By Craig Davis
Peter Grace was a novel thinker. He was also an incredible gentleman as documented in a collision incident video he shared in comments at the end of my 2/10/22 article. Listen as Peter has a polite conversation with the woman who just hit him with her car in Sausalito, sharing how scared he was by almost getting knocked over. He then wishes her a Happy New Year and offers to let her proceed ahead of him.
Peter looked out for the entire cycling community by calling for critically needed enforcement of existing laws in his comments on both my 2/10/22 and 7/21/23 articles.
Peter’s novel thinking was demonstrated during our 11/16/21 Building Bridges to Common Ground meeting, between CVE's eleven member San Mateo County (SMC) Cycling Safety Council, the SMC Sheriff’s Office and SMC Supervisor David Pine’s Chief of Staff, Mark Burruto. We were discussing how to address the systemic anti-cyclist bias across law enforcement and the legal system that cyclists had been experiencing for years. Peter suggested we request a civil grand jury investigation. Much to my surprise, Burruto said it was a good idea.
Peter’s novel idea was the impetus for my 2/10/22 article concluding that we were being forced to request the first of its kind civil grand jury investigation. Over a year later, after exhausting all other options to build bridges to common ground, I formally requested the investigation. A San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury was convened and confirmed our contention in their 7/10/23 final report.
Over the years Peter submitted many near miss incident reports to CVE’s Incident Management System, and to law enforcement, with the hope that law enforcement would enforce existing laws for cycling safety. He suffered many indignities from law enforcement, including the California Highway Patrol making him drive to the station and fill out an incident report by hand, on blank sheets of paper. This clearly communicated the lack of seriousness they gave cyclists’ incident reports, and that it would be filed in the trash once Peter left the station.
You can read Peter’s handwritten incident report below and watch the incident video where the pickup truck driver endangers everyone in the group of ascending Western Wheelers cyclists who were approaching a blind curve, as well a descending cyclist coming around the blind curve, narrowly avoiding a tragic head on collision with the pickup truck. You can listen to the driver yell “get the fuck out of here you motherfuckers,” “get out of the fucking road,” and Peter say, “I’m reporting him to the police.”
Peter's incident report notes that Frank Masterson was killed by a driver going uphill in the downhill lane of the same road.
Peter also reported the incident to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office where the Deputy wrote in the case report “After I reviewed the video, I determined there was no crime.”
This serious case of assault and reckless driving was reflexively dismissed out of hand.
Domestic violence or gun violence victims reporting an assault would never be treated with such unprofessional disregard, but cyclists’ traffic violence incident reports, complete with video evidence, are routinely rejected by law enforcement.
In his comments on my 7/21/23 article, Peter shared a BBC video documenting a road safety initiative called Operation Snap. He said, “Even the UK law enforcement will give citations based on video evidence and are proud enough of their work to share the results with the BBC.”
In his comments at the end of my 2/10/22 article Peter wrote:
"Until we get bias against cyclists and cyclist safety addressed, we are not going to get more people to use biking as a form of transport which must be one of the more straight forward changes in behavior needed to address Climate Change. If the police do not support bicyclist safety, we are all stuck on the wrong side of the river. The police support is a key link in the bridge across to reducing our carbon footprint. The coming growth in electric bikes makes this support even more important and critical. Yes, I am considering getting a cargo bike for my trips to COSTCO instead of driving.
I have been repeatedly harassed while biking and now ride with front and back cameras to capture these unsavory moments. Unfortunately, they can happen unexpectedly quickly although in this case, the harassment began 5 seconds before the VW passed us horn blaring. I surmise that we were not wanted on the road or were we the butt of an innocent bit of fun?
I now ride with three flashing back lights and a flashing front light and still worry about getting home each night to have supper with my wife."
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