I often find myself wanting to ride on a roadway corridor that doesn’t want me there. At best, I could make it across alive with some close calls and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At worst, I wouldn’t be around to write this blog post.  Of course, a safer, alternate route […]

Read More
Cycling Without Age Bike Law
Brian Weiss Jul 11, 2019

The founder of the Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team loves his life on two wheels. Gary Harty was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and raised in Colorado – Denver Metro area, and now makes bicycling in Lakewood, Colorado safe and fun.  Gary is part of the baby boomer generation. He attended Colorado State University (CSU) and […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Bike Law
Rachael Maney Jul 10, 2019

Outrage.  It is what drives action and engagement on the interwebs these days. If it’s not outrageous, it’s boring. The Election of 2018 proved that outrage increases TOS (“time on site”) more than friendship, sympathy, desire, or anything else.  Judgment. By definition it is necessary to reach any conclusion about anything. But passing it on […]

Read More
Stop as Yield for Cyclists
Rick Bernardi Jul 09, 2019

The Oregon Legislature made national news this past week, for all the wrong reasons. The State Senate, with a super-majority of Democrats in control, had been working on climate legislation which would have Oregon join a cap-and-trade market with California and Quebec. Unable to stop the legislation, Republican Senators fled the state en masse, preventing […]

Read More
Bike Law Alps
Charlie Thomas Jul 07, 2019

It’s Tour de France time. I follow the racing daily through the footage on TV feed and still photos. But I hadn’t ever considered what’s happening on the other side of the camera lens. Like, what actually goes into snapping these pictures that we see documenting the Tour’s happenings? I started to care more about […]

Read More
E Bike and insurance
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Jul 01, 2019

Prologue  Last month, I rode across the Casco Bay Bridge to talk e-bikes and insurance with Bob O’Brien, the Vice President of Noyes, Hall and Allen Insurance in South Portland, Maine.  Although I have yet to invest in an e-bike for myself, I have been captivated by e-bikes and their potential to get and keep […]

Read More
Brooke Nelson
Danny Feldman Jul 01, 2019

Brooke Nelson has been the ride director of the Cheaha Challenge (www.cheahachallange.com) since shortly after the 2014 ride and in the past 5 years, ride participation has increased 188%.  Since 2017 when it became the only UCI Qualifier, Alabama’s biggest ride has become known nationally and internationally.  The 2019 ride had participants from 31 states […]

Read More
Joe Piscitello Jun 20, 2019

Thanks to some outstanding advocacy efforts, both the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia have recently scored two important wins for cycling safety. Pennsylvania:  “Dutch Reach” in State Driver’s Manual The “Dutch Reach” method of opening a car door has finally been added to the State Driver’s Manual after many years of conversation. […]

Read More
Load More