On 9/18/2014 one of our member’s had an egregious assault and reckless driving incident in Castro Valley California recorded via cyclist video evidence, the video is below, that resulted in the first private person’s arrest 3 foot law citation executed by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). It should have resulted in assault or reckless driving charges.
This was at a time when charging drivers for assault or reckless driving using cyclist video evidence was unheard of. Law enforcement routinely rejected cyclist’s incident reports unless there was a collision. In our Post Mortem Report below, the Alameda County Chief Assistant District Attorney Kevin Dunleavy incredulously stated that there was “no victim since there was no injury.” He said “why are we even talking about this without an injury?”” Alameda County Sheriff, Sgt Tom Rodriques, posted twice on our previous site, www.3FootCycling.com: “As far as I am concerned the 3′ rule will never be enforced by local law enforcement” and “Drivers of cars don’t even move over for law enforcement and there is a law about that so why would they even want to move over for a bicyclist?” and “The move over law for law enforcement doesn’t work so why do you bicyclists think that it will work for 3′ violations? Get real please.”
We worked on this incident as our member’s advocate for over two years ultimately leading to our writing a bill that California State Assemblymember Bill Quirk agreed to carry.
After several months, CHP rescinded the citation without explanation so we filed a California Public Records Request. The emails between CHP HQ and the Golden Gate Division revealed that CHP would not accept cyclist video evidence because they believed officers had to view every incident in person! This is commonly referred to as the “On View” requirement. The emails went on to say “if this individual is successful in prosecuting this motorist , it could open a can of worms statewide”
This occurred when police departments were rushing to equip their officers with body cameras and citizen smartphone video was being accepted and transforming law enforcement nationally. This made no sense.
We were outraged that CHP refused to cite this driver, in effect encouraging him to continue assaulting cyclists. So we deconstructed the cyclist’s video evidence into the video below, created and hosted an online petition that was signed by cyclists across California and from other states, and emailed our community with the subject line: CHP Denies Cyclists Equal Protection Under The Law.
By the time we called a summit with all the key stakeholders at the California state capital, CHP had run out the one year statute of limitations for this specific incident. They apologized profusely that we were given wrong information: CHP does not have to “On View” all incidents. CHP has the “authority” to accept cyclist video evidence to cite egregious drivers without a collision.
This precedent means that all California law enforcement can accept cyclist video evidence to cite egregious drivers for assault and reckless driving without a collision.
Below is a 2 page Petition Post-Mortem Analysis report followed by 20 pages of testimonials from cyclists across California expressing their outrage that CHP would not cite this driver and sharing their experiences being assaulted by aggressively reckless drivers, injuring and terrifying them, and killing their loved ones
You can scroll through the document or you can hover your cursor over the bottom to view the PDF in full screen mode and use the zoom keys to view one page at a time. Then you can click the down and up arrows to advance one page forward and one page backward.