Updated: Norwich Police seek driver who tweeted about collision with cyclist

"He doesn't pay road tax" so presumably deserves to be hit

by Dave Atkinson   May 20, 2013  

Emma Way tweet

Norwich Police are today seeking a motorist who tweeted yesterday about knocking a cyclist off their bike. The driver, Emma Way, said of the collision, "Definitely knocked a cyclist off earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax" and signed off with the hashtag #bloodycyclists.

The tweet was quickly picked up by various twitter users, some of whom took a screen grab of the offending tweet (including jymdyer whose image we've used at the top). The Police were alerted via the social network, and two hours later Norfolk Police suggested that Ms Way contact them regarding the incident. "we have had tweets ref an RTC with a bike", they explained. "We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us". Since the tweet Ms Way has been identified via her twitter account (which she subsequently deleted) and her facebook profile. Other online posts from Ms Way suggested that she took pictures with her mobile phone while driving and tailgating other vehicles, and she also posted a picture of her car's speedometer showing a speed of 95mph.

The level of ignorance of the law, and the assumption of the right to forcibly remove a cyclist from the road, is pretty shocking. Anyone who follows the Cycle Hatred twitter account will be familiar with this kind of might-is-right mindset, and it's also fairly common for these comments to originate from new drivers, and particularly young women. Whether that's symptomatic of their greater dislike of cyclists of simply down to the demographics of twitter users it's difficult to say.

Obviously there's much for the Police to discuss with Ms Way, should the tweet refer to a genuine incident - which we are reliably informed it does (see update below). For a start you're generally breaking the law by leaving the scene of a road traffic collision without stopping to check if the other party has suffered injury or damage to property. Obviously there's also the right-of-way issue: no road user has any right under law to force another from the road, and to do so is also an offence. As for road tax, most cyclists are only too aware that there's no such thing as road tax and roads are funded from general taxation. Vehicle Excise Duty is paid on vehicle emissions; were cyclists to pay it they'd pay the same rate as other zero-emission vehicles: nothing.

Update: We've spoken to Toby Hockley, the rider involved in the collision, to get a bit of background on the incident. He's pretty sure it was him, anyway. "The police said it was me", he told us, and the time and location fit the bill.

"I was riding on a country B-road with a friend, and descending a hill on a blind right hand corner", Toby told us. "I was sticking to the left as the corner was blind. A car came round in the opposite direction going much too quickly to make the corner safely. It missed the rider in front of me but hit me, my right leg caught the front right wing. I was thrown up onto the bonnet, I hit the side of windsrceen and the wing mirror. I bounced back off the car and went through a hedge for about 20 metres. I managed to keep control of the bike; the back brake had locked on but I managed to rejoin the road and stop in the middle of it"

Amazingly Toby made it through the incident with only minor damage to himself and the bike. "I have a sore elbow, a bruised knee, nettle stings from riding through the hedge, but nothing serious", he told us. "The headset of the bike is loose from the collision, one of the levers got knocked round the bars and there's bits of nettle in the chain, but I think the bike is intact."

"Myself and my friend burst out laughing when we finally came to a stop, more out of shock than anything else", he said. "You count your limbs and carry on".

In response to the incident Ms Way's employers have also made a short statement, both in response to emails from road.cc readers and also in the comments below. "Please be assured that this is not a view held by the firm and we most certainly do not condone this behaviour", they told us. "We are taking the incidents very seriously, and a full and detailed investigation will be carried out and appropriate action taken. We have already spoken to Norfolk Police."

 

102 user comments

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Quote:
I was thrown up onto the bonnet, I hit the side of windsrceen and the wing mirror. I bounced back off the car and went through a hedge for about 20 metres. I managed to keep control of the bike

This must have been the greatest feat of bike handling ever.

Or else sheer blind good luck. It's amazing she didn't kill him.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [581 posts]
21st May 2013 - 10:34

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It's incredibly depressing that BBC Radio Norfolk appear to be taking this as an excuse to wheel out the usual crap about cyclists not paying road tax. Local radio in Bristol did exactly the same thing when me and a race organiser appeared on it to talk about CX racing being banned from local parks. Nothing to do with the subject at all.

I guess it's the attitude of "hey, it's causing a bit of controversy so it must be good for our listener numbers". Which is one reason (among many) that I don't listen to local radio.

posted by Mr Agreeable [132 posts]
21st May 2013 - 10:39

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notfastenough wrote:
Clearly, if her employers decide that the negative PR is unacceptable, they may choose to take action, but that's their business, not ours.

Or if Ian is a cyclist and the company offers the cycle to work scheme, he could offer her some advice whilst her license holidays in Swansea and she might start to commute via bike.

posted by farrell [1319 posts]
21st May 2013 - 10:42

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The BBC's Nick Conrad is on the case now, his question...

"I have the right of way he doesn't even pay road tax" - is it time cyclists did?

https://www.facebook.com/nconrad

posted by ribena [133 posts]
21st May 2013 - 10:54

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Mr Agreeable wrote:
It's incredibly depressing that BBC Radio Norfolk appear to be taking this as an excuse to wheel out the usual crap about cyclists not paying road tax.

At least the BBC Norfolk news page on the main BBC site is addressing this - there's a paragraph separate to the story pointing out the myth of Road Tax. Although if they're still bleating about it on the radio show that probably confirms your suspicion it's all about the controversy

posted by jijiandnoah [53 posts]
21st May 2013 - 10:57

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It seems that Emma is training to be a tax advisor. No wonder this is an embarrassment to her employer - a tax advisor.
http://www.bizea.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=967:...

posted by Actium [37 posts]
21st May 2013 - 10:58

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ribena wrote:
The BBC's Nick Conrad is on the case now, his question...

"I have the right of way he doesn't even pay road tax" - is it time cyclists did?

https://www.facebook.com/nconrad

Noted a fair few "well, this wasn't very good... but cyclists are a bit rubbish" style comments

posted by jijiandnoah [53 posts]
21st May 2013 - 11:21

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"He doesn't pay road tax" so presumably deserves to be hit"

Apple take note..

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [134 posts]
21st May 2013 - 11:22

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no one pays 'road tax' specifically. local councils have funding for it, so if someone earns more than you and subsequently pays more tax, they contribute more towards the roads via their tax than you by default, regardless of whether they even own any sort of vehicle or not. she pays VED, unless she has a hybrid, but this is calculated by the emissions that contribute to pollution. dumb shits, i've never even had a car and know this.

posted by brigtop [1 posts]
21st May 2013 - 12:01

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jijiandnoah wrote:
ribena wrote:
The BBC's Nick Conrad is on the case now, his question...

"I have the right of way he doesn't even pay road tax" - is it time cyclists did?

https://www.facebook.com/nconrad

Noted a fair few "well, this wasn't very good... but cyclists are a bit rubbish" style comments

We should be bombarding Nick's phone in demanding tax rebates because we pay enough tax for our roads but can't use motorways

I am only as insane as the insanity around me (Jens Voigt)

posted by alronald [58 posts]
21st May 2013 - 12:46

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eurotrash wrote:
farrell wrote:
Ian Fitch wrote:
I am Ian Fitch...

Do you ride at all Ian?

Do Larkin Gowen have a Cycle to Work scheme in place?

That's really quite irrelevant.

I agree - it is irrelevant whether the company has a "cycle friendly" policy. What they should have is a policy of hiring decent people and by the actions of Ian, its pretty clear he does not approve of her alleged behaviour and hopefully will take action, based on the reputational damage she may have caused, once the police have completed their job. I think its pretty big of him to even make that announcement (how many delivery companies take such action?).

posted by maldin [31 posts]
21st May 2013 - 12:49

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sponican wrote:
If all is as it seems then this is a terrible thing. If. But we need to wait and see. This is starting to sound like a lynch mob and is making me feel queasy. Let's not be the pitchfork wielding peasants in the Hammer movie.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, people.


"The burden of proof rests on one who asserts, not one who denies"? She boasted about it on Social Media! I wouldn't like to see this person literally lynched or attacked with pitchforks, and agree the law should take its course, but a good cyberkicking won't do her any lasting harm.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
21st May 2013 - 13:45

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It's hit the national media:
http://news.sky.com/story/1093752/drivers-twitter-boast-about-hitting-cy...

Happily, they also thought to include this bit (albeit at the end):

Sky News wrote:

Road tax does not actually exist in the UK and roads are funded from general taxation.

It is commonly confused with Vehicle Excise Duty, which is a car tax paid on vehicles as a levy on emissions.

I do note, however, that it states he was taking part in a sportive at the time - no doubt this will be dragged into it as well - mass start events, racing, blah blah.

Comments on the story are not permitted - perhaps a wise move!

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2957 posts]
21st May 2013 - 14:09

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maldin wrote:
eurotrash wrote:
farrell wrote:
Ian Fitch wrote:
I am Ian Fitch...

Do you ride at all Ian?

Do Larkin Gowen have a Cycle to Work scheme in place?

That's really quite irrelevant.

I agree - it is irrelevant whether the company has a "cycle friendly" policy.

Again, it's not.

There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio...

posted by farrell [1319 posts]
21st May 2013 - 14:12

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Is cycle hatred confined to the UK? I've seen articles suggesting that it extends to Aussie cricketers and aged Americans in 4-by-4s - but is it as prevalent in other countries?

posted by Bexleyhillbilly [37 posts]
21st May 2013 - 14:42

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It's difficult to believe that someone likes to brag about something like this.

I hope the Norfolk police and Larking Gowen have the courage to show people this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

If she loses her license and her job (and what employer would want a liability like this on their payroll?) then maybe - just maybe - some of the other f*ckwits who think it's OK to maim and kill begin to realise that it most definitely is not.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1916 posts]
21st May 2013 - 14:46

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The Rumpo Kid wrote:
sponican wrote:
If all is as it seems then this is a terrible thing. If. But we need to wait and see. This is starting to sound like a lynch mob and is making me feel queasy. Let's not be the pitchfork wielding peasants in the Hammer movie.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, people.


"The burden of proof rests on one who asserts, not one who denies"? She boasted about it on Social Media! I wouldn't like to see this person literally lynched or attacked with pitchforks, and agree the law should take its course, but a good cyberkicking won't do her any lasting harm.

I disagree. Strongly. What you seem to be proposing is targeted cyber bullying of an individual (who is, let's not forget, yet to be found guilty of any offence). There are numerous cases where suicides have been linked to cyber bullying. What you propose is arguably as bad as the alleged crimes of this girl.

I suggest you take some time to read the Malicious Communications Act. It applies to you just as much as her, and I suspect that what you have posted breaches it just as flagrantly.

posted by sponican [63 posts]
21st May 2013 - 15:41

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it beggars belief - we all have to cope with people like this on a daily basis - sadly I is unlikely after the drama subsides that anything effective will be done to this young woman - we see that happen too on far to regularly on these pages - lets hope that she will be more aware of others after this is over...

posted by silkred [14 posts]
21st May 2013 - 15:47

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Bez wrote:
It's beyond depressing to think that people can mow others down on the road in what clearly had the potential to be a fatal incident, and just carry on as if nothing happened. It takes a really special kind of arsehole to do that.

This.

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [191 posts]
21st May 2013 - 16:30

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sponican wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
sponican wrote:
If all is as it seems then this is a terrible thing. If. But we need to wait and see. This is starting to sound like a lynch mob and is making me feel queasy. Let's not be the pitchfork wielding peasants in the Hammer movie.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, people.


"The burden of proof rests on one who asserts, not one who denies"? She boasted about it on Social Media! I wouldn't like to see this person literally lynched or attacked with pitchforks, and agree the law should take its course, but a good cyberkicking won't do her any lasting harm.

I disagree. Strongly. What you seem to be proposing is targeted cyber bullying of an individual (who is, let's not forget, yet to be found guilty of any offence). There are numerous cases where suicides have been linked to cyber bullying. What you propose is arguably as bad as the alleged crimes of this girl.

I suggest you take some time to read the Malicious Communications Act. It applies to you just as much as her, and I suspect that what you have posted breaches it just as flagrantly.


I am NOT proposing we all join together and cyber bully this person, and I am aware of cases where children and adolescents have committed suicide. What I am saying is that the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven does not apply in this case, and that what she is experiencing is less traumatic to an adult than being hit by a car, by a person who then goes on to boast about it.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
21st May 2013 - 17:33

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The legal system does not have the balls to deal with this. Prisons are overflowing so they will not imprison an individual such as this. And to take awaay their licence is futile as there is no guarantee that the same individual will actually never get in a car again or be caught driving unlicensed by an already stretch police force. And while cyber bullying is unexcusable, the social network has apparantly aaalready caused this girl to shut down her twitter account. Maybe just maybe she has learnt from her foolish tweet and will correct her attitudes and driving skills.

I'm not that old, but I grew up in a street where neighbours as well as my parents took a hand in discipline. Never physical but a really good ragging. And one of the most embarrassing things to happen was to be brought home in a police landrover. Try explaining that one away.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1040 posts]
21st May 2013 - 17:39

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All I'll say is that I hope she's charged and convicted - but I'll not hold my breath

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [278 posts]
21st May 2013 - 19:50

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Kudos to road.cc to name her (I can almost see why Sky hid her name - but it is public knowledge once it's on Twitter).

It did make me think - in future if someone is angry at cyclists will we call it "driving the Emma Way?" Wink

I'll get my cycling cape...

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [278 posts]
21st May 2013 - 19:54

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I suppose what's angered all the cyclists here is the likely outcome, she'll have a police interview, outcome... go figure that one out....i've been there, had the same half hearted treatment from local PSNI guys.. until the law changes, and we're treated as being the injured party every time, the police see cycle incidents/accidents as Casualty doctors view motorcyclists, potential donors.. and they don't care!!!.. i report them all... much good it does me.... I would press this cyclist to seek redress for repairs and injury damages through his legal people.. claim off the bitches insurance.. cause it doesn't look like the police will do much.. although i hope they do..

posted by PATMAC [21 posts]
21st May 2013 - 20:17

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The Rumpo Kid wrote:
a good cyberkicking won't do her any lasting harm.

No. Sorry Rumpo, this really isn't ok. The legal system needs to deal with this (and indeed have the teeth to do so effectively), but what you are suggesting is nothing short of vigilantes taking revenge. It's not on.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2957 posts]
21st May 2013 - 21:59

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I don't know what the legal outcome will be, but her employer has responded which may or not lead her to re-think her career options. And her name is all over the Internet, even gracing the pages of the national newspapers - The Times had an article on it today - relaying mostly what is on here - probably used this site to compile the article. She's probably f**ked her life up for now, which, given this cyclist wasn't actually killed or seriously injured (luckily), is actually a shame. If anything comes out of it, hopefully that is, it might make some drivers who see cyclists as an annoyance to the point of knocking one off his/her bike for a laff think more carefully now before they feel the wrath of the twittersphere and cycling community even when the legal system might not do much. I think that is a pretty stiff punishment in itself.

posted by Ghostie [77 posts]
22nd May 2013 - 16:18

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Clearly neither of your critics understand irony,i thought it was a clever question,might be interesting to suggest it to them (Larking Gowen) as a 'damage limitation' exercise. Thinking

posted by Shaun [2 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 13:28

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farrell wrote:
maldin wrote:
eurotrash wrote:
farrell wrote:
Ian Fitch wrote:
I am Ian Fitch...

Do you ride at all Ian?

Do Larkin Gowen have a Cycle to Work scheme in place?

That's really quite irrelevant.

I agree - it is irrelevant whether the company has a "cycle friendly" policy.

Again, it's not.

There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio...


Clearly neither of your critics understand irony,i thought it was a clever question,might be interesting to suggest it to them (Larking Gowen) as a 'damage limitation' exercise. Thinking

posted by Shaun [2 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 13:29

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Err who says all these women are tweeting anti cycling rants? Has anyone done a survey or are we assuming that @cyclehatred is genuine stuff? For a start clearly most of the tweets, if not all are wind ups & since there isn't evidence of wholesale cyclist murder going on then clearly it's winding up. However I can vouch for the bitter and twisted venom and dishonesty of the more determined & ardent cycling lobby as I am a victim of hatred tweet, so a lot of @cyclehatred will be contrived and from cyclists themselves.

Emma was just a tweeter and so far that's all she is. There are a lot of outstanding questions to these allegations. If she did hit & run, then she deserves all she gets, but if you follow the sequence from her twitter onwards, an alleged cycling accident was found to match her tweet. I hope that the police will keep that in mind.

In the meantime, she hasn't been charged yet, let alone to court. I suggest we all wait to see what transpires before commenting on this.

Road safety 'experts' are often folk who's CV doesn't cut the mustard.

posted by Sedgepeat [61 posts]
24th May 2013 - 19:36

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Trouble is - all of this attention - deserved or otherwise - has turned this minx into a small time celebrity sensation. I'm sure .. if he wasn't under "serious judicial review" (gotta tread carefully here - remember Silly Bercow and the cost of mouthing off???) ... that old smarmpot Max Clifford could turn her into an ugly pimple on everyone's face!!!!

Action and attitude say it all. Where is the humble meaningful apology? Where's the real sadness for what she (allegedly) did and what she definitely said? Where's the contrition?

Yeh, go and have a fag and a large gin & tonic down the pub, love, and tell everybody how smart and clever you are. I'm sure the world will hang on your every word ... and the oh-so-intelligent opinions you seem to want to share. Hmmmmm

posted by comm88 [72 posts]
28th May 2013 - 9:48

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