A black spot still sits under Timothy Walls’ left eye after he was punched in the face by a driver.
"Riding my bicycle home from UNO Tuesday afternoon, I was assaulted by a motorist who became irate about the fact that I was using the designated bicycle lane,” Walls said.
Walls’ caught the attack on video after he says the driver attempted to run him over on Elysian Fields.
“I knew that regardless of what I did, if I kept going or stopped, he was going to come for me,” he said.
After the driver attacked him, he got back in his car and left before Walls called NOPD.
Dan Favre, executive director of Bike Easy, said that there’s no data showing how often this occurs in New Orleans, but that it is something cyclists deal with in the city. He says that drivers often forget that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as vehicles with four wheels. He wants this attack to be a wakeup call for drivers to share the road peacefully and the just be patient.
"People driving, who have 2,000 pounds of metal, surrounding them to make them safer, really have to take extra special care to ensure that those more vulnerable folks, people walking, people riding are kept safe so we can all get to where they're going,” Favre said.
The New Orleans Police Department say they’re aware of the incident and are investigating.
Meanwhile, Walls said this will not stop him from riding his bike around the city.
“He doesn't get to take that away from me,” Walls said.
There are several laws on the books both local and statewide to protect bicyclists. In 2009, the Colin Goodier Bicycle Protect Act was passed in honor of Goodier, who was struck and killed by a truck driver while on his bike.
The law says drivers must give at least three feet of space when passing someone riding a bike. It also makes it illegal to harass or assault a cyclist.
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