A 75-year-old Colorado man has learned that hard way that excessive honking will not be tolerated in the state. Especially when you use your horn to harass a pack of cyclists.
Dir Friel and some friends were riding along a rural road on Sunday in Boulder County when James Ernst pulled behind them in an SUV. Friel and his cadre went single-file and tried to wave the man around. But Ernst wasn't having it. Angry, he tailed the group for five minutes, honking his horn incessantly.
"In our case, we weren't holding up traffic. There was plenty of room to go around, and this weird guy behind us just kept honking his horn for 5 minutes," Friel told the local NBC station. "We were single file, waiving him by. Finally, you're like this is insane. I have to get this on film."
Frield whipped out his phone and took video. He eventually posted it on YouTube, and it went viral:
The bikers eventually called the police and State Troopers used the video to track down Ernst. He was then cited for harassment, impeding the flow of traffic, and improper use of a horn or warning device.
“I don’t know what happened,” David Erns's son, James, told KMGH-TV. “Maybe there was something that precipitated it. I don’t know, because he’s a gentle old man.”
Gentle -- but with a lighter pocket book.
Some commenters have suggested that if the man would have passed the cyclists, he would have been breaking the law because it was a double yellow line. That's not true when it comes to bikers. ABC explains:
The Bicycle Safety Act was passed in Colorado in 2009. It states that motor vehicles must give bicyclists three feet of space when passing and vehicles may cross the center yellow line to pass bikes. Bicyclists must ride as far right as they deem safe and they do not have to ride in the gutter. Under this law, bicyclists may ride side-by-side but are required to ride single file when a car approaches.