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Is this worth reporting?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Molecule Man, 13 Mar 2008.

  1. Molecule Man

    Molecule Man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    A nasty near miss this morning in Deptford, SE London.
    Briefly, a tipper truck driver squeezed me off the road. It was completely malicious, there was barely a small car's length between me and the car in front, and it was preceded by aggressive behaviour (more detail below).

    There was no actual contact or injury, so is it worth reporting to the police?
    In any case, it will be good to get this off my chest here.

    Thankfully, this sort of outright aggression is very rare, but I think I will be adding tipper trucks to my small list of vehicles I am positively scared of (mainly skip lorries).
    I do find it disturbing that there are people out there who react like this when prevented from being a few metres further forward. It's like they have never matured beyond the toddler stage, where they expect everything to happen exactly as they want.

    For local riders, look out for a dirty white truck, EU53 CGG (no 100% sure about the last G, dirty number plate), with a faded England flag/bulldog sticker on the front right under the windscreen, the driver is white, looks late 30s, with Boris Johnson hair. There are no company markings on the truck.

    The incident in more detail:
    This happened on Evelyn Street SE8, between Deptford Church Street and Grove Street.
    I was riding up a bus lane, with a car parked in it ahead of me, with traffic queued up in the main traffic lane. By the time I got to the parked car, he was just behind in the next lane. I signalled and pulled into the reasonably sized gap between him and the car in front, he hooted his horn.
    (At this point I should have just filtered on up the queue and left him behind, I should have realised just how aggressive and dangerous he could be)
    I waited in line between him and the car in front, partly because the road isn't that wide and I don't like filtering that much, partly to make a point that cyclists have the right to take the lane when appropriate. The traffic was very slow, never more than about 15 mph. But he kept trying to overtake, hooting all the time, despite the fact that I was never more than a small car's length behind the car in front. Then there was a van parked at the side of the road, and he took this opportunity to force me out of the traffic stream.
    Of course I was able to catch up and pass him (using the bus lane) within a couple of minutes. I stopped so I could check the number and look for any company markings. He spotted me and hooted again and was shouting and gesturing at me.
    This had been preceded by some other minor aggression from him, On Deptford Church Street, I blocked him from overtaking just before two lanes narrow to one before a mini-roundabout (there was no time and space to even start overtaking, I was right behind the car in front). He objected and hooted, but there wasn't room to take me out.

    Thanks for listening, I feel better now.
     
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    There are an endless stream of self-gratification artists like this on the roads. You will be able to recognise their presence without even seeing them soon, just from their engine tone. Unfortunately the sensible thing to do is to put as much distance between them and you as possible, as quickly as possible. Yes this means that you often have to back down from a confrontation and maybe slow down to let them get their way.

    They can kill you but you can't really do anything to them apart from get their vehicle dirty with your blood and brains.

    Lorries have their advantages.

    Bikes have their advantages.
     
  3. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Did you get any witnesses details?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Molecule Man

    Molecule Man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    Sadly I agree, but it bothers me that aggressive bastards like this can get their way so easily. Off the bike, I almost always avoid confrontational situations (I'm pretty small and timid), but somehow when I'm cycling I get a bit more assertive.
    With any luck, this incident will have helped bring his heart attack forward by a couple of days.

    @Cab - no witness details, I was too busy chasing to see if he had any employer's markings, so I could call them to complain.
     
  5. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    Deptford is on my route to and from work, I'm afraid to say but as soon as you get anywhere near that place you have to have your eye's in the back of your head. I've been knocked off once there before
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Molecule Man

    Molecule Man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    I don't normally find it too bad, but there are loads of roadworks on the main roads around there at the moment and I think tempers are getting frayed.
     
  7. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    bikes have no more right to pull out in front of other vehicles than other vehicles, if you left it too late then it may have caused to do some of that 'changing speed or direction

    it doesn't excuse bad behavior but you are supposed to mirror and signal before changing lane, something I have to continually make myself do and something I continually see other cyclists not do, they simply ride right up to the parked car ad then swerve three feet to the right to clear it, presumably assuming that following/passing vehicles will make allowances for them

    not saying that's what you did
     
  8. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    In which case you may find it hard getting Plod to take you seriously. Report it anyway, and ask whether there may be CCTV, but don't get your hopes up.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Molecule Man

    Molecule Man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    I don't think I cut it that fine, basically there was enough room for me to get in between two vehicles while both were stationary, without feeling like I was too close for comfort. I did signal well in advance.
    I have in the past tried to merge with traffic too suddenly and felt I deserved a scare, but not this time.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Molecule Man

    Molecule Man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    I never expected much in the way of action, I just thought it ought to be recorded somehow, in case this guy really does injure or kill in the future.

    Does that actually happen? Do complaints of dangerous driving get recorded if they aren't serious enough to merit police action?
     
  11. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    I would report it, and ask the police whether it will get recorded against the vehicle registration. I believe that there's some sort of scheme which requires this now, someone came on here ages ago and posted about it.
     
  12. I had a similar experience not so long ago. Went to the nearest police station to report it where the policeman took it very seriously. Filled the form out and took it back the next day where the young female police officer gave me one of the filthiest looks I've ever had when I explained what I was there for. She made it fairly clear she wasn't interested. I'm sure she threw the form away once I had left!
     
  13. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    Location:
    S Yorks
    report it, there are some employers who don't want prats driving for them
     
  14. papercorn2000

    papercorn2000 Senior Member

    You could report it. Alternatively, if you see him again, follow him home. Also try to ascertain where he works.
    You then go to his house at night and set his van on fire (make sure that you are dressed in black and are wearing a ski mask). Break in and tie him up with duct tape. You must then slowly kill his family pet in front of him.
    You must then kill his wife and children in front of him.
    Drag him out to your car, put him in the boot and set his house on fire.
    Track down the rest of his family and kill them. Kill his neighbours and his friends.
    Go to his place of work and kill all of his workmates.
    You then need to hacksaw off his hands and feet, rip out his tongue and put out his eyes - filling the cavities with freshly peeled habanero peppers.

    Only then will he realise the error of his ways and he will think twice before doing it again.
     
  15. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    I'm with Domtyler on this, keep out of his way as best you can.
    Report the driver as you have his regestration and don't get drawn into
    any 'games'. If I had a driver behaving like this on any regular basis I would consider an alternative route.

    Living in the Deptford/New Cross area I can sympathise as all the main roads around here are like this at the moment, too many grumpy and impatient drivers.