I am just going to go out on a limb and say this, I am not surprised to see a video like this come from Alabama. Cyclists riding in Alabama often have trouble with car drivers who get annoyed because they are stuck behind a cyclist and in their opinions, all cyclists should be banned from the road. Well, one driver decided to take his frustrations over cyclists and videotape his actions and post the videos on Facebook. These videos landed him in jail.
Keith Maddox lives in the Piedmont area, and uses DeArmanville Road to get to work. Keith decided to videotape his bad words and actions when he encounters anyone riding a bike on the side on the road. Other than the cuss words, he said cyclists are making it difficult for him and other drivers to get to work. And he said “God, I hate bicycles.” Basically, Keith was endangering other cyclists on the roadway, and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department had to take action, and they have arrested Keith Maddox and charged him with reckless endangerment, which is a misdemeanor charge. Keith’s bond was set at $3,000, which is too low in my opinion.
The video above has gone viral, and many cyclists across America have seen the video. Cyclists are so angry at Keith, I have seen his address, phone number, and where he works posted on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and in the comments of the story on other websites. No, I am not going to post Keith’s address, phone number, or place of employment on this site. Keith went to his personal Facebook page to apologize about the video, but many in the cycling community are not buying it. I mean, when Keith said “Run ’em in the ditch” to one cyclist on the side of the road, and throttled his engine and went way above the posted speed limit to go around another cyclist, it means this driver was about to do something not too good to a cyclist. Maybe the arrest and jail time will force the driver to think twice about cyclists.
Some people are now placing criticism on the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, for arresting someone like Keith, instead of going after the real criminals. Some people have used this story to complain to all cyclists riding on a public roadway and tell them they should ride on a bike trail or sidewalk instead. And yes, some people have agreed with what Keith Maddox has done, and they want all cyclists taken off the roads forever. So let’s get things straight, the sheriff’s office/district attorney investigated the video, and they determined he was endangering a cyclist, so a judge signed off on a warrant, and they made an arrest. And two, cyclists have every right to ride a bike on a public roadway in Alabama. Here is the code from the Alabama Constitution.
Riding on roadways and bicycle paths; right side signalling.
(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
(b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
(c) Wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.
The plain and simple truth is this, Keith illegally used a cell phone while driving, and recorded himself harassing cyclists riding on the side of the road. Even if this was a joke and he was making fun of others, like some have said on Facebook, this was a serious matter, and action had to be taken. Hopefully, Keith has learned a lesson from this, and he will be respectful to other cyclists in the future. Now, for the ones who say all cyclists should be banned from public roadways, you need to be re-educated, or taken back to driver’s education. Cyclists have every right to ride on the road. Cyclists ride bikes to train, run errands, and go to work. Cyclists have to deal with drivers often who throw trash at them, say bad words, and even try to run them off the road.
We can’t just add sidewalks or bike lanes to every road in America, so if you encounter a cyclist on the road, slow down, and give the cyclist three feet of passing room when you pass them. In the video above, you can hear the Rick And Bubba show, and the guys are originally from Anniston Alabama. I hope the guys have seen this video, and they will talk about cyclists and the need to protect them on our roads on their radio show. Alabama is known to be better than this, cyclists have every right to ride on a road, if you don’t agree with that, you need to turn in your driver’s license and quit driving, end of story!