Stupid motorist tricks

There’s the one stupid motorist move that’s immediately obvious in this video, where the sociopath idiot driving the SUV in a parking lot crosses the double yellow to pass as I’m signalling a left turn, just so he can save himself three or four seconds. He gave an apologetic wave as he passed while I yelled a few helpful suggestions about his driving skills. (32 second video)

This video starts when the light for Bayfront Expressway is already red (you can see my light turn green — there’s a pause). How many cars do you count blowing through that red light? Did you spot the black SUV on Bayfront that stopped well in front of the stop bar?

Music: Simon & Garfunkel “59th Street Bridge Song.” I once heard a Death Metal cover of this song; I wish I could remember who did it.


  1. I almost got hit like that the other day. Was turning left as a light was turning yellow and the driver behind me swerved around me to make the light. I was taking the lane so I could make the turn safely and signaled just as you did. Good thing we looked again before making the turn.

  2. To play devil's advocate a bit, it looks like he was already starting to pass when you signaled. Maybe he didn't know you were about to turn.

    And that wasn't a very convincing signal. That looks like a “pointing out a hazard” signal, not a “left turn” signal.

    But he did cross the double-yellow, which is currently illegal in California. Some states like Florida and Ohio allow crossing a double-yellow to pass slow traffic (tractors, bikes, etc.)

  3. Hey Mike,

    The driver was riding my tail immediately after the curb. When I started looking back is when he swerved left and gunned it to pass me. I'm gonna claim to be mind reader here, I know, but that's the part that ticks me off – he knew my intentions and instead of doing the correct, safe thing, he did the stupid, dangerous thing. It's like he doesn't know what that pedal next to the accelerator is for.

  4. In the video it looks like he decided to pass you at almost the exact same time that you began to indicate your turn, and was already next to you when you turned your head. From the camera's eye view, I didn't know you were turning until you started to put your arm out at 0:26, and he was already in the frame by 0:28. I don't think he had a chance to notice you were signaling the turn.

    Maybe if you had started signaling around 0:22, he wouldn't have begun the pass.

  5. You signaled 4 seconds before turning. If my math is right, at 15 MPH, you should have signaled 9 seconds (200 feet) before turning.

  6. I've got to agree on this. From the looks of this video, the driver had already committed to passing by the time your arm was up. That's not a very assertive signal either, pointing to the ground like that.

    I generally look back first, adjust my speed a tiny bit to fit in whatever gap looks best by the time the turn is approaching, and put my arm straight out while taking the lane. (Hopefully) That leaves little doubt in a driver's mind as to my intentions to turn.

  7. The driver wasn't passing safely, but putting the pedal to the metal and passing aggressively.

    As a person behind the wheel of a car I know what's coming up in front of me. If there is a potential turn coming up I don't start to pass until the turn has been cleared. Doesn't matter if it's a car, bike, pedestrian. You can never be too careful.

    It isn't a cut and dry situation. But the person driving that car wasn't completely in the right either.

  8. The video is a very effective self coaching tool. They show me (and you!) my mistakes; and none of us is as good a cyclist (or driver) as we think we are..

    Yes, I could have signaled more emphatically (!). 200 feet before would me back in the intersection, but whatever. This all detracts from the point that the driver should not have passed in the first place. I'll mind read again and guess he saw “Bike” and thought “slow — MUST PASS.”

    Other considerations: this is a perimeter road where every turn is a LEFT turn, which is why the double yellow line is there in spite of the clear site lines. This morning was rainy, but on a nice day 50 to 100 cyclists come in on that road, a good number of them turning left where I do because that's where the bike parking is at. The regular cyclists here always takes the lane, and the motorists always queue behind them because they know we're about to turn.

  9. I responded to Mike to address what you wrote. Nobody passes here in spite of the clear sight lines because every turn is a left turn into the parking lot on this perimeter road. Even if (especially if) he was passing a slow car this motorist would be in the wrong.

  10. I think we're going to need another vid cam on a pole off the front of your bike so we can get both sides of the scene in proper perspective. Or a cam on your helmet facing backwards. But yeah, he was in the wrong with the double yellow crossing regardless of your signal.

    And yeah, nice choice for music!

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