SUV driver caught on camera too close to bicyclists in Sarasota

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Bike rider Ryan Johs found himself in a dangerous situation Thursday night in Gulf Gate Estates. He recorded the incident on a GoPro strapped to his helmet. A blue Infiniti SUV passed a group of bikers by crossing the double-yellow line. 

Oncoming traffic forced the SUV back to its lane. It slowed down and merged right, coming within inches of Johs. On the video, you can hear Johs hit the fender with his hand and yell, “What the ** you doing?”

Johs records his frequent rides to document incidents like this.

“When you’re going up against a pretty heavy vehicle and you’re on a 15-pound bike, there’s not much you can do besides yelling and slapping the fender, just to let ’em know you’re there and that you have nowhere else to go,” he said.

The SUV driver moved left again, crossing the double yellow line, narrowly missing an oncoming car.

In Sarasota, Village Bike Shop owner Ed Levins said he’s had drivers buzz by very close.

“It’s a matter of educating drivers to be cognizant of the injury they can create against the cyclist,” said Levins.

Last Tuesday in Venice, avid bike rider Mickey Johnson died when police say Anthony Alexander hit him as Johnson crossed the US 41 bypass.

Cops say Alexander and his passenger lied about who was driving.

In the SUV situation in Sarasota, it’s possible Johs was in the SUV’s blind spot.

It serves as a lesson to both bike riders and drivers.

“Riders need to be respectful to everybody out there, whether you’re in a car, you’re on a bike, just share the road and do what needs to be done by allowing everybody to be safe,” said Johs.

8 On Your Side asked a Sarasota County deputy to review the video. Sergeant Darrell Seckendorf said the SUV driver should not have crossed the double yellow line.

He also lays some fault on the bike rider, who he says should have slowed down.

The SUV driver crossed the double yellow a second time, another violation.

Follow Peter Bernard on Facebook

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