We define a “close call” as an upsetting, unsafe or harmful incident perpetrated by a motorist while you are biking or walking, regardless of whether the incident resulted in a collision. This includes harassment. Per South Carolina law, a driver of a motor vehicle must at all times maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle. It is also a misdemeanor in the state of South Carolina to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle.
In February 2019, after the Charleston Police Department (CPD) expressed concern about the increasing number of fatalities and injuries to vulnerable road users in the area, Charleston Moves began tracking “close calls” between motorists and people on bike or foot. We created an online reporting form for citizens to inform us of their “close calls,” and mapped the results, providing hotspots to interested law enforcement for their review.
We met with the CPD to discuss findings from our preliminary pilot of this project, and they chose a few locations to increase enforcement based on the data. We have also provided anonymous reports, by location, for SCDOT Road Safety Audits and Road Safety Reviews. That means we are able to speak to your experiences when we are walking key corridors with relevant agencies to assess improvements. It also means your experiences are documented (anonymously) in SCDOT’s official reports.
Please log your incidents so we can continue to inform this work. Don’t have reliable internet access? We bring hardcopy forms to our tabling events. You can also call or text us at (843) 940-7420 to log your “close call.”