Video: BBC Wales road rage programme highlights plight of vulnerable cyclists

Riders suffer threats and deliberate crashes

by John Stevenson   October 31, 2013  

Road rage confrontation

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.

38 user comments

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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.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
31st October 2013 - 17:51

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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?

posted by alexb [42 posts]
31st October 2013 - 17:52

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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

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
31st October 2013 - 18:56

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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.

posted by gazza_d [183 posts]
31st October 2013 - 19:09

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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...

posted by moonbucket [55 posts]
31st October 2013 - 19:17

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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.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [631 posts]
31st October 2013 - 19:23

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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.

posted by kie7077 [425 posts]
31st October 2013 - 19:42

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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.

posted by eurotrash [76 posts]
31st October 2013 - 20:08

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He isn't as pretty as Cycling Gaz, I mean petty. Or both.

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1186 posts]
31st October 2013 - 20:42

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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.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [970 posts]
31st October 2013 - 20:58

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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.

posted by Guyz2010 [280 posts]
31st October 2013 - 21:41

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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.

posted by kie7077 [425 posts]
31st October 2013 - 21:44

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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.

posted by Guyz2010 [280 posts]
31st October 2013 - 22:25

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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.

posted by eurotrash [76 posts]
1st November 2013 - 0:06

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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.

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [99 posts]
1st November 2013 - 0:51

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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.

posted by Ush [377 posts]
1st November 2013 - 3:22

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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.

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
1st November 2013 - 9:48

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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.

posted by eurotrash [76 posts]
1st November 2013 - 10:04

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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.

SteveAustin's picture

posted by SteveAustin [34 posts]
1st November 2013 - 10:58

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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.

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
1st November 2013 - 11:05

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I live for the day a driver does this and gets hammered by the cyclist

posted by fiftyacorn [91 posts]
1st November 2013 - 11:13

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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.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [631 posts]
1st November 2013 - 11:35

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Check out the London Cyclist Blog which has a 7 things you should give up to be a happy cyclist post. No 2 is Give up on being angry about cars not giving you enough room.
Was attempting to merge into a long queue of traffic the other day. One car was determined to not let me in when things started moving; probably because he was cheesed off that I hadn't had to wait. I didn't yell at him or anything, for fear he might turn into a homicidal maniac, but I was chuntering to myself for a good few minutes afterwards. Then I just thought, get over it, and concentrated on my ride.

Shades

posted by Shades [174 posts]
1st November 2013 - 11:59

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I've seen helmet cam video of Matt cutting corners.

posted by DrJDog [81 posts]
1st November 2013 - 14:46

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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
(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?)

No one's condoning what the driver did here. I'm saying you have to accept that people may react like that - not saying it's right they do so, it's just simply how it is. That being the case, don't go around acting like a self righteous prick just because you have a camera on your head.

posted by eurotrash [76 posts]
1st November 2013 - 16:25

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I got thumped in the face for telling a driver not to move into the ASL box as it was for cyclists. After the incident reported it and a photo of the car reg. Police took statement and went to interview him and he said 'no comment' and because there were no witnesses that was it .....

richdirector's picture

posted by richdirector [52 posts]
1st November 2013 - 17:28

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Drivers cutting corners like in the video is perfectly legitimate if you can see that its safe, even my driving instructor taught me that 28 years ago. I do it all the time. The move on the video was safe, the driver wasn't even travelling at excess speed.

To be picked up on that by the likes of our helmet cam vigilante is not doing cycling enthusiasts one jot of good.

The drivers actions are outrageous and he should never of reacted that way but it would not have happened had Mr Turner not challenged what did not need challenging.

I'm going to stereotype Mr Turner by lumping him together into a group of road vigilantes that transform into completely irrational morons the second they get a helmet cam perched on their head. I would even go as far as saying that they even change their riding habits, which may involve increased risk to their own safety so that they can encourage and bait drivers into committing minor and not so minor breaches of road traffic law just to catch it on video.

These guys do not really do us any favours at all and when I see the likes of Mr Turner being interviewed I cringe. But please don't think I am anti-cyclist, far from it. If anything I come down harder on motorists because they are cocooned in 1.5 tons of metal shell and surounded by airbags. I'm on me 10 kilo bike with a styrofoam helmet. We need better protection from bad motorists but Mr Turner's approach is the wrong way to go about it and this article paints him in a bad light. To me anyway. Helmet cams are fun and offer clear evidence in accidents/incidents when used correctly and sensibly. But not like this...

posted by Critchio [101 posts]
1st November 2013 - 19:44

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Critchio wrote:
Drivers cutting corners like in the video is perfectly legitimate if you can see that its safe, even my driving instructor taught me that 28 years ago. I do it all the time. The move on the video was safe, the driver wasn't even travelling at excess speed.

To be picked up on that by the likes of our helmet cam vigilante is not doing cycling enthusiasts one jot of good.

The drivers actions are outrageous and he should never of reacted that way but it would not have happened had Mr Turner not challenged what did not need challenging.

I'm going to stereotype Mr Turner by lumping him together into a group of road vigilantes that transform into completely irrational morons the second they get a helmet cam perched on their head. I would even go as far as saying that they even change their riding habits, which may involve increased risk to their own safety so that they can encourage and bait drivers into committing minor and not so minor breaches of road traffic law just to catch it on video.

These guys do not really do us any favours at all and when I see the likes of Mr Turner being interviewed I cringe. But please don't think I am anti-cyclist, far from it. If anything I come down harder on motorists because they are cocooned in 1.5 tons of metal shell and surounded by airbags. I'm on me 10 kilo bike with a styrofoam helmet. We need better protection from bad motorists but Mr Turner's approach is the wrong way to go about it and this article paints him in a bad light. To me anyway. Helmet cams are fun and offer clear evidence in accidents/incidents when used correctly and sensibly. But not like this...

So he's a vigilante now, I must of missed that bit.

posted by kie7077 [425 posts]
2nd November 2013 - 8:31

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Amusing thread on this video/incident... looks like lots of other cyclists have a similarly poor opinion of this cyclist: http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40013&t=12946977

posted by eurotrash [76 posts]
2nd November 2013 - 12:44

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eurotrash wrote:

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.

That's not the point either. Again you're focusing on the cyclist, who may have acted in a way that neither you nor I would, instead of on the out-of-control screwball that threatened violence. The constipated looking looney driving the silver Citroen reg "GK03 ZTM" is obviously not in control of either his car, or his head if he goes after such a non-threat as the video taker.

It seems more than likely to me that he will display similar aggressive and incompetent behaviour in other aspects of his driving.

My suggestion that "it could happen to you" doesn't suggest that you're suddenly going to be come the video-taker in build and mannerism -- it means that you, like me, will be sharing the road with this irrational cock.

Why you get excited about the cyclist in this instead of the driver can only be explained by you thinking that because you don't behave like the cyclist above that you will somehow be magically safe from the fool, and the many like him.

Good luck with that. Keep hating on the cyclist.

posted by Ush [377 posts]
2nd November 2013 - 14:05

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