I moved out of the roadway onto the sidewalk and looked for paper and pen to write down the plate number and vehicle description. Somehow I didn’t have anything to write with so I memorized the plate number. I didn’t think that I should call 911, and that was my mistake.
SPD Says Call 911 When a Motor Vehicle Driver Acts Aggressively Towards You as a Bicycle Driver
By Josh Miller | Published September 8, 2011
One morning this week while riding to work at about 7:00 AM I was aggressively cut off by a car driver. I was travelling south on 5th Avenue at about 17 MPH in the right curb lane approaching the Pine Street intersection (at the south end of the monorail in Seattle) and the driver of a late model white Subaru Impreza (WA ABW 3335) aggressively merged into my travel lane forcing me to brake and move towards the curb. I slowed and honked my air horn. After she passed through the intersection she turned her head back to look and flew me the bird. The driver was a brown-haired middle-aged woman.
Later after getting to work and navigating the Seattle Police Department directory and automated phone system I talked to a human on a non-emergency line. She was very helpful and told me that I should have called 911 even though there was no physical harm or explicit verbal threat. She said if I had called immediately they would have put out a call to officers in the area and looked for the driver and vehicle, come and talked to me etc.
I am not a vindictive person, nor overly oriented towards crime and punishment but I did want to seek some recourse after being run off the road. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, go right ahead and call 911 immediately and make a report.
Keep the situational awareness up and the rubber side down. Happy urban biking!