Update: I’ve got a call into both the reporter and the news director asking if they would like to comment on the language used by the reporter in the piece and offering to be interviewed for their, “follow-up story.”

Wow, I just read their story and I am surprised any media outlet would run this as news.

Here is a snippet from KGUN’s story:

The incident began in the left turn lane of southbound Kolb Road, turning eastbound onto 22nd street. That’s where the unmotorized moron grabbed onto a door handle of white-colored car that was also turning left. “He held onto the vehicle for almost half a mile before letting go,” MacFarland wrote in an e-mail to KGUN9 News and to MIX fm’s Bobby Rich. “What a way to save on gas but very dangerous. I don’t even think the driver knew he was there until he pushed off and they saw him and hit the brakes.”


Back to the door handle-grabbing bicycle-borne butthead that Lucas documented. Is such daredeviltry legal?

Notice there are no quote marks around the comments made toward the cyclist, which mean they are the reporter’s words. While, many people here may even agree with them, I am surprised they would publish it.

29 thoughts on “KGUN’s story on TPD enforcement”
  1. Totally lopsided. Good shots of cyclists doing stupid things, but where are the shots of motorists cutting people off, not obeying the 3-foot law, etc ? KGUN9 isn’t my station of choice anyways.

  2. Extremely lopsided. “what kind of friends are some cyclists?” I can’t believe he said that.

    I like how in depth they go about how dumb the cyclist hanging on the car is and merely mention the driver filming it (equally as stupid).

    No mention of the 3 foot rule, bicycle injuries/fatalities cause by motorist versus the bicyclists themselves.

    Didn’t TPD come out and say they weren’t going to focus on stop signs?

  3. KGUN 9 is for old people to watch news so they slant the news towards that target group (old man was angry at el tour for blocking his entrance to his home a couple of years back). You could show clips of motor vehicles not providing the safe distance required when passing a cyclist all day long but no mention of this in piece nor any other safety precautions. This video is about slamming cyclists as the out of control vehicles on our streets which is a laughable point of view. The video showing of the tailgating cyclists is something you would see in a large city back east and not a common happening here. I am curious to know if the photographer & cyclist had planned that taping seeing how he was driving/filming…There are bad cyclists, joggers, walkers, & drivers every day, every hour on our streets. I do not see cyclists as a daily bad thing on streets of Tucson but rather motorized drivers intolerance of cyclists appears to be more so, at least it is to me.

  4. @Michael,

    Yesterday evening, I called KGUN9 to ask about the report in question. Specifically, I wanted to know how the video was taken because it appears it was shot from the driver’s side of a moving vehicle. While perhaps not technically illegal (I don’t know the statutes on operating a digital video camera from behind the wheel of a car), it does strike me as a dangerous. The guy on the phone, who self-identified as the videographer, said something along the lines of, and I paraphrase, “Well, actually, I was in the passenger’s seat and leaning over the center console.”

    So you’re a journalist… Is this common practice for photographers or videographers in the mainstream press?! How fortunate that KGUN just happened to run upon a helmet-less BMXer braking the law on the very day they’re doing a report on TPD’s “crack down” of cyclists. What luck!

  5. Hm, this morning on the news they said that the driver did shoot the video and that they ‘don’t encourage that kind of behavior’… this was said while they continously played the looped footage.

  6. Yikes! The comments on the FB post are toxic. No wounder there are so many car – cyclist incidents in this city.

  7. @Rynsa,

    That comment above, wasn’t me, but someone else named Michael.

    I don’t know how common it is, I bet there are photogs who shoot on the move. I ride my bike and shoot for stories about rides.

    Of course, I’m a lot less likely to hurt someone doing that, but pedestrians could potentially be injured if I am not paying attention and run into them.

  8. it is pretty annoying that you have to “like” them to be able to comment, though.

  9. @The “real” Michael 😉

    My bad. I saw the name in red and made a false assumption.

  10. I can’t see the video, but TPD was at the corner of University and 4th ave ticketing for rolling stops last evening. They were at University and Park this morning doing the same. Thought they weren’t going to focus on rolling stops. In the meantime, on my commute in to work, numerous cars were driving in the bike lane on Mountain and turning right using the bike lane as a rt. turn lane.

  11. @Jtzollinger
    I didn’t see this morning’s report. The segment from Wednesday afternoon (5:00) was live and I can’t seem to find it anywhere online. They certainly didn’t say anything about not “encourage that kind of behavior,” etc. In fact, the guy on the phone claimed it was his handy work. I’m assuming that was bogus. Not sure why he didn’t just explain that it was indeed “amateur” video. But KGUN9 is not known for their reasoning skills.

  12. I don’t know why everyone is so upset, the dude on the bike was cleanly breaking the law. If he would have hit a pothole his tire could have gone under the car and bye bye bicyclist. In reality, don’t we all break the law sometimes? I went for a long ride today and I’m pretty sure I broke some laws. (Allegedly) 😀

  13. The written story is here: http://www.kgun9.com/global/story.asp?s=13049512#

    For some reason I am not seeing a link in your post to that story. The use of words like “butthead” and “moron” are definitely a little jarring in a news article!

    But much worse is the overall tone. There is something a bit gleeful in their description of the “bicycle suppression” and the capture of bicyclists doing dumb things. Why no discussion of safety? Of the vulnerability of cyclists? It’s depressing.

  14. Hey guys, we’re watching your comments with great interest.

    You’re 100% right, our story contained no video of motorists cutting off bikers.

    We would be very interested in such video if any of you have footage or pictures like that.

    If you do, send me the video to bpryor@kgun9.com


    Brian Pryor
    Web Producer
    Assignment Editor
    KGUN9-TV | KGUN9.com

  15. Frank, I have no problem with someone calling the cyclist a “moron” it is their right to do that. As a journalist/blogger, I do have a problem with a journalist for a traditional media outlet writing that, though.

    Erik, the comment below does bring up a great point about the overall tone too.

  16. I don’t know if anyone has video of motorist cutting off cyclists, but I know of ‘ghost bikes’ that mark the aftermath of motorist killing cyclists in town.


    Finding examples of motorists, cyclists, pedestrians breaking the law isn’t really the point – it was the shock-value journalism and lack of good reporting on a topic that is complex and deserving of better reporting.

  17. I just posted a very long comment on the FB story. Hopefully I managed to keep the tone helpful and non-confrontational…

  18. I guess it wouldn’t be a news story if they had nothing negative to point out. TPD is enforcing road laws due to grant money, what happens when the grant money depletes. Back to the same old grind. They should be using the money to educate new riders and youth. Helmets for under privilege kids, lights, reflectors and a and reflective vest for night riders. Damn, that would make a great news story, TPD doing something “Great” for the community. Oh, thats right, not something kgun would cover.

  19. Was the motorist filiming while driving? I got about 100 videos of motorist doing stupid things. youtube.com/bodybait Why do think this is a war, I have no weapon?

  20. I also thought TPD was cracking down on more than silly stop signs, like wrong way and sidewalk riders. A couple people in this video were doing that. I also thought TPD was going to stop “motorized morons” for the passing law and other violations that made them dangerous to bicyclists. It’s unfortunate that a few people make us all look bad – the majority of us do ride legally and safely. Tucson traffic? Yeah I want to live til I’m an old lady. It’s frustrating when I mention things in class like bike safety, and that I’m an instructor, and they all laugh and say, you guys don’t know safety.
    I agree with Erik saying what of the discussion of bike safety. I was happy that the anchor said something about both cars and bikes being bad, until they went into saying, the focus tonight is BIKES!

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