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Incident in Staffordshire follows four in Leicestershire and one in Warwickshire in recent weeks

Two Leicestershire cyclists have been injured while riding near Tamworth in neighbouring Staffordshire after a motorist allegedly used his car door to deliberately push one of them off his bike.

It’s the latest in a series of incidents in the Midlands in recent weeks – three in Leicestershire in which the same silver BMW is believed to have been involved, and another one, also involving a silver car but not being linked to those by police, in Warwickshire.

The cyclists in the incident in Staffordshire were among 30 riders from Leicester Forest Cycling Club out on a group ride when a driver, apparently frustrated at being held up behind them, opened his car door, causing 42-year-old Simeon Diaz to crash, reports the Leicester Mercury.

The software designer suffered injuries to his hands and also sustained grazes, and a second rider, 48-year-old Wayne Henderson, was left bruised after he was unable to avoid crashing into his club-mate.

Both riders’ bikes were also damaged to the tune of ‘several hundred pounds.’

Mr Diaz told the newspaper: "The driver had his door slightly open and he was shouting.

"Everyone was just cycling past, hoping he would calm down, and as I passed him he suddenly opened his door at me, hitting the front wheel of my bike.

"He had obviously lost patience. He opened the door intentionally into me before driving off."

According to Mr Henderson, who works as a nurse, “The driver had been travelling far too fast for the type of road.

“It had been quiet so the group was riding two abreast and the driver had to brake hard.

"As the group rode past in single file, the driver began to shout abuse at us.

"He swung his door open with force into Simeon and it was clearly an intentional act of aggression.

"Simeon hit the ground very hard. I had nowhere to go but into him."

He added: "This type of behaviour is becoming more frequent and more aggressive."

The incident took place within a few miles of five other recorded assaults on cyclists that took place during July, leaving two with broken bones, and while thankfully rare, it does appear that this type of aggression against cyclists is on the rise. 

Yesterday, Leicestershire Police confirmed that they had arrested a man in connection with four of those episodes, one of which left a rider with a broken collarbone.

Earlier this week, we reported on another attack that took place near Nuneaton in Warwickshire, in which the victim sustained a broken arm, but is not being linked by police to the incidents across the border in Leicestershire.

In the case of the incident in Staffordshire, club-mates of the two injured cyclists did manage to provide police with the make, model and registration number of the vehicle involved.

A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman commented: "We received a call just after 10am on Saturday, August 3, reporting an incident on a single-track country lane at Thorpe Constantine, Tamworth.

"The collision involved two cyclists, who were part of a large group travelling towards Clifton Campville, and a silver Vauxhall Vectra travelling in the opposite direction.

"The cyclists, two Leicester men aged 42 and 48, sustained minor injuries following the incident but did not require hospital treatment.

"Details of the incident have been passed to the force's traffic processing office."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

26 comments

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mrmo [2013 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

"Details of the incident have been passed to the force's traffic processing office."

to be never seen again!!!

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andybwhite [248 posts] 2 years ago
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Er... why traffic? surely this is an assault - with a car door - not a motoring offence
FFS why can't the plod break out of their narrow minded motor offence mindset!

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 2 years ago
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*

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kie7077 [833 posts] 2 years ago
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andybwhite wrote:

Er... why traffic? surely this is an assault - with a car door - not a motoring offence
FFS why can't the plod break out of their narrow minded motor offence mindset!

100% agree, and the same goes for the CPS and the judges and the prosecution.

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arfa [694 posts] 2 years ago
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Assault with a lot of witnesses. If plod don't prosecute accordingly then it will just reinforce the fact that cars can be used as weapons with less chance of proper punishment.

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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Cycling two-abreast is dangerous...

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mrmo [2013 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

Cycling two-abreast is dangerous...

time and place. Remember it is not illegal and the highway code doesn't even say don't do it, like it does for more than 2 abreast

What is safer overtaking 10 cyclists one behind the other or five riding two abreast?

Remember rule 163

//assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/static/hc/hc_rule_163_give_vulnerable_road_users_at_least_as_much_space_as_you_would_a_car.jpg)

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SteppenHerring [322 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
nbrus wrote:

Cycling two-abreast is dangerous...

time and place. Remember it is not illegal and the highway code doesn't even say don't do it, like it does for more than 2 abreast

What is safer overtaking 10 cyclists one behind the other or five riding two abreast?

Remember rule 163

Exactly.

Single out where appropriate but where there's room, 2 abreast is safer. Sometimes if you single out it will encourage a dangerous overtake too.

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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Single out and leave gaps between small groups, so that cars can pass safely in small hops.

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crazy-legs [703 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

Single out and leave gaps between small groups, so that cars can pass safely in small hops.

That's the worst of all worlds. Pass 3-4 cyclists, the car gets caught in no-man's land unable to overtake the next 3-4 and before you know it the car has to stop for an oncoming vehicle, the riders behind have nowhere to go but into the boot of the car. And if there's a fast descent, the last thing I want is a car in front having done half an overtake, I want him well behind me! Cos can go quicker...

I'm confused by this story as well, the driver is frustrated at being stuck behind them, how does opening HIS door affect them? But then later itsays about the cyclists moving past him (filtering down the outside?) in whihc case is he stuck in traffic or has he overtaken them then stopped and opened his door?

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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“...It had been quiet so the group was riding two abreast and the driver had to brake hard..."

I've been stuck behind a slow moving peleton out on a club run, 3-4 abreast ... 100 yards long, doing 15 mph on a slight gradient, with islands in the middle of the road, lots of bends, and no sign of a safe place to overtake in sight ... very frustrating. Group cycling should be banned, except for organised events like sportives.  19

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mrmo [2013 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

I've been stuck behind a slow moving peleton out on a club run, 3-4 abreast ... 100 yards long, doing 15 mph on a slight gradient, with islands in the middle of the road, lots of bends, and no sign of a safe place to overtake in sight ... very frustrating.

suck it up, such is life, car drivers have no more right to the road than a cyclist, can easily argue they have less because they need a licence to use the road...

too many people think they are too important to wait.

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crazy-legs [703 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

I've been stuck behind a slow moving peleton out on a club run, 3-4 abreast ... 100 yards long, doing 15 mph on a slight gradient, with islands in the middle of the road, lots of bends, and no sign of a safe place to overtake in sight ... very frustrating.

Trolling surely?

I got stuck behind a tractor last week, it was doing 12mph on a winding Welsh A-road (one of those roads that you can noramlly do 50ish on, perhaps down to 40mph for the corners). Nowhere to overtake, was stuck behind it for 6 minutes. Yet everyone waited - maybe not patiently but they waited.

Now imagine what that would have been like had it been a group of 6 cyclists. Same speed, same size overall as a tractor. Willing to bet there'd have been screams of abuse from drivers, riders forced into the hedgerows...

But ultimately, it's exactly the same. Especially ironic cos no-one seemed to be willing to cut up a tractor or yell at the farmer to pay his road tax! (Tractors are zero VED rated).

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

suck it up, such is life, car drivers have no more right to the road than a cyclist, can easily argue they have less because they need a licence to use the road...

too many people think they are too important to wait.

Yes, cyclists have as much right to use the road as car drivers, but they don't need to cycle two-abreast in long peletons and hold up traffic. Simply go out with a few mates and keep single file on busy roads. Simples!  1

crazy-legs wrote:

I got stuck behind a tractor last week, it was doing 12mph on a winding Welsh A-road (one of those roads that you can noramlly do 50ish on, perhaps down to 40mph for the corners). Nowhere to overtake, was stuck behind it for 6 minutes. Yet everyone waited - maybe not patiently but they waited.

Now imagine what that would have been like had it been a group of 6 cyclists. Same speed, same size overall as a tractor. Willing to bet there'd have been screams of abuse from drivers, riders forced into the hedgerows...

But ultimately, it's exactly the same. Especially ironic cos no-one seemed to be willing to cut up a tractor or yell at the farmer to pay his road tax! (Tractors are zero VED rated).

A tractor has no choice ... often they will pull over when there is a place to do so.

PS: No I'm not trolling, but I do cycle a lot (commute/tour) and can understand why some drivers get frustrated with some cyclists.  3

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SteppenHerring [322 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

PS: No I'm not trolling, but I do cycle a lot (commute/tour) and can understand why some drivers get frustrated with some cyclists.  3

Well we (as a club) try to keep groups to 12 max and will single out where it would help. A group of 12, 2 abreast will be easier to overtake than a tractor with a trailer.

Sure there is awful behaviour on sportives but this shouldn't affect what clubs are trying to do - that is promote safe and considerate cycling.

It amazes me that "motorists" get crazy and mouth frothing when cyclists hold them up for a few seconds but then sit in a queue of cars for 10 minutes.

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Wayne65 [3 posts] 2 years ago
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kie7077 wrote:
andybwhite wrote:

Er... why traffic? surely this is an assault - with a car door - not a motoring offence
FFS why can't the plod break out of their narrow minded motor offence mindset!

100% agree, and the same goes for the CPS and the judges and the prosecution.

The reason it was not an "assault" charge, was not because it wasn't, but because this would need to be probe in court... Despite 30+ witnesses, he could argue "accidental". Also for insurance purposes, it is better for us to claim for damages, as his insurance would not cover him for assault, and we would have had to take civil action! Opening a door, regardless of reason, into a road and causing damage to another vehicle/person is an offence under the road traffic act, which means we can claim off his insurance... Not ideal !!!

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Wayne65 [3 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

“...It had been quiet so the group was riding two abreast and the driver had to brake hard..."

I've been stuck behind a slow moving peleton out on a club run, 3-4 abreast ... 100 yards long, doing 15 mph on a slight gradient, with islands in the middle of the road, lots of bends, and no sign of a safe place to overtake in sight ... very frustrating. Group cycling should be banned, except for organised events like sportives.  19

And your point is???

We weren't travelling "slow", and for clarification, the vehicle in question was coming towards us ( very fast!), not from behind, there was sufficient room for him to continue, at a slower pace, as with most well organised groups, "two abreast where safe" single file when not...

Regardless of any of the "reasons" he may have attacked us, would push an elderly person out the way if the were holding you up in a queue & cause them deliberate harm, just because they were slower than you at doing something they are entitled to do?

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Wayne65 [3 posts] 2 years ago
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These issues, "two abreast", "too slow" always to me, raise the comparison with horse's & their riders... Seldom do you hear of attacks by motorists on horses & riders, yet they will ride "two abreast" (when safe", and are usually significantly slower than cyclists!!!

Yet surprisingly, motorist wait until safe to pass, slow down, don't sound there horn or shout abuse! Perhaps it's the thought of the damages half ton horse could do to there car or them!!!

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Davehanson83 [5 posts] 2 years ago
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I use these particular roads outside of tamworth fairly often and even when on my own riding down the country lanes have been shouted at by 2 particular drivers going the other way, even though there were a few metres between us. I'm starting to think that the people who live in the villages around there just hate cycling!! I'd hazard a guess that I probably know of the car that did this!

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smaryka [18 posts] 2 years ago
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I think the article needs a bit more clarity about the way the car and cyclists came together. At first read it sounds like he was going in the same direction and was stuck behind them (but then how could he have opened his door on them -- he overtoo them, then they overtook him again and that's when he opened the door? Doesn't sound right).

But now I realise he must have been coming towards them and forced to slow down as they singled-out, and then opened his door on them as he passed. That sounds more plausible?

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workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

“...It had been quiet so the group was riding two abreast and the driver had to brake hard..."

I've been stuck behind a slow moving peleton out on a club run, 3-4 abreast ... 100 yards long, doing 15 mph on a slight gradient, with islands in the middle of the road, lots of bends, and no sign of a safe place to overtake in sight ... very frustrating. Group cycling should be banned, except for organised events like sportives.  19

Were you on your way to a fire, or a cardiac arrest? If not, suck it up and share the roads.

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tired old fart [77 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
nbrus wrote:

Cycling two-abreast is dangerous...

time and place. Remember it is not illegal and the highway code doesn't even say don't do it, like it does for more than 2 abreast

What is safer overtaking 10 cyclists one behind the other or five riding two abreast?

Remember rule 163

//assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/static/hc/hc_rule_163_give_vulnerable_road_users_at_least_as_much_space_as_you_would_a_car.jpg)

Well said

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 2 years ago
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workhard wrote:
nbrus wrote:

“...It had been quiet so the group was riding two abreast and the driver had to brake hard..."

I've been stuck behind a slow moving peleton out on a club run, 3-4 abreast ... 100 yards long, doing 15 mph on a slight gradient, with islands in the middle of the road, lots of bends, and no sign of a safe place to overtake in sight ... very frustrating. Group cycling should be banned, except for organised events like sportives.  19

Were you on your way to a fire, or a cardiac arrest? If not, suck it up and share the roads.

I agree with Nbrus. While you do not have to force your way passed slow moving traffic, and at times you do need to just 'suck it up' as you suggest.

I also think, like the other gentleman suggests, that keeping the ride numbers to limit is also in spirit of 'sharing the roads'.

If numbers are so large that it is unsafe for a car to pass of course you are going to rile even the most mild and moderate of car drivers. If you faced a procession of 20 lorries travelling at 50 mph two abreast on a two lane motorway you'd be fed up.

If you had a procession of any slow moving vehicle for too long on a regular road you would get a bit annoyed, and if they are blocking up a country road that goes on for miles (perhaps to their home or where ever) it is not going to go down well if you have 20-30 cyclist riding 2 abreast. It's even worse if you are driving a big truck behind something like that.

The driver also has no idea where you are going, why you are riding like you are (maybe for safety, maybe not). They just see you all blocking the road inconsiderately of their needs. If you ride in smaller manageable groups it is easier for the driver to pass, and easier for the cyclists to organise themselves into a single line and wave the driver passed. Hard to do if you are 20-30 people.

I did the RAB last year and large phalanxes of riders were common. But they were not only a nuisance to the drivers, but also other cyclists. The traffic slowed up and stopped everyone. But the thing was that the perpetrators were not aware of the backlog of cars (let alone cyclists), they were difficult to organise and rarely looked for ways to allow the traffic to pass. You can see why that would enrage a driver, it annoyed me as a cyclist. Spare a thought!

That said, I'm not talking about the specifics of this case. I don't really know what happened, but it frustrates me that I see many cyclists that don't seem to have respect for fellow road users.

NOTE: I also road in the Pyrenees where the roads are narrow and windy, the cars were respectful in their approach and gave distance and space, but were very grateful if and when I could wave them passed safely. If you give a little respect and appreciation then you get a lot.

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Jimbonic [135 posts] 2 years ago
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If you're stuck behind a truck / tractor / moped / caravan / Honda Civic on a country road, you just sit there and wait until it's safe. Why not, sit there and wait until it's safe to pass a cyclist(s)?

I don't see the difference.

Also, that photo in Rule 163 plainly shows that the Audi driver is not giving as much room as they would a car. Anyway....

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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Jimbonic wrote:

If you're stuck behind a truck / tractor / moped / caravan / Honda Civic on a country road, you just sit there and wait until it's safe. Why not, sit there and wait until it's safe to pass a cyclist(s)?

I don't see the difference.

And what if its never safe to pass because there are too many two-abreast cyclists selfishly claiming all the road space?

Jimbonic wrote:

Also, that photo in Rule 163 plainly shows that the Audi driver is not giving as much room as they would a car. Anyway....

Really? ... Looks like the Audi is a good couple of yards from the cyclist.

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 2 years ago
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Jimbonic wrote:

If you're stuck behind a truck / tractor / moped / caravan / Honda Civic on a country road, you just sit there and wait until it's safe. Why not, sit there and wait until it's safe to pass a cyclist(s)?

I don't see the difference.

Also, that photo in Rule 163 plainly shows that the Audi driver is not giving as much room as they would a car. Anyway....

Jumbonic, the goal is always to pass safely. But the Highway Code does stipulate that you should move pass slow moving traffic by passing them (the idea being that the roads don't get jammed up because there is one slow moving vehicle).

But if there are lots of people on bicycles that makes it harder. It puts pressure on the driver to get it right. If there is one bicycle it is relatively straight forward.

What I don't get is why you're moving the goal posts though. No one is discussing how to pass A cyclist, just that there is etiquette on group riding....which appears to have passed some people by.