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Tuesday, 01 January 2013
Road Rage in Lingfield

I had this unfortunate encounter with a dangerous driver on New Year’s Eve Eve (30th December), and loaded the video to YouTube.  I loaded it without any sound. I was going to “bleep” my swearing and add the sound but now I found I can’t do that.  Also in the video there is a lot of noise of wind on the microphone, and while you can hear me quite clearly it is quite difficult to hear what the other party is saying.  So here’s a transcript that I made of the video:

Sound of wind and breathing only for 2 minutes 12 seconds. 
At 2 minutes 12 seconds the vehicle overtakes. As it does so I shout: “Hey! F* you!” (loudly).
The car stops.  I stop some way behind the car.  The driver gets out of vehicle.
At 2 minutes 21 seconds I say “How can you do that to me?”
The driver then says something inaudible and starts to approach me.  I say “You’re on camera and I’m reporting you. LV07FRL”.  The driver says something to me (also inaudible) along the lines that I should take a note of (perhaps “jot down”) his registration number.  I reply “I have taken it down”.
The driver points his finger to his head at this point and says something inaudible followed by “and also next time remember to use a little bit of common sense. I was 200 metres behind you and I beeped my hooter”. (His belly is thrust into camera and his face is thrust into my face).
I say “I didn’t hear you”.
The driver then says “you’ve got too much of that Bert” (making “chatty” sign with his hand). “You really have. I warned ya. And I give ya a wide berth. You wanna act like a prat, act like that but don’t blame me for it”. He turns away and moves back towards car, starts saying something inaudible and turns back to me.  He then says something along the lines of “you cyclists think you own the road”. 
I interupt and say “Put your number plate into YouTube in 48 hours”. He starts coming back towards me. He says something that is inaudible, but is perhaps “What?”.  He starts walking back towards me.
I say “Search your number plate in YouTube in 48 hours and tell me that you still think it was safe”.
The drivers’ belly is thrust into the camera and his face into my face (again) and he says “I don’t want to talk to you on YouTube you prat. I tried to tell you you’re an idiot”.  He raises his hand above his shoulder, then he turns and goes back to his car.  On the way back he turns and says “Too much of that you got” (gestures “chatty” sign with hand?).  He turns back to his car, muttering/saying something too low to hear, and gets in his car .
I say “LV07HRL” (twice), as he drives off. I start cycling.
Video ends

In retrospect I don’t think the swearing was very wise, and a loud “Hey!” on its own would have sufficed.  On the other hand this happened out of the blue and I got a fright (so I learn that when I get a sudden fright I have a tendency to swear).

I have mentioned (and shown) the 2 minutes and 12 seconds of breathing/wind leading up to the event because the driver told me that he had “hooted” at me “200 metres” further back down the road, and I told him that I didn’t hear this.  However, had we been having a more reasonable and lengthy discussion I could have asked him whether he expected me to dismount and get off the road. Clearly if I had become aware of him behind me, I would have let him pass me at the next “passing zone” (there are several on that stretch of road, and I think they are signposted even).

My main objection to the driver’s behaviour was that he overtook me dangerously: I believe he was going too fast and too near to me, in contravention of the Highway Code, section 163:

Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should:

  • not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake
  • ...
  • give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211 to 213 and 214 to 215).

I noticed when transcribing the audio, that I read out two different versions of the driver’s number plate. When checking the footage of the overtake (when the car was near to me) I have now confirmed that the second version is the correct one.

Posted by bigblue on 01/01/2013 at 04:37 PM
Filed under: transportcycling • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share