Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

SUV vs. Cyclist, and Officer expresses concern for . . .

the SUV, naturally.

And I’m not talking about this, but the ridiculousness that just occurred at the end of my evening workout yesterday.

As I was heading home on Wilson Blvd. (in Arlington), I had an SUV pretty much try to shove me into a row of parked cars.  As it came over on me, I put my hand on the SUV (which speeds off, natch), and then I hear from the loudspeaker of the cop car behind me, “DO NOT HIT THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU.”


So I slow up to ask the cop why he’s concerned with me touching the SUV when it’s the ()*@#!@!ng *SUV* that nearly ran me into the cars. Officer NoClue proceeds to tell me that I *invite* that behavior by riding on the right side of the lane, and that if I can’t keep up with the speed limit (ha!) then I should get off the road.  I tell him that he’s full of shit and needs to stop making things up (and what he makes up extends into the absurd, including Wilson Blvd. being a 45mph street – I bet those folks that get speeding tickets on it regularly would love to find that out . . . ).  We argue for a bit (I would have loved a ticket), and he pulls off when the light changes.

I’m drafting and filing an informal complaint that 1) recounts the incident, 2) explains the law (since the officer clearly has no clue) and 3) asks for an apology and an assurance that he now understands the law. If I don’t get #3, we move to a formal complaint, which I’ll make a point of pursuing with vigor.  Arlington is generally a great place for cyclists (and, in my general experience, has an excellent and cyclist-friendly police dept.), and we don’t need cluelessness like this patrolling our streets.

Related: Bike laws of Virginia.  Read them.  Know them.  Live them.  Argue them with cops who like to make things up.


Shenandoah Mountain 100


Travel much? You need one of these.


  1. Thanks for the link to the Bike Laws of Virginia.

    I’ve been pulled over a few times by officers who did no know the law as well as they should – and I’ve found that it is generally easier to win them over by bein polite…

    Having said that – it is hard to be polite when some GGVO (Gas-Guzzling Visual Obstruction) driver has just tried to kill you and then the officer compounds your adreneline with a stupid opening remark.

    You deserve the apology, and more importantly, that officer needs to be corrected so he can do the right thing next time.

    Thank you.

  2. MB

    Thanks, Scott. I generally agree with you on the politeness with cops issue, but – as you note – I was so immediately appalled by the guy taking up for the giant hunk of metal that just assaulted me that I was sent straight into lividness. I’ll be sending the letter on Monday and will post any response. As I said, Arlington has a pretty decent police dept, so I expect a good resolution to this.

  3. Curious

    Has there been any response or resolution to your complaint (formal or informal)?

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