Bad driving you can do something about

While riding my bike to work last week, a delivery truck driver coming from the other direction illegally turned left in front of me, making my heart skip a beat and forcing me to stop suddenly. The truck couldn’t complete the turn right away, because he was (thankfully) yielding to a pedestrian. 

I made eye contact with the driver and said “What are you doing?”

His response was troubling. I got a 7 second middle finger salute that just added insult to injury.

He completed his turn. I got to work safely. End of story?

Nope.

Since he was working for a well known company and had an identifiable truck number, I contacted the company and expressed my concern for their driver’s behavior – both the illegal turn and the "sign language."

The company representative assured me that they take these situations seriously and that they would look into it. They even sent me some coupons for some free product to thank me for my time.

Everyone should drive safely, but people that drive for a living have an even bigger responsibility since they are on the road more frequently, transport other people and/or often have larger vehicles that can cause more damage.

In London, commercial trucks without special safety features to protect pedestrians and cyclists will be banned from the city due to the disproportionate frequency of injuries/fatalities they cause.

If you see someone driving a commercial vehicle irresponsibly, whether they are driving aggressively, illegally or distracted, please report their behavior. Please note -- it’s not necessary or recommended to engage with the driver on site.

Collect the following information:

  • Vehicle number
  • Plate number
  • Date/time
  • Description of vehicle
  • Description of the driver
  • Exact location of the incident

Then, simply contact the company and calmly explain what you witnessed and that it was concerning behavior to observe from a representative of their company.

In the instance of dangerous cab driver behavior, you can submit your complaints directly to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs. I know from experience that they do a thorough job of investigating complaints.

Reporting bad driving, especially commercial drivers, is everyone’s job. 

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This piece is a great

This piece is a great follow-up to what I've learned from ATA about what to do after a crash. (Info which I have used to help several stunned cyclists after the hit.) Thanks for the tips!

Same goes for City workers. I

Same goes for City workers. I can't tell you how many city owned vans and vehicles I see with the driver on thier cell phones talking or texting. The vehicles all have a vehicle number that I use when I call 311.

CTA issues

I tried this tactic once with both PACE and the CTA. I received an automatic response saying "We're sorry. We'll investigate and get back to you." I never received a response after that. I'm glad this worked for you, but sometimes the result isn't so positive.

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