Q I recently had a Prius driver purposefully swerve to hit my motorcycle as I passed him. We were on Highway 85 and he was exiting the carpool lane. I began to pass him and when I was equal with his front tire, he swerved back into the carpool lane within 6 inches of my right foot. I slowed, he flipped me off and screamed at me red-faced, as though I could hear him.
I don’t ride with a GoPro or another video device, so I have no way to report this guy. But friends told me that the police won’t accept film, as it can be doctored and is considered hearsay. Is this true?
A Chris-the-CHP-Man says GoPro footage can be used as evidence: “There might be a misunderstanding in regards to the use of the GoPro footage as evidence. The footage as well as interviews or any other factors involved in this type of incident will be weighed by the courts in determining prosecution. In the case presented by your reader, the footage might be used to corroborate the rider’s story or to disprove the driver’s story.”
More drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists are using GoPro to document their trips. Safety experts hope it will lead to better driving as bad drivers realize their actions may be captured on camera.
Q Please explain what good it does to “call 800-Tell-CHP and file a report, especially since you got the license plate number” of a driver who does something dangerous, as you wrote recently.
Occasionally, I have wanted to report such things somehow. But it is my impression that police cannot cite a driver for vehicle code violations unless the officer witnesses the infraction, and the driver must be identified, since it is the driver, not the registered owner who is cited.
A You are correct. The CHP may send out a warning letter to the owner of the vehicle, but cannot do much more than that. Here, however, is where the 1-800-Tell-CHP hot line can be an effective tool. If you spot the same scofflaw on the same route frequently at roughly the same time, give the CHP a heads up and it will keep an eye out for this repeat offender.
Q There is no lane line just before the Highway 87 exit at Capitol Expressway in San Jose going north and after the exit. It looks like blacktop repairs were done and lines were left undone. Cars in the center lane come into the right lane assuming the lane ends at the exit. It is not an exit-only lane. Please let the authorities know.
A I have. Fresh striping will be installed by Memorial Day.
Q I was driving around one day when a thought randomly came to me. If you are taking your driving test and another car hits you, do you still fail the test? I put the question to friends and two said it is an automatic fail because you don’t have your license yet or have not completed the test successfully.
A Not true. You don’t automatically fail. The test is simply rescheduled.