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Riders suffer threats and deliberate crashes

A BBC Wales programme shown on Tuesday night highlighted the problem of aggressive behaviour of the roads and focussed on the experiences of  bike riders who had been victims of ‘road rage’.

Gary Marshall and his wife Debbie were riding their bikes home near Swansea when a bottle as thrown at them. After he remonstrated with the passenger, the driver of the car ran over him and his bike.

In this clip from the programme, Matt Turner - who runs a YouTube channel documenting his experiences with poor and dangerous driving - was threatened by a driver after a discussion over the motorist cutting a corner at a junction.

A poll conducted for the programme, a Week In, Week Out presentation entitled ‘You Give Me Road Rage’, found that 51 percent of drivers had been victims of aggression on the roads.

The segment in which Matt is threatened was the most viewed video on the BBC yesterday.

"He overtook me and pulled sharply in front of me and slammed on his brakes," Matt said.

"When he got out of the car and approached me, I did think he was going to hit me."

The driver then repeatedly swore at him and threatened to “wrap that fucking bike straight up your nose.”

Matt reported the incident to the police and the driver was issued with a caution, but refused to apologise.

"I still feel that he doesn't regret what he did, he just regrets being caught," Matt said.

Some might argue that the road behaviour of some helmet-cam wearers serves to aggravate the problem. In another section of the programme, Matt admits that he wasn’t sure why he initially commented on the driver cutting the corner.

“I didn’t intend him to hear, I didn’t mean anything by it. There was no real reason for me to say it,” he says. Nevertheless, getting out of your car to threaten someone doesn’t seem like a proportionate response.

New laws allow police to issue £100 fixed penalty notices for behaviour such as tailgating and lane hogging, which can be part of road rage incidents.

Police and road safety charities question whether the resources are available to implement the new rules, though.

The number of traffic officers has fallen 31% over four years in Wales. The British average is 12%, according to the road safety charity Brake; Wales has had the greatest reduction in the UK.

None of the four Welsh police forces had issued any of the new fixed penalty notices for careless driving.

The programme is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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.

38 comments

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bohrhead [69 posts] 2 years ago
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When you are on a bike, don't be petty and stir up trouble.

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zanf [795 posts] 2 years ago
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Of all the road raging videos Ive seen, this guy says it all:

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I thought he was a driver that had nothing better to do than have a go at cyclists

Right after he has done a Blakey from On The Buses, of sticking his nose into how the other guy was driving. Yes, he did cut the corner a bit but FFS, its not the worst infraction Ive ever seen.

He really does justify the comment when people say that cam cyclists just go looking for trouble.

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ThatBritishBloke [20 posts] 2 years ago
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It might have been a different story if the cyclist was turning right?

But still, I assume from the above that it's okay to speed when there's no one else around?

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Tripod16 [153 posts] 2 years ago
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BS! That isn't being petty. Being petty is when someone has called you on 'it' for doing something wrong/illegal that you exacerbate it by threatening someone...that is the (figurative) definition of petty...or is it calling the victim petty that is petty  39

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mattbibbings [81 posts] 2 years ago
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If the lad on the bike didn't look like a wet-weekend in Bognor then you can bet this wouldn't have happened.

This was a simple willy waving contest between two socially inadequate men. One who feels the need to film Highway Code infractions for his own youtube gratification and the other who feels it is ok to pick on people smaller than him.

Both if them have issues they should deal with but it is nothing to do with cycling and motoring and it is no service to our sport that it is dressed up as such.

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Simon E [2610 posts] 2 years ago
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What a nasty bastard.

At least his face and reg plate are visible in the photo. If the police won't do anything then perhaps the tosser's name and address can be put in the public domain. Name and shame.

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pmr [196 posts] 2 years ago
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Ive often thought about carrying a large wrench or some kind of defense spray for RR incidents. There's a minority that hate cyclists in this country, nothing to do with how people are riding, they just hate cyclists.
The Police are powerless, and the justice system is pathetic, not fit for purpose.

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JonD [392 posts] 2 years ago
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zanf wrote:

Yes, he did cut the corner a bit but FFS, its not the worst infraction Ive ever seen.

Except that very often the drivers cutting corners aren't actually looking - they start cutting across before they can even see what's approaching the junction.

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OldRidgeback [2566 posts] 2 years ago
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pmr wrote:

Ive often thought about carrying a large wrench or some kind of defense spray for RR incidents. There's a minority that hate cyclists in this country, nothing to do with how people are riding, they just hate cyclists.
The Police are powerless, and the justice system is pathetic, not fit for purpose.

On the other hand, you might find that the justice system is quite effective when it comes to dealing with cases of assault. Best to leave that sort of response for action movies.

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alexb [120 posts] 2 years ago
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pmr wrote:

Ive often thought about carrying a large wrench or some kind of defense spray for RR incidents. There's a minority that hate cyclists in this country, nothing to do with how people are riding, they just hate cyclists.
The Police are powerless, and the justice system is pathetic, not fit for purpose.

If you were to use either, you'd be up for assault and deservedly so. Don't forget that the driver has the wheel wrench and jack in the car, for legitimate reasons. If it comes to waving bits of metal around he can hide in the car and then run you over with it. What jury is going to convict him if you've covered his car in dents first?

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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mattbibbings wrote:

If the lad on the bike didn't look like a wet-weekend in Bognor then you can bet this wouldn't have happened.

This was a simple willy waving contest between two socially inadequate men. One who feels the need to film Highway Code infractions for his own youtube gratification and the other who feels it is ok to pick on people smaller than him.

Both if them have issues they should deal with but it is nothing to do with cycling and motoring and it is no service to our sport that it is dressed up as such.

This pretty much sums the whole video up perfectly

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gazza_d [458 posts] 2 years ago
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I had a similar experience in the car park at work. A taxi almost took me out whilst cutting a blind corner. I muttered under my breath to myself about being lucky. He completely misread my lips and chased after me & had a right go suggesting I was in the wrong & on the wrong side of the road etc. Wasn't on cam, but I reported to the taxi company who apologised.
Seen the driver since & he always gives me a wide berth, but never a personal apology.

Moral - There are some real idiots with serious anger management issues & driving a vehicle makes it 10 times worse. They usually think they are the best driver since James Hunt. Calling that into question is calling their entire manhood into question to them.

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moonbucket [63 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah I think gesticulating or commenting on driving is best left to those who actually cause one to have to take avoiding action, otherwise we'd be shouting all day in busy streets!

The chap who got out his car and threatened the cyclist should have been done for more than a pathetic caution.

Would be a shame if the next time this lout is out driving his erratic and aggressive manner sees his shitty car suffer several cleat scrapes from cyclists taking avoiding action...

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FluffyKittenofT... [1163 posts] 2 years ago
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bohrhead wrote:

When you are on a bike, don't be petty and stir up trouble.

Is it OK to be petty and stir up trouble if you are in a car?

Does the OKness depend entirely on what weapon you have?

If you'd just said "Don't be petty and stir up trouble", that would be good advice, but as it is your comment carries an unfortunate implication of might-is-right.

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kie7077 [857 posts] 2 years ago
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When you are on a bike, don't be petty and stir up trouble.

Are you fucking kidding me.

If a driver screws with me on the road, they're going to get a mouthful from me. I'm not taking their shit lying down.

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eurotrash [88 posts] 2 years ago
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The cyclist sounds like a right twat. Without a doubt he's the cause of his own misfortunes, certainly in this instance.

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Leviathan [1865 posts] 2 years ago
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He isn't as pretty as Cycling Gaz, I mean petty. Or both.

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John Stevenson [249 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

At least his face and reg plate are visible in the photo. If the police won't do anything...

He was cautioned, as mentioned in TFA. Vigilante justice not needed.

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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Why do people including cyclists get ragey when they are out on the road.
Nurds like this lad aren't doing us any favours at all by hunting out poor driving. Simply there have always been crap drivers crap cyclists from day one. One spiv like Matt Turner won't change anything just make it worse.
I have never looked at his you tube channel and never will. He doesn't get my support.

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kie7077 [857 posts] 2 years ago
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Wow, how is cycling going to get anywhere with when a cyclist sticks up for themselves, everybody here jumps on them with petty crap like 'The cyclist sounds like a right twat' and 'don't be petty and stir up trouble'.

What different does it make whether he's a wimpy looking kid or a bloke built like a brick shit-house, enough prejudiced bollocks already.

Who needs enemies with friends like you lot.

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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kie7077 wrote:

Wow, how is cycling going to get anywhere with when a cyclist sticks up for themselves, everybody here jumps on them with petty crap like 'The cyclist sounds like a right twat' and 'don't be petty and stir up trouble'.

What different does it make whether he's a wimpy looking kid or a bloke built like a brick shit-house, enough prejudiced bollocks already.

Who needs enemies with friends like you lot.

I see what you mean but this Matt bloke is hunting out trouble, almost delibrately riding so defensively to cause the aggression and filimg it to broadcast. He's a duffnut.

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eurotrash [88 posts] 2 years ago
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kie7077 wrote:

Wow, how is cycling going to get anywhere with when a cyclist sticks up for themselves, everybody here jumps on them with petty crap like 'The cyclist sounds like a right twat' and 'don't be petty and stir up trouble'.

What different does it make whether he's a wimpy looking kid or a bloke built like a brick shit-house, enough prejudiced bollocks already.

Who needs enemies with friends like you lot.

He's not "sticking up for himself", he's calling someone out for cutting across the road a bit. He may "technically" be right but it's completely unnecessary, some people will take exception to being called out and some people will be very aggressive about it like the motorist here.

I'm not saying the motorist is right - of course he isn't. But that situation wouldn't have happened if the cyclist, who was in no danger here at any point, would have minded his own business - which isn't to call out all the faults of all the other road users. If he called the driver out after a near miss or something then I'd totally be on the side of the cyclist, but in this case he was just asking for trouble.

I commute in London every day and have never had any confrontations with any other road users. If I had a helmet cam and decided to shout at people every time they cut a corner here or there, I'm sure my rides would be a lot more... eventful. Maybe I could even start a cycling youtube channel showing this "war" on the roads that people like SOTW seem to experience daily.

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ch [180 posts] 2 years ago
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I would even say don't respond to provocations. It's not easy, I have not always succeeded, but I think it shows strength of character to ignore provocations.

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Ush [641 posts] 2 years ago
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eurotrash wrote:

He's not "sticking up for himself", he's calling someone out for cutting across the road a bit. He may "technically" be right but it's completely unnecessary, some people will take exception to being called out and some people will be very aggressive about it like the motorist here.

It doesn't matter whether or not it's unnecessary or sticking up for himself or whatever.

Some psycho nutter who probably shouldn't be allowed out of the house, let alone put in charge of a car is clearly identified threatening violence, parking like an effing moron etc..

Personally I wouldn't be arsed to do/say anything about it, but the lad that did was completely: 1) accurate; 2) not breaking any laws.

The unspoken context to this, which you accept tacitly, is that screwballs like the driver pictured above are allowed on the roads.

It's quite remarkable that you would choose to focus on the cyclist in this instead of the holding of a license to operate a motorvehicle by the pillock who was advised by some sympathetic police officer to offer an apology.

You could instead choose to focus on the danger that the driver and the rest of the looneys running around on the roads present to all of us.

Or you could just wallow in some sort of weird "it couldn't happen to me because I'm not like him" morasse of stupidity.

Carry on.

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 2 years ago
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Really was 6 of 1 wasn't it. These muppets who go out with there helmet cams to start trouble do nothing for us.

The drivers not going to stop cutting corners and he is probably going to treat cyclists worse taring us all with the same brush.

He's a busy body with a camera that happens to be a cyclist.

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eurotrash [88 posts] 2 years ago
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Ush wrote:

It's quite remarkable that you would choose to focus on the cyclist in this instead of the holding of a license to operate a motorvehicle by the pillock who was advised by some sympathetic police officer to offer an apology.

You could instead choose to focus on the danger that the driver and the rest of the looneys running around on the roads present to all of us.

I think the driver's attitude and actions speak for themselves.

Quote:

Or you could just wallow in some sort of weird "it couldn't happen to me because I'm not like him" morasse of stupidity.

Of course it *could* happen to me. That's not the point. I don't go out looking for confrontations. This cyclist did, and *shockingly* that's what he found. So I have little sympathy for him.

Surely you've got to accept that in the real world, there are aggressive twats who will take exception to being told off. Knowing that, if you decide to go around telling people off for every little traffic violation, then surely it will come as no surprise when one of those people happens to be an overly aggressive twat whose pride gets injured or whatever, and a confrontation ensues.

As I said before, it's one thing to cuss a driver after a near miss or something, in the same way you might at anyone else who does something to put you in serious danger in any other situation - but this cyclist is just being petty, there was no danger to him and such a minor infraction, so no reason to go around acting like a wannabe cop. If you walk down any road and start telling random people off for minor things you deem to be incorrect (even if they technically are), you'll eventually encounter a punch in the face. Doesn't mean that person was right to react like that, and he should of course face whatever penalty for doing so - but if you go around confronting people as a matter of course, you have to accept that some will react as in the video.

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SteveAustin [34 posts] 2 years ago
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What a lunatic! er the bloke on the bike i mean, Why go round shouting at people driving cars!?
Sad to say that one day, he'll do that to the wrong bloke, and get more than just a threat.

What is going on his head to think that shouting at random people will solve anything.

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Paul J [863 posts] 2 years ago
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Wow, just wow, at the commentators here who are judging the cyclist because of his appearance or voice. The best has to be the comment offering a psychoanalysis based simply on his build! Perhaps worth rethinking your approach to judging other people.

Based on what's presented, this video, he didn't go looking for trouble, he just made a comment as someone passed. Unlikely he even intended it to be heard by the driver. He didn't stay and argue with the driver, but just went on his way. In no way did he deserve that driver then chasing him, cutting him up with his car and braking hard in front of him.

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fiftyacorn [89 posts] 2 years ago
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I live for the day a driver does this and gets hammered by the cyclist

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FluffyKittenofT... [1163 posts] 2 years ago
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eurotrash wrote:

As I said before, it's one thing to cuss a driver after a near miss or something, in the same way you might at anyone else who does something to put you in serious danger in any other situation - but this cyclist is just being petty, there was no danger to him and such a minor infraction, so no reason to go around acting like a wannabe cop. If you walk down any road and start telling random people off for minor things you deem to be incorrect (even if they technically are), you'll eventually encounter a punch in the face. Doesn't mean that person was right to react like that, and he should of course face whatever penalty for doing so - but if you go around confronting people as a matter of course, you have to accept that some will react as in the video.

Two points

It was a minor infraction (and I very much doubt I'd have said anything in that instance, but sometimes words just come out, not necessarily aimed at anyone) but its in the context of motorists regularly and as-a-matter-of-course committing such infractions and they add up to a constant level of danger for everyone else. Its not something that doesn't affect anyone.
(Apparently Jeremy Paxman reproaches people he sees dropping litter in the street - would it be OK for someone to threaten him with violence in return, incidentally?)

Secondly I really don't get why so many on this thread chose to concentrate on ticking off the cyclist for a rather minor bit of questionable judgement, while only mentioning in passing the thuggishness displayed by the motorist in response. To me that is a far, far, more significant issue. The concentration on the cyclist's behaviour seems like a kind of power-worship.

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