Safety is of the upmost importance when sharing the road with fellow motorists. However, sometimes people do not follow the rules of the road. Last month, a group of 30 to 50 motorcyclists were reported “stunt” driving on a major roadway in San Jose. According to the report, the motorcyclists were engaging in wheelies, knocking on car windows and purposefully stopping oncoming traffic. Under California law, these acts constitute reckless driving, or engaging in deliberate disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Luckily, no one was injured. Though engaging in this behavior was far more dangerous to the motorcyclists, who could have sustained severe injuries or fatalities, it was an unnerving experience for the other motorists on the road. Drivers reported fear of not knowing what to do during the situation.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), similar reports have been increasing. Intervening during one of these situations can be more dangerous than the situation itself. Law enforcement officers do not want to put the public in danger by conducting a high-speed chase or starting a confrontation, especially if the number of officers do not match the number of stunt drivers.
In the past, these antics have triggered road rage and violence in fellow motorists as well as in the stunt drivers. For instance, in 2014, motorcyclists surrounded an SUV in New York City. The driver panicked and drove through several motorcyclists, injuring one. The motorcyclists retaliated, pulled the driver from the vehicle and beat him.
If you are ever faced with this situation, do not do anything that would put yourself or others in danger. If you feel threatened, pull off the road at the nearest exit. If you are unable to exit, stay calm and do not try to speed or outrun the motorists. This could result in injuring yourself and others.
The CHP recommends you call 9-1-1 if you find yourself driving near a reckless driver. If you are surrounded by a group of motorcyclists engaging in stunts, calling in license plate numbers and/or descriptions of the motorcycles, motorcyclists’ gear and helmets can help officers track down reckless drivers after the situation has dissipated. While filming the situation on a phone could be beneficial as evidence, it is illegal for a driver to be on the phone. If your passenger is filming, law enforcement recommends being discreet to avoid unwanted confrontation or road rage.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of someone else’s negligence, the personal injury lawyers at Needham, Kepner & Fish LLP could help. We can help you understand your rights under the law and guide you through the complex legal system. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at (408) 956-6949 or online.