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Driver comes dangerously close to hitting motorcyclist
Erik Hanna does his best to remind drivers to put the phone down when he sees it happen, but he got the scare of his life in his most recent encounter.
Hanna was on his way back from a motorcycle trip on Friday afternoon when he saw a driver parked about 50 feet behind the stop line at a traffic light on Woodroffe Ave.
"(I) looked over, I noticed that she was on her phone," he says.
"At that point, she did the same thing at the next stop light. That's when I decided to turn my camera on, which I had on me and don't normally record with it...but something told me to start recording."
The camera is mounted to Hanna's helmet. The video shows him approach the driver side of an SUV and knock on the window. The woman can be seen locking her doors, but doesn't respond to Hanna's attempt to get her attention.
Thinking he did his best, Hanna moves on when the light goes green, but moments later, the same SUV goes flying by him in the same lane, coming within inches of hitting him on his bike.
"It was pretty terrifying," Hanna recalls.
"Not a lot goes through your mind at first because you're just in shock. Then you get the flight or fight instinct, you feel angry or terrified."
Hanna confronted the driver at the next intersection, saying he has the incident on tape. The woman apparently asks him "don't you have anything better to do with your time?" Hanna replies that he doesn't and is upset about how dangerous what she did was.
Hanna says he followed the driver for a short time, but stopped because of safety concerns. He filed a report with Ottawa police on Saturday morning.
Police call it a very troubling situation, but encourage drivers not to follow vehicles when they see an offence. They encourage drivers to make note of the licence plate, the driver's description and location, then to call police.
Hanna says he deals with aggressive driving from cars all the time and is hoping this sheds some light on what motorcyclists deal with on a regular basis.
"We take what's called defensive lane positions, where we're on certain sides of the lane," he explains.
"People will see that as an act of aggression or not understand why we're doing that and try to pull up beside us all the time and pass us, but we do that for our safety."
The video has gone viral, receiving thousands of views on Facebook from all around the world. Even after the dangerous encounter, Hanna says he'll continue to remind drivers.
"In most cases, people smile at me and put the phone down...it was just what happened afterwards (in this case), but I will always remind people to get off their phone."