Randall Dietel is a local cyclist, bent on enforcing the rules of the road at any cost. And he might just have an ally in the city’s top prosecutor.
On Tuesday, the same day as the vigil ride for the two cyclists killed last week in San Francisco, Dietel was downtown on his bike filming motorists trying to skirt around traffic by using the bike lane on Golden Gate Avenue. A motorcycle appears in the footage, weaving around traffic before coming to a stop in front of Dietel, who says “hi.”
Obviously not a fan of cameras or bicyclists, the motorcyclist swings his arm toward Dietel’s camera, making contact, and then speeds off as the camera falls to the ground. Dietel told KPIX 5 that he was not injured but hoped to figure out the identity of the motorcyclist.
What he found was a sympathetic District Attorney George Gascón, ready to prosecute the motorcyclist Iif Dietel filed a police report, which he did, and there was enough evidence to go forward.
(It’s also worth noting that Dietel told KPIX that a dispatcher said it would take police more than an hour to respond after he called 911 to report the incident.)
Gascón, who has made no secret of his desire to prosecute anyone and everyone who runs afoul of the law, is himself an occasional bike rider in the city. Although his preferred method of commuting is by vehicle, he does ride for exercise. And, as he said in that same interview, he wants police to focus enforcement around bad behavior by drivers, even if he’s not willing to declare biking hazards a city emergency.
But it is refreshing to know that at least one elected leader in San Francisco is not afraid to candidly interact with the public they serve in a very public way.
As for Dietel, it’s probably a long shot at this point that the motorcyclist is found, unless the guy comes forward or someone turns him in. We’re pretty sure this incident will not deter Dietel, and he will continue exposing San Francisco’s bad drivers for all the world to see.