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Consequences for Banana-Throwers, and the Case for Human Decency

10:12 AM EDT on May 18, 2010

img_3744.jpgBananas, bicycles and an appropriate police response. (Photo: Bike Denton)

Today from Texas, the story of some teenagers who thought it would be fun to throw stuff at people riding bicycles — and of some police officers who thought what they did was serious enough to track them down and stop them.

The account comes from Bike Denton, one of a group of bicycle-focused blogs in and around the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. It’s a part of the country where there is a solid and growing community of people who love to ride bikes and are dedicated to creating better conditions for cycling. (See the blogroll at Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, the first of these blogs that we found out about, for links to more.)

Here’s how the Bike Denton post begins:

When a car passes by as you’re cycling, and the occupants hurl objects at your faces, you might not assume that they’ll get caught. You also might not assume that you’ll get to meet the hooligans, make your case for simple human decency, and have a police officer deliver cake to your house.

Don’t assume anything.

Click through and read the whole story for yourself.

It’s good to read about police officers out there who do take assaults against people on bicycles seriously — we’ve certainly heard plenty of cases where the opposite was true. (As a matter of fact, the University of North Texas cops who were first alerted to this particular example didn’t seem to care too much about it.)

When officers do take the time and effort to stop drivers who engage in this kind of life-threatening behavior, they might well precipitate a lifetime change in driving habits. The teenagers in this instance will probably think twice before throwing more bananas.

We’d love to hear your stories about cops who have come to the aid of people on bicycles in the comments.

More from around the network: Bike Portland on "aggromuters" and "policy crushes." Second Ave. Sagas on the national failure to fund transit. And Bike Omaha on the beauty of a bike commute.

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