Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Amateur John
Posts: 7
Joined: 9 Jun 2020, 11:56am

Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby Amateur John » 23 Jul 2020, 9:08am

Twice this week I have been on the wrong end of aggressive and poor driving. The first one this week I was just cycling down a road with parked cars to my left, so making the road a single lane. A van approached me from behind, couldn't overtake so started revving his engine and got closer and closer. I was approaching a right turn so I indicated to turn right, at which point the van closely overtook me and also turned right and the completely blocked me of by moving over to the curb, forcing me to brake. I shouted at him, he then parked his van and tried to approach me. I cycled off down an ally as I really wasn't in the mood for a confrontation.

The second incident happened today where I was cycling to work and someone in a car decided to pull out in front of me even after seeing me cycling down the road forcing me to brake onto the grass verge. After pulling out on me I shouted, "didn't you see me" to which his response was to slam his brakes on and start weaving all over the road at a slow pace so as to hold me up.

These sort of incidents are becoming far more frequent, I could go months without a problem in the past, but in the last few months they have become a weekly occurrence, if not more. I think some drivers believe that the police are no longer interested so they do what they want.

What I am asking is does anyone have any strategies to dealing with these sort of things? Is it worth reporting these incidents to the police or am I wasting my time? Would having a camera on the bike help? Should I have insurance? I may already be covered by my house insurance but is this enough?

Jdsk
Posts: 1342
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby Jdsk » 23 Jul 2020, 9:21am

Amateur John wrote:What I am asking is does anyone have any strategies to dealing with these sort of things?

1 Stay safe.
2 Think in advance how you'd like to handle the situation.

Amateur John wrote:Would having a camera on the bike help?

1 Opinions differ. There's lots in the archives.
2 Have a look at CyclingMikey:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6g2GP912ku4lPd-155-Vw
https://twitter.com/MikeyCycling?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Amateur John wrote:Should I have insurance? I may already be covered by my house insurance but is this enough?

I would strongly advise third party insurance.
The usual calculation applies to bike insurance, and there's a current thread:
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=139197

Jonathan

atlas_shrugged
Posts: 392
Joined: 8 Nov 2016, 7:50pm

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby atlas_shrugged » 23 Jul 2020, 9:28am

Sympathies and unfortunately you are right. If you join CyclingUK then you will have 3rd party insurance.

It may be worth using a camera. Contacting the Police is likely to be a complete waste of time - even with video evidence. But this may vary from force to force.

Folk who live in more peaceful parts of the country will disagree but we need to go for full segregation for sustainable transport (IMHO).

Contact your MP and ask for default liability for vulnerable road users. There are many drivers high as kites and driving without insurance. So you may like to request 3rd part insurance is put on petrol as an extra tax. Although 95% of drivers are fine it is time drivers started paying for their own bad behaviour.

thirdcrank
Posts: 29094
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Jul 2020, 1:11pm

If you want to take any sort of action over anything, decent evidence is invaluable. I think a camera is a good idea, but think through what you want to use it for. Something cheapo should be enough to help defend you against allegations, you need good quality kit to prove allegations against others. The general experience reported on here is that the police often don't want to know. I believe some of that can be traced back to an unchallenged assertion by the then ACPO lead on road policing that such evidence was useless. (My wording.)

Search term for earlier posts on this might be crêpe Suzette.

One bright spot which may be a false dawn is that the police inspectorate has recommended that

With immediate effect, in forces where Operation Snap (the provision of digital video footage by the public) has been adopted, chief constables should make sure that it has enough resources and process to support its efficient and effective use.


The danger is IMO that the easiest way to comply with that is to drop Operation Snap. ie No recommendation that all forces should adopt it.

Also bear in mind that a camera will record your activities as well, which I find to be an incentive to be on best behaviour.

Unfortunately, the same report makes it clear by omission that careless/ dangerous driving is not an enforcement priority

Here's a link to a thread about that report. (I've conspicuously failed to drum up interest.)

viewtopic.php?p=1508569#p1508569

The subject of aggressive behaviour by drivers against cyclists seems to come up frequently. Here's an earlier thread which contains a post from me about my hobbyhorse, section 59, which offers a route to the vehicle eventually being seized by the police.

viewtopic.php?p=1176319#p1176319

It's worth remembering that we now have a Victims' Commissioner who you can tell about your experiences.

https://victimscommissioner.org.uk/

On a recent trawl through that www I found the previous commissioner's final annual report and dealing withanti-social behaviour using vehicles was one of the areas marked down for improvement (my wording.)

Jdsk
Posts: 1342
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby Jdsk » 23 Jul 2020, 9:39pm

atlas_shrugged wrote:Contacting the Police is likely to be a complete waste of time - even with video evidence. But this may vary from force to force.

I referred to CyclingMikey above. He cumulates the number of points and the fines from the crimes he has reported. If you provide evidence as well documented as his are there police forces who won't prosecute?

Thanks

Jonathan

peetee
Posts: 2189
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby peetee » 23 Jul 2020, 10:31pm

I have mentioned before how here in the far south-west of the UK the vast majority of drivers I encounter while cycling are patient and courteous which is the total opposite to what I have experienced over many years of living in the south-east.
However, holiday season is upon us and it is very noticeable that driving standards now vary hugely. I did a 40 mile ride yesterday round the Lands End peninsular on a fantastically scenic road in perfect weather. I lost count of how many blind and rev-heavy overtakes I witnessed. If it is as simple as I suggest and those drivers are from ‘up country’ then a great number of people need to take a long hard look at their lifestyle and what it’s doing to their temperament if they can’t even turn the dial down on holiday.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

Stradageek
Posts: 756
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby Stradageek » 24 Jul 2020, 8:28am

I have trained myself not to shout or gesticulate rudely, it generally provokes more aggression. I either smile or shake my head is disbelief and then wait for the inevitable moment further down the road where I can safely overtake and cruise into the distance as they wait in a traffic jam.

I've spoiled far too many lovely rides by getting wound up about the relatively small number of stupid drivers out there, or am I just getting too old to bother :?

Thread drift warning.... have Audi's been replaced by Porsche 4x4's as the number one 'plankers' car?

Jdsk
Posts: 1342
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby Jdsk » 24 Jul 2020, 10:16am

Stradageek wrote:I have trained myself not to shout or gesticulate rudely, it generally provokes more aggression. I either smile or shake my head is disbelief and then wait for the inevitable moment further down the road where I can safely overtake and cruise into the distance as they wait in a traffic jam.

I've spoiled far too many lovely rides by getting wound up about the relatively small number of stupid drivers out there, or am I just getting too old to bother?

Good choice.

As above: stay safe and make a decision in advance how you're going to handle this sort of stuff. And I like the "training".

Jonathan

PLodon
Posts: 10
Joined: 16 May 2020, 11:40am
Location: S.E. Kent

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby PLodon » 24 Jul 2020, 4:15pm

I sympathise, I commute five days a week, certainly down here in the south east there seems to be quite a lot of aggression/bullying on the roads and a lack of patience and courtesy. I was close passed, at low speed, by a lorry who then got stuck in traffic so I overtook him again. On the whole, when I think back to when I drove to work, I'd still much rather be on my bike. :D
Still plodding on.... :D

cycle tramp
Posts: 770
Joined: 5 Aug 2009, 7:22pm

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby cycle tramp » 24 Jul 2020, 10:23pm

Amateur John wrote:Twice this week I have been on the wrong end of aggressive and poor driving. The first one this week I was just cycling down a road with parked cars to my left, so making the road a single lane. A van approached me from behind, couldn't overtake so started revving his engine and got closer and closer. I was approaching a right turn so I indicated to turn right, at which point the van closely overtook me and also turned right and the completely blocked me of by moving over to the curb, forcing me to brake. I shouted at him, he then parked his van and tried to approach me. I cycled off down an ally as I really wasn't in the mood for a confrontation.

The second incident happened today where I was cycling to work and someone in a car decided to pull out in front of me even after seeing me cycling down the road forcing me to brake onto the grass verge. After pulling out on me I shouted, "didn't you see me" to which his response was to slam his brakes on and start weaving all over the road at a slow pace so as to hold me up.

These sort of incidents are becoming far more frequent, I could go months without a problem in the past, but in the last few months they have become a weekly occurrence, if not more. I think some drivers believe that the police are no longer interested so they do what they want.

What I am asking is does anyone have any strategies to dealing with these sort of things?


Yeah, but it might involve changing the way you think about things, I position myself on the road about a third of way out into the road, when I cycle.. like where you'd expect to see a moped...
..but that doesn't mean that I'm not aware of other road users.. in the case of the van, I'd have pulled over and let him get on with it. Yeah, he's a pain in the bum but equally its perhaps the only control that you have in that situation (unless you're up for some argy bargy, but if you were you would have dealt with it in a different way and wouldn't have written this post) in the second situation I won't have passed comment until they were stuck in a queue, in which case i would have waved as i cycled past..
..there's loads of other tricks you can do, if you want some serious argy bargy, but to be far, it's a nice day, you're out for a cycle and these other road users have given you a chance to prove that you're a better person than they are. Chances are the other road users will find someone who behaves in the exact they do in which case it saves you from expending any unnecessary energy on the problem

Oldjohnw
Posts: 4675
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Jul 2020, 4:00am

I'm more interested in getting home safely that winning an argument or gaining a point. Make me a wimp? Possibly. But it keeps my blood pressure down.
John

PLodon
Posts: 10
Joined: 16 May 2020, 11:40am
Location: S.E. Kent

Re: Fed up with aggressive and dangerous drivers

Postby PLodon » 25 Jul 2020, 2:55pm

Oldjohnw wrote:I'm more interested in getting home safely that winning an argument or gaining a point. Make me a wimp? Possibly. But it keeps my blood pressure down.

Bad/dangerous is annoying, but I do agree with you John.
Still plodding on.... :D