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"I have no doubt his intention was to kill me": Aggressive kerb-mounting driver tries to ram cyclist off bike after being caught using phone

Police fail to catch motorist... but tell rider to not film phone-using drivers and "always ride as close to the kerb as possible"...

A London cyclist has recalled the frightening moment a driver and passenger, angered by the bike rider recording the motorist using their phone, chased after him and tried to ram him off his bike.

We shared a video of the incident, which happened last July in Forest Hill, south London, on our live blog yesterday, but got in touch with the cyclist involved to get more details about the shocking footage.

Understandably, the rider did not wish to be named, but noticed a driver on their mobile phone as they cycled past Forest Hill station. Deciding not to ride in front of a distracted road user, the cyclist waited, catching the act on a GoPro camera mounted to their handlebars.

"Because of my bike lights the driver noticed me, and asked if I was filming him," the cyclist recalled. "I didn't want to engage and he asked me again, I said it's always filming and that he shouldn't be using his phone."

Having turned around into a side road the road.cc reader noticed the driver entering a car park before following him.

"At this point I began to cycle away as fast as possible and I shouted for help from the pedestrian who was walking ahead of me," they continued. "As I turned around the corner the driver carried on shouting at me. I made out 'give me the camera and slap him up' he then jumped onto the pavement to try and knock me off as I was cycling away (he was inches away) and luckily because of a tree I had some more time to escape.

"I suspect he decided to stop to pick up his passenger whom he had left behind. At this point I was keen to not repeat my previous mistake and looked behind me in order to make sure I wasn't being followed before hiding my bike behind a car in a nearby driveway before jumping into a basement in order to wait for the police to arrive."

Once the police arrived, the footage was turned over and the cyclist escorted home by officers. Later, a detective got in touch to say they had no leads and the number plate did not match the driver.

The detective then imparted some unconventional advice on how to stop aggressive drivers trying to knock you off your bike.

"I was then told over the phone by the well-spoken detective, and in email, to not film phone-using drivers and to call the police (which as we know would never work) and to be the 'the most polite cyclist on the road and to always ride as close to the kerb as possible' I was also told to only use my cameras incase of an incident where I am physically collided by a driver," the rider recollected.

"A while afterwards I received an email stating that the case had been closed pending further evidence. I remain in hope that this criminal is identified as I have no doubt that his intention was to kill me, as evident by his words and actions.

"Even if there had been provocation, as some ignorant commenters have suggested, it would still not come close to justifying attempted murder. To make it all worse the driver must have known he would not be identified from the footage, making the whole ordeal more pointless for the driver as he would have not faced justice for the phone-driving offence on its own."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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34 comments

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Christopher TR1 | 1 year ago
7 likes

"The detective"?! Sounds like he couldn't detect his arse from his elbow!

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Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
4 likes

We've got to be careful out there. You may be inadvertently filming a drug deal going down. Or worse!
Your camera may pick up mobile numbers
names, actions...
That said. It won't be long before I'm night riding with my Glock 17 gen5 stuffed in my bar bag.
Stay safe.

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nordog | 1 year ago
3 likes

The Americans use guns but we have cars/vans and very stupid and dangerous drivers that can kill and get away with near murder.

 

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Velo-drone | 1 year ago
10 likes

What a pile of hogwash - whoever was in charge of that investigation thoroughly mucked it up.  With reg plate the FIRST thing they needed to do was issue a NIP for the mobile phone use while driving.  That requires the owner of the vehicle to identify the driver at the time of the incident, and failure to do so means 6 points and a substantial fine.  

Obviously this doesn't guarantee catching the perpetrator - but it does at least mean that there is some penalty applied in relation to these events.  (And most likely if the owner decides to take the fine & points rather than identify their friend/relative, they will expect said person to reimburse them ..)

Similarly the police "advice" is nonsensical.  How is it even possible to "only use [cycle] cameras incase of an incident where [you are] physically collided with by a driver"??   Do they think cyclists are some kind of telepathic imbeciles, who can foresee when a collision is going to occur in order to quickly turn their camera on temporarily to record it, but are too stupid to instead take action to avoid the collision??

And do they also issue this "advice" to motorists who supply dashcam footage of dangerous driving?  Or is it only cyclists that are to turn a blind eye to road crime?

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ktache replied to Velo-drone | 1 year ago
8 likes

You have to be really telepathic, as you must have two minutes before the life threatening ctash to prove you did not provoke the incident.

So incandescent with rage I was that I had failed to read the rest of the comments. My apologies to those who brought up the points I absolutely had to make.

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wtjs replied to ktache | 1 year ago
2 likes

You have to be really telepathic, as you must have two minutes before the life threatening crash to prove you did not provoke the incident

It amazes me that people put up with this without protest: even Lancashire Constabulary hasn't tried this dodge for years. I have pointed out that cyclists must be the only group who are obliged in these police areas to provide evidence to be pored over by the police to facilitate action against the cyclist. If the police and/ or the motorist wish to take action against the cyclist then they need to provide the evidence. We don't have to do it for them! Imagine what would happen to a complaint from you, a cyclist, about a traffic incident where you couldn't provide immaculate video evidence: nothing whatsoever. Therefore, any counter claim by the police/ motorist must be accompanied by evidence. We provide reasonable evidence to support our claim- admittedly, the police then ignore it, but the principle is there. 

 

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iandusud | 1 year ago
7 likes

Please, please, please escalate this.

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Dingaling | 1 year ago
1 like

I'm travelling over to England on Friday and staying in Croxton Kerrial near Grantham. After reading this article I am wondering if I really want to take my bike with me.

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Wardy74 replied to Dingaling | 1 year ago
3 likes

Don't worry about it. You'll more likely to be hit by an indecisive pheasant than a motorist around there. If you like Hill-climbing, head for Terrace Hill.

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Dingaling replied to Wardy74 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Arrived today and thanks for the tip but where is Terrace Hill?. Can't find it on Google Maps.

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Ride On replied to Dingaling | 1 year ago
1 like

And treat yourself to a Dickinson and Morris pork pie... food of champions.

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Dingaling replied to Ride On | 1 year ago
1 like

I'll put one on the shopping list and if it's good I'll take some home with me.

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ChrisB200SX | 1 year ago
10 likes

That repsonse is grim victim-blaming and shirking of the Police's responsibility to do some work to protect the public. Shameful.
Please tell me you got the officer's name, rank and number so you can make a complaint about them?

...and what's the "number plate doesn't match the driver" nonsense?
The number plate should match a car, if it does not then they need to be on the lookout for that car as they were obviously up to some criminal activities if they are rolling around on false plates!

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Wingguy | 1 year ago
7 likes

No leads because the number plate did not match the driver? I can't even..... they have the number plate!

If your number plate is caught in a speed camera the police can demand that the registered keeper identify the driver or face serious consequences. How is this any different?

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Rendel Harris replied to Wingguy | 1 year ago
7 likes
Wingguy wrote:

No leads because the number plate did not match the driver? I can't even..... they have the number plate!

If your number plate is caught in a speed camera the police can demand that the registered keeper identify the driver or face serious consequences. How is this any different?

I assume because it was a false plate (not uncommon round this neck of the woods amongst the criminal fraternity), they'll have traced it and found that the number is legally registered to a different model of car or that the owner can account for where s/he and the car were at the time of the incident. I've had a couple of video submissions NFA'd because (in one example) the numberplate on a black BMW turned out legally to belong to a red Mini.

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markieteeee replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
5 likes

I had a nasty incident (or series of 4 incidents, depending how you measure it) that I reported to Southwark police, that despite me not having camera evidence, they decided to investigate. The final act of the car driver, parking to block the lane to get out and threaten me on foot was close to a six-form bus stop, so there would have been about 20 odd teenaged witnesses who would have been there at the same time daily to corroborate. Someone confirmed the plates from my adrenal memory and traced the car to an address where, according to the investigating officer, they found a frail old woman on oxygen who'd never lent her car out to anyone. 

They concluded that they were likely to be clone plates and unless they caught the suspect for something else while using the same fake plates there was not a lot they could do.

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andystow replied to markieteeee | 1 year ago
2 likes

What do we need to start doing, taking a photo of the VIN?

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Rendel Harris replied to markieteeee | 1 year ago
2 likes
markieteeee wrote:

Someone confirmed the plates from my adrenal memory and traced the car to an address where, according to the investigating officer, they found a frail old woman on oxygen who'd never lent her car out to anyone. 

They concluded that they were likely to be clone plates and unless they caught the suspect for something else while using the same fake plates there was not a lot they could do.

That's interesting because I have heard rumours (not necessarily true in your case, obviously) that some gangs will have a car registered with elderly relatives whom they can rely on to say the car's never left the drive (probably don't even know it has). I really don't see why there can't be a GPS tracker in every car so its location at any given time can be proven, obviously with suitable privacy safeguards. Why, they could even be used to catch speeders!

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markieteeee replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

I hadn't heard this rumour but the thought did occur to me at the time.  I was pleasantly surprised that they chased it up without camera evidence though.

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Backladder replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes

I thought the entire country was covered in ANPR cameras, a quick search of the database would supply a list of times and places for an officer to check out, you know actual police work?

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Rendel Harris replied to Backladder | 1 year ago
2 likes
Backladder wrote:

I thought the entire country was covered in ANPR cameras, a quick search of the database would supply a list of times and places for an officer to check out, you know actual police work?

Be nice, wouldn't it? I've often wondered why the ANPR network can't be used against speeders, you passed this camera at this time and that one at this time, can't have made that distance without breaking the limit, ticket's in the post.

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wtjs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
0 likes

I assume because it was a false plate (not uncommon round this neck of the woods amongst the criminal fraternity), they'll have traced it and found that the number is legally registered to a different model of car

It's just a police dodge, either to avoid doing any work or because they're getting paid to overlook certain offences. This is Brand's Scaffolding of Poulton lorry MX55 YKN about to go through a red light. 

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wtjs replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
0 likes

Crop of the image below

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wtjs replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
0 likes

This is the same vehicle at Brands Scaffolding Premises on 3rd April. They're changing the plates around. The police simply refuse to do anything about the red light offence 'because the plate is registered to another vehicle' even though it's labelled Brands Scaffolding and is obviously the same vehicle as the one bearing MX55 VKN a few days later.

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
10 likes

I would say I find this unbelievable but I'm so hardened to the police not taking action it's all too believable I'm afraid. As the victim says, this is effectively attempted murder and the police have a clear shot of the suspect's face, yet their action is to shut the case down and throw in a nice bit of victim blaming as a garnish (on a side note, if the Met think that you shouldn't film people using their mobiles when driving, why has their online portal got a specific place to submit videos of them doing so?). If the suspect had fired gunshots at someone with whom he was having a dispute, would they have shut it down so quickly? Of course not, they would have gone all out to find the psychopath, but because he was trying to commit murder using a car apparently that isn't important. I live maybe ten minutes' drive from Forest Hill, so I probably already have shared the road with this maniac, or will do in the future, and that is a very frightening thought.

 

 

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brooksby | 1 year ago
5 likes

I mentioned this when it came up on the live blog the other day, but it does make you wonder what this driver had done, that they were so very VERY keen not to have their face filmed and handed to the police...

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Car Delenda Est replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
0 likes

Oh the irony.
I'm sure next time he'll just laugh at the thought of the police bothering to catch him.

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Clem Fandango | 1 year ago
11 likes

I thought Kate Hoey said there wasn't a big enough lobby looking out for motorists?

 

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
11 likes

I don't think that detective has a firm grasp on how cameras work. Are we supposed to keep the cameras off in case a driver is on a phone, but if we get hit by someone, turn the camera on just before?

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
9 likes

Make sure you book your hit and run - don't forget the "we must have 2 minutes before and after" dodge!

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