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Cyclists took revenge on drivers who had near miss or tooted horn on passing

Police have cautioned one cyclist and are seeking two others in connection with two road rage incidents in recent days.

On one occasion, a 51-year cyclist followed a driver home and punched him in the face for hooting at his group ride when he wanted to pass.

On another, a driver was hauled from his seat and threatened with his house being burned down after he narrowly avoided hitting a pair of cyclists in a layby.

On April 20, Kim Chapman was punched outside his home in Goose Green, Surrey.

He told the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser that he had passed a group of six cyclists earlier on his way home.

He said: "I was quite happy following them because they were doing about 25mph, but when they indicated to turn left I thought that I could overtake them on the right without affecting them."

He said he hooted his horn to let the riders know that he was about to pass.

But on arrival at his home he heard a knock on his car window.

"I opened the door and, in hindsight, that was a mistake, but I did not think that I had done anything wrong," he said.

"There were quite a few cross words shouted, and then he punched me in the left eye.

"It wouldn't have been such a problem if I hadn't previously had surgery on the very same eye in December 2012.

"I was so shaken up. I really did not know what to do with myself. My mother heard the commotion outside our house and she was shaking a lot too. I don't think she stopped shaking for the entire day.

"It was horrible. Nothing like this has happened to me before and I hope nothing like this will ever happen again."

Local police confirmed that a 51-year-old man from Dorking had been cautioned following the incident.

She said: "Officers arrested the offender on Sunday, April 20, after an altercation between the two men."

Just ten days later, two cyclists in Thurnham, Lancaster, who had pulled into a layby, were nearly hit by the car following them when it swerved to avoid another car coming the other way.

The cyclists then verbally abused the driver of the car, allegedly grabbing his arm and attempting to pull him out of the vehicle.

The cyclist allegedly threatened to kick the driver’s head in, find out where he lives and burn his house down.

The driver managed to take a picture of one of the riders, which can be seen here.

PC Faye Tinker and PC John Bradshaw, from Lancaster & Morecambe Police told The Visitor: “We would appeal to the public in order to provide any information in regards to the identification of the cyclist.

“The car driver and passenger were on holiday in the area and were shocked and traumatised by the incident.

“This is not the image we wish to leave with people visiting the area and we would like to speak to the cyclists to obtain their version of events.”

Anybody with any information can call police on 101 quoting Crime Number BA1405431.

A few weeks ago we reported that two cyclists had appeared in court in South Africa in connection with a road rage incident in Cape Town in which a van driver was punched and assaulted with pepper spray.

The incident was filmed by the occupant of a nearby car and can be seen below:

 

The cameraman Symon Scott said: “There was a lot more going down than what you can see in the video."

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

67 comments

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mrmo [2094 posts] 2 years ago
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not surprised in the least, if the police and the courts won't do anything what do you expect?

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Scoob_84 [384 posts] 2 years ago
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Did the verbals from the two cyclists nearly kill the driver? No. Did the drivers inability to pass a couple of cyclists put their lives in danger? Yes

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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road.cc wrote:

He said: "I was quite happy following them because they were doing about 25mph, but when they indicated to turn left I thought that I could overtake them on the right without affecting them."

He said he hooted his horn to let the riders know that he was about to pass.

This account from the chap in Surrey makes no real sense... If the cyclists were turning left, i.e onto another road, and the driver was going straight on, why not simply leave them to turn off and carry on your way, rather than try and overtake them while they were doing it?

Sounds more to me like the driver probably trying a punishment pass and sounding his horn in a mix of frustration and relief after having been "stuck" behind the cyclists for however long.

Interesting behaviour for someone so young, probably brought about through inexperience and the inability to otherwise judge a suitable place to overtake. Of course, now going to the local paper on the claim of him actually being the victim here, despite his actions having provoked the response he got (not to condone it of course...).

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spence129 [21 posts] 2 years ago
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"I beeped the horn to let them know I was passing" bullshit. There are times when drivers do give a very quick toot to let me know, but that doesn't provoke any anger in me and I'm certain that won't be the case here.

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Sswindells [70 posts] 2 years ago
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The question that has to be asked by the police is " do you think what he did justified your actions in law? ". The answer is inevitably no. If the driver had done something wrong the proper reaction is not to threaten or assault them, but to inform them and I necessary the police. Local vigilantism is not the right way. Imagine the uproar when it is the other way round. Cyclist makes silly manoeuvre ( it does happen ) so driver follows them home and assaults them. Yes I know it has happened but the reactions on here when they get caught is " good ". The local cops are a bit powerless to help when you take justice into your own hands. It undermines your complaint and highlights what you did instead.

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seven [156 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

when they indicated to turn left I thought that I could overtake them on the right without affecting them

Given this guy's account it's difficult to know the exact circumstances but what I can say is that there are very few instances when it's ok to overtake at a junction. In fact I can think of only one, and I'd put money on this one not falling into that category.

Still, it doesn't excuse premeditated violence. I could understand something happening in the heat of the moment, had the driver stopped and tried to have it out with them, but to follow the guy home and smack him? That's not right. Any club worth its constitution should be at the least suspending the guy's membership.

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sfichele [141 posts] 2 years ago
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Hmmm, the whiff of BS, very one-sided accounts of "well-behaved", "well-intentioned" car drivers. Naturally all cyclists get angry at such well behaved drivers....

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jmaccelari [250 posts] 2 years ago
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Unacceptable behaviour from scumbag lycra louts. These guys need to be prosecuted just as harshly as any motorist behaving in this manner should be.

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arfa [815 posts] 2 years ago
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Just last weekend I witnessed a car driver blasting his horn at any cyclists he encountered in Surrey and passing in a very aggressive and dangerous manner. This guy was a danger to everyone and with his manner of driving, should not be on the road. There were some pretty robust responses from some of the cyclists and if he had had to stop at a junction, it would not have ended well.
If you report it, you'd probably get more response if you shouted into the desert and therein lies the problem - rank indifference from law & order.
I've said it before but we really need a "fit and proper" test for a driving licence and if you have anger issues, it goes.

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nowasps [497 posts] 2 years ago
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"These guys need to be prosecuted just as harshly as any motorist behaving in this manner should be."

Let off, you mean?

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zanf [870 posts] 2 years ago
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TBH, I'm surprised there hasn't been more stories like this reported. Most cyclists I know are at their wits end with the impunity drivers receive after they collide with and injure, or kill cyclists.

I received a letter from the met yesterday about a case where a driver hit a friend then tried to drive over her, continuing to drive through our group.

He got a £120 fine & 3 points for driving without due care.

Are we meant to be placated with that, that justice has been served?

If anything, until there is a paradigm shift in the attitudes of politicians, urban planners and at least drivers, then expect more of this kind of news.

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eurotrash [88 posts] 2 years ago
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Hearing stories of cyclists standing up for themselves gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside...  105

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severs1966 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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Since when does sounding a horn mean "I am about to pass" ?
I have never heard of this before, and I am confident that it is not in any road legislation or driving guides.

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bikebot [2149 posts] 2 years ago
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Reading between the lines, there's a reason why the first case went no further than a caution. The Police were also picking up on the overwhelming smell of BS.

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Legin [114 posts] 2 years ago
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I can't believe some people are defending these cyclists and their reported behaviour.

For those of you who don't know that the horn is a warning device that should be used to alert other road users of your presence; you shouldn't be on the road in a car or on a bike.

The reality is that as cycling has become more popular the small % of cyclists who are idiots will become more visible to other road users; just as the small % of motorists who are idiots have been highly visible to me for the last 35 years!

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lolol [203 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

Reading between the lines, there's a reason why the first case went no further than a caution. The Police were also picking up on the overwhelming smell of BS.

Spot on, I think. That he punched the driver in the face isn't at question and you would think that that was common assault at least, unless the Police firmly believed that if they went further it would just get complicated along with a lot of paperwork.

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [451 posts] 2 years ago
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Sswindells wrote:

If the driver had done something wrong the proper reaction is not to threaten or assault them, but to inform them and I necessary the police.

...who will do absolutely nothing whatsoever. The police don't care about cyclists.

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Colin Peyresourde [1780 posts] 2 years ago
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Why is there a video from South Africa attached? What is the relevance?

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jova54 [670 posts] 2 years ago
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Legin wrote:

...... For those of you who don't know that the horn is a warning device that should be used to alert other road users of your presence; you shouldn't be on the road in a car or on a bike.

But why did he feel the need to sound his horn at a group of cyclists that were turning left, presumably off the main carriageway, and out of his way?

If it was to warn them of his presence, why? He was behind them, it was his responsibility to not endanger their lives by poor driving. Sounding your horn in those circumstances is poor driving. He probably didn't deserve to get smacked but you only know his side of the story.

It doesn't say how far from his home the incident occured but if a group member followed him home surely he must have seen them in his rear view mirror. I don't know of many 51 year olds who could keep up with a car travelling at the general speed limit of 30mph, maybe he needs signing up by a pro-team.

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ajmarshal1 [417 posts] 2 years ago
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Punching someone in the grid = unacceptable. People need to grow up.

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rex69 [50 posts] 2 years ago
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i was knocked off by a hit and run broken leg sustained. took the police 4 weeks to start investigating ,after numerous phone calls filling in paperwork(to save them coming out, as stated on paperwork), and they want us to help them !!!!

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bashthebox [752 posts] 2 years ago
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Without condoning any violent action, the biggest problem now and for the foreseeable future in this country is the 'us v them' attitude that pervades. It's deeply culturally ingrained and above all else, it's this that makes our roads dangerous. Yes, we lack the infrastructure for safe cycling, but does this mean people need to treat each other with so little respect?
I was cycling in Andalucia recently, and was amazed and heartened by the fact that motorists were just so calm and patient, only overtaking when they could see the road ahead and able to pass with a car width between you and them. It made me less hostile towards and wary of drivers, and it meant the drivers weren't racing along with steam coming out their ears.

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indyjukebox [48 posts] 2 years ago
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I cannot believe the number of people on here condoning attacking someone, whether they are a cyclist or not. Its a shame and a sad reflection of our modern lives when this sort of action is deemed acceptable. The even sadder thing is the 14 or so likes attached to the first post supporting this action.

It makes me want to give up cycling!

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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The war on cyclists continues, didn't you know motorists can do as they wish?

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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indyjukebox wrote:

I cannot believe the number of people on here condoning attacking someone, whether they are a cyclist or not. Its a shame and a sad reflection of our modern lives when this sort of action is deemed acceptable. The even sadder thing is the 14 or so likes attached to the first post supporting this action.

It makes me want to give up cycling!

I cannot believe you posted that.

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darrenleroy [216 posts] 2 years ago
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indyjukebox wrote:

I cannot believe the number of people on here condoning attacking someone, whether they are a cyclist or not. Its a shame and a sad reflection of our modern lives when this sort of action is deemed acceptable. The even sadder thing is the 14 or so likes attached to the first post supporting this action.

It makes me want to give up cycling!

It's schadenfreude. We're like the kid at school who gets bullied constantly but every now and then manages to get his own back. When the law doesn't protect us natural law sometimes rears its ugly, satisfying head.

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darrenleroy [216 posts] 2 years ago
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On Wednesday I was riding along the Uxbridge Road into West Ealing. It's a stretch of road where cars park during the evening to visit the swathe of Persian restaurants. At places there are pinch points (central traffic islands, bus stops etc) so I pull out wide to control the road and avoid the opening car doors of diners intent on stuffing their faces.

A car sits on my tail for 40 metres flashing its lights to get me to pull over and as it passes the driver stares at me disapprovingly. I must have been having a bad day because as I saw the car slow at a red light I pulled up alongside and swore at the driver in front of his elderly parents for a good 30 metres before turning left into my road. I'm not particularly proud of my actions but I'm sure he'll think twice before acting in such an aggressive manner in future. Just because he has a metal box around him doesn't make him invincible.

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lookmanohands [119 posts] 2 years ago
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 41

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kie7077 [891 posts] 2 years ago
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spence129 wrote:

"I beeped the horn to let them know I was passing" bullshit. There are times when drivers do give a very quick toot to let me know, but that doesn't provoke any anger in me and I'm certain that won't be the case here.

Personally I find someone beeping their horn behind me smacks of impatience, they don't need to beep their horn in order to do a safe pass and they shouldn't. It does provoke anger in me.

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kie7077 [891 posts] 2 years ago
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jmaccelari wrote:

Unacceptable behaviour from scumbag lycra louts. These guys need to be prosecuted just as harshly as any motorist behaving in this manner should be.

So, a £30 fine then.

Edit: my bad, you said should, not would.

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