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Let's be careful out there...

We’ve all been tempted to give an earful to a driver who does something stupid, but as this helmet cam video shows, drivers who don’t care about the road rules sometimes carry passengers who have short tempers and poor impulse control.

[Update January 27] Police have appealed for the rider involved to come forward so that they can investigate the incident in which the rider remonstrates with a driver and is subsequently punched and knocked to the ground. According to the Evening Standard, a police spokesman said they were keen to speak to the cycle rage victim should he want to report the incident which happened at around 9.15am on Thursday in Farringdon Road, London.

In the comments on the video, the helmet cam rider George 'Jude' Hill says: “I have reported this to the police, I am trying to find the cyclist as I tried to tell him I had it on video, but he looked pretty dazed. Need him to report the incident in order to get prosecutions. Could you all share this as widely as possible to try and find him?”

In the video you see a white Audi stopped just outside the advanced stop box of a junction in Farringdon. George stops just behind the box, next to the car, and two other cyclists ride past him into the box.

The driver of the Audi then drives into the box. A rider in a black beanie pulls back from the stop line and shouts at the driver that this is a cycle area. When the lights change, the driver accelerates quickly away.

The rider in the beanie comes past George Hill and follows the white Audi. He is seen shouting at the driver at the next lights, calling him a “F*cking prick” and saying something that sounds like: “You ran over my f*cking foot mate.” (It's unclear from the video whether that is what happened.)

Hill rides past the altercation and by the time he turns round a man in a white shirt is standing next to the car, in front of the angry cyclist. You see him apparently attempt to punch the rider and then shove him, pushing him off his bike.

There’s more angry shouting as the rider picks himself up and gets back on his bike. The man in the white shirt then gets into the back of the Audi.

George attempts to get the rider’s attention but he rides away, back in the direction he’d come from.

As George implies, without a complaint from the rider who was hit the police are very unlikely to take action, despite the video.

In May last year the Mayor of London's cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan pledged to start enforcing advanced stop lines, using CCTV cameras to catch infringers. He reiterated the point in August and during last year's Operation Safeway road safety crackdown, over 1,000 fixed penalty notices were issued to drivers for contravening traffic signals.

But we’ll leave the last word to YouTube commenter Jon: “Be safe out there, cyclists! Remember that you're dealing with angry idiots in 2 ton metal death machines.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

97 comments

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andycoventry [110 posts] 3 years ago
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So it's true, w@nkers do drive Audi's.....

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AyBee [85 posts] 3 years ago
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andycoventry wrote:

So it's true, w@nkers do drive Audi's.....

The w@nker in this case wasn't the driver!
Hope they find the "hardman" who lashed out and press charges!

Good quality camera though - anybody know what it is?

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 3 years ago
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Just a couple of things I noticed here,

at 1:13 the guy from the car punches and shoves the cyclist, then if you go to 1:20 and look at the stance of the guy it is clearly offensive (ready to go again)

Also at first it looks like the guy is the driver of the car, but he gets into the back, so a fair assumption is that there was at least 3 people in the car.

What actually pissed me of was the amount of people that just walked past and didn't do anything to either help the cyclist, take rego numbers or calm the situation.

We have turned into a country of cowards who wont help out a fellow human in trouble

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Cyclic [38 posts] 3 years ago
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It just ain't worth it. Film it, report it but don't get personal because it will always be a race to the bottom. Next time White Audi Man's friend in KW13 CWA may have a knife and he obviously has anger management issues.

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usedtobefaster [200 posts] 3 years ago
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There is something about Audi drivers. Tend to find they normally want to driver so close behind that if they were any closer you'd be in their passenger seat, and the worst are normally in A5's or the upper spec A3's.

Conversation from colleagues at work recently went along the lines of "I like the Audi look because it's aggressive " !!!

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deblemund [263 posts] 3 years ago
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You can't stop an involuntary "WHOAH!" sometimes. Once, a black cab driver even heard me do that, stopped and apologised, which I accepted as nicely as I could. Really, though, it's not worth it. You're up high on a saddle, maybe clipped in, you're on the ground and hurt before you even know it. Just take a breath - please people.

BTW I used to have an Audi and didn't drive like a what-not (I hope). Less of the silliness about vehicle brands / classes please. Well, except BMWs, "new minis", black cabs, white vans, black VW Sharans / Ford Galaxies with white lettering on the back...

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jmaccelari [252 posts] 3 years ago
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I'll play devil's advocate: the motorist was an @rse, but was it really necessary to start hitting his car and swearing at him?

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deblemund [263 posts] 3 years ago
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usedtobefaster wrote:

..

Conversation from colleagues at work recently went along the lines of "I like the Audi look because it's aggressive " !!!

To be fair there's something in that. My 1995 A4 had much more of a smiley face that then angry looking grilles that followed it.

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mrbunglecycle [1 post] 3 years ago
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psycodelicmonti [1 post] 3 years ago
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I'm curious as to what exactly the cyclist was trying to achieve here. Obviously he shouldn't have been assaulted but then he also shouldn't have shouted abuse at the driver.

As for this article and lots other like it on road.cc, this whole them vs us thing really needs to stop, IT DOESN'T MAKE CYCLIST SAFER!!!

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MrGear [86 posts] 3 years ago
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andycoventry wrote:

So it's true, w@nkers do drive Audi's.....

I have two Audis. I have 7 bikes. I can't do the maths on this.

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Stumps [3496 posts] 3 years ago
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Just like car drivers w@nkers cycle bikes.....

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JuiceQC [9 posts] 3 years ago
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Was it really necessary to remonstrate with the driver in that way ?

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P3t3 [413 posts] 3 years ago
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What is the point of any of this!?

Yes - the driver was a bit silly. He obviously felt that the bikes were going to hold him up so moved forward to "get past". Of course its short sighted since its only a race to the next red light. But the correct response by the cyclist should be to let him go. Is giving somebody a ticking off about a driving misdemeanor ever going to achieve anything beyond antagonism? If he was prepared to shout at the driver then he should be prepared to have a proper fisticuffs in the street.

The real villan in the story is the wretched advanced stop box! What are these for - they pop the bikes in front of cars which is bound to wind the drivers up. Nearly as much of a distraction as the high-viz arguments.

The cycle campaigns are allowing themselves to be distracted by a cheap "fix" that seems to cause as many problems as it fixes!

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oozaveared [936 posts] 3 years ago
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Actually the police CPS can prosecute. It used to be that they needed a complaint from the person assaulted but they changed the law in order to deal with domestic violence where the person assaulted either didn't want to or was afraid to complain or later withdrew the complaint. Basically if the police have evidence of assault they can prosecute.

They probably won't though.

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northstar [1107 posts] 3 years ago
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We all know what will happen...the passenger will be given a medal for services to "motoring" / "motorists" everywhere and the rider who was clearly to blame for being in the way of the "fist" will be sent to a penal colony / prison in Siberia for the rest of his life.

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NeilXDavis [124 posts] 3 years ago
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Hmm to be fair all round the cyclist was pretty damn aggressive to start with - you go in that hard then you've got to expect tempers to snap. How about a gentle tap on the window of the car and try to explain it rationally first.

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HarrogateSpa [493 posts] 3 years ago
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We shouldn't react like that when cycling, but sometimes you get carried away. It's not easy to stay calm if it's the ninth piece of inconsiderate driving you've experienced that day, not the first. In any case, it doesn't excuse the assault.

There is some academic research showing that drivers of expensive cars are more likely to infringe traffic rules http://hedgehogcycling.co.uk/blog.html#psychology

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southseabythesea [149 posts] 3 years ago
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It's not worth confronting an aggressive driver, whether you're the rider or a bystander. It's also not worth having a go at a driver whose clearly a knob in the first place...

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LondonCalling [151 posts] 3 years ago
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The driver of the Audi is a knob who deserves a brick through the windscreen. But, as frustrating it is to have the only space available to you unneccesarily occupied like in this case, insulting, as cathartic as it can be sometimes, is no the way forward.

Having said that,, we all know that the powers that be do fuck all when drivers like this endanger other road users. And I think that has a lot to do with the cyclist's reaction. I have no doubt that the scumbag behind the wheel of the car did this absolutely on purpose. He probably has a tiny pennis and a sad life.

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caaad10 [188 posts] 3 years ago
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Wake up & smell the coffee, just lay of the caffeine...

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artfactory [7 posts] 3 years ago
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My opinion! from the footage shown.....I think the cyclist should have left the matter. That 'tool' in the Audi, will come unstuck one day! he looked like a real moron. I was also worried as the driver looks to go in pursuit of the cyclist at the end of the video crossing the box junction/crossroads....there is little to gain by going up alongside a moron and saying 'you fucking little prick', perhaps he could have repeated that he was wrong to enter the advance cycle stop, as he had done initially, it would have certainly shocked the moron Audi man that a cyclist can keep up with a sports car...although, I think that was the problem....his pride was well and truly hurt! 2 wrongs don't make a right and wrongly the cyclist thought he had a right to call him a fucking little prick? Not good. I live in a rural area and we never get this level of aggression/confrontation.....

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caaad10 [188 posts] 3 years ago
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Wake up & smell the coffee, just lay of the caffeine...

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don simon [1309 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm no diplomat, but even I can see that verbally abusing another road user in that way is never going to end well.  16

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Paul_C [511 posts] 3 years ago
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It would have been nice if everybody had boxed the Audi in after the punch was thrown and called the Police...

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md6 [181 posts] 3 years ago
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I think that chasing a car and screaming abuse at the driver is never a good idea, a driver that is so clearly aggressive and as much of a knob as that one, is even less good an idea. That said, if (and it is a big if) the car did run over his foot, i can see why he would be rather unhappy. I also couldn't guarantee that i wouldn't do the same/similar, if, i was hit/run over/had my foot driven on...although it would probably break my cleats and i can't single leg that fast to catch up!

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Simon_MacMichael [2502 posts] 3 years ago
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Paul_C wrote:

It would have been nice if everybody had boxed the Audi in after the punch was thrown and called the Police...

Stick yourself in front of a vehicle, the driver of which has already showed scant regard for safety of cyclists and who has a nutcase in the back? Yeah, that's going to end well...

As for comments about the apparent 'inaction' of some of the people around, I'm not sure what time of day this was filmed at, but I'm guessing it's morning rush hour.

It's easy to say you'd do something when you're looking at the video, but if you're on your way to work, have a meeting in 20 minutes, say, or something urgent that has to be done as soon as you get in, would you stick around, call the police, wait for them, give a statement, and ring the boss to explain why you'll be an hour late?

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Ush [988 posts] 3 years ago
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AyBee wrote:

The w@nker in this case wasn't the driver!
Hope they find the "hardman" who lashed out and press charges!

Really? You think that someone that deliberately pulls into an ASL (note this isn't the old "well we can't tell whether they though they were going to clear the ASL and then suddenly had to stop" ploy... this is clearly pulling into the ASL in order to be able to accelerate to the next traffic jam) is not behaving aggressively and dangerously?

You don't think that pulling in tightly in front of a group of cyclists, is aggressive and dangerous?

Using your car as a weapon/threat isn't different from using your fists... except for the fact that you stand a higher chance of killing or injuring someone.

More generally, not directed at your comment:

I'm amazed that our attention is so easily focussed on the lesser actions of the crim in the passenger role and away from the much more serious actions of the criminal driver.

I'd guess that the driver and passenger should both be facing charges for this. I'm holding my breath until they do  1

Re all the attention focused on the cyclist, yes it wasn't wise or dignified or productive, but he didn't actually commit a crime. The way some people post here you'd think he'd roasted the motorists and plucked their still beating hearts from the blackened carcasses.

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ajmarshal1 [417 posts] 3 years ago
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Sometimes when you look for confrontation, you'll get it in spades. Can't condone the cyclists nor the passengers reaction here.

Not the way to deal with the situation on either part. Pair of angry fools.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 3 years ago
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Is there any right or wrong here, the Audi driver shouldn't have done what he did, but the way the cyclist acted was disgraceful also, the aggressive way he rode to the next set of lights with the full intention of a confrontation with the Audi driver, and that's exactly what he got, clearly he got more of a confrontation than he bargained for, but he was looking for a reaction wasn't he, however the physical violence form the rear passenger really took it a step too far again, so this just escalated to were it sadly ended up.

The driver, passenger and rider should all be reprimanded because non of them came out of this looking good.

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