Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
We had another thread almost identical to this one a few months ago, and I saw many of the suggestions mentioned here, on that thread too. I agree that the left arm out, hand down, sweep back motion is probably the best first response. It is a gentle, courteous action that will often get the desired response. It also leaves the public with a better image of bikers.
However there were a few more ideas to consider. One member said that he would make a couple of quick swerves right in front of the tailgater. Another would lift both hands off the grips, and hold them straight up for a couple of seconds. Of course the second idea requires that you have a cruise control or throttle lock, so you don`t slow down too fast and get run over anyway, (which would negate the whole purpose of this action).
Both these tactics seemed to get the desired response, as the tailgaters thought the biker didn`t have control of the bike, and was about to crash. I saw another move mentioned on the forum, not long ago. You just touch the rear brake pedal enough to activate the brake light, and slow 2-3 mph, then turn in the seat and point your index finger straight at the driver. This is most effective if performed in front of a LEO, as it may get the offender a ticket for unsafe driving.
Another offered one more step to jthill`s suggestion to phone in their license plate number, report tailgating and erratic driving. Also report that they pointed a gun at you. It will make for a memorable stop and search for the cager.
A rider who was also a LEO, would reach inside a pocket to get his wallet, and flash his silver star at the offending driver. An instant back off was the norm.
I think my favorite was from someone who had access to licensing data on his computer at work. He would record the plate number, then check it at work and cross reference it with the registered owners drivers license and physical description. If it all matched, he would write a letter to the registered owner and inform him of his tailgating and where and what time it occured. The owner would then be reminded that the writer knew who he was and where he lived, but the recipient had no idea who the writer was. He would then be advised that his driving habits should improve. I LOVE IT. I wish I could see his face when he opens the letter.
jth, no matter how tempting it is, I would be carefull with the paintballs. It doesn`t take much to set off road rage these days, and you on a bike are no match for 2 tons of steel with a pee`d off driver on your tail.
So what do you say that we all make a commitment not to be the one who becomes enraged, or causes another to do so. Stay calm, use the brush back sign. If that doesn`t work, change lanes or pull off, or speed up and pull ahead, then pull over and get their plate number as they go by and report them. Do what you have to, to stay safe, and live to ride another day