Should I report this dangerous driver? A real Dial Emma!

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by PaulB, 13 Aug 2012.

  1. PaulB

    PaulB Guru

    I'm just back from a 30 miler and have pondered over what to do. Had it happened in the last five miles, I would have reported him already but now I would like the input of the revered members of this forum.

    It was on a steep downhill in my first five miles. It was a narrow lane and a post-office van was parked, back-end into the driveway of a farmhouse. He must have seen me descend and conclude he had enough time to nose out and go in the direction I was heading. He did have sufficient time, just about, but then of course, I was riding behind him. I rode out wide on his right and could clearly see his entire face in his wing mirror so he must have been able to see me. Then, without warning or indicating, he pulled out to his right, right into where I was unavoidably headed. I shouted out loud enough for him to hear and he braked, leaving me the teensiest of spaces to get through without hitting the van or the wall on my right. Had it been someone less experienced, they'd have hit one or the other.

    So now I was mightily annoyed. I stopped, dismounted and went back to ask him what he thought he was doing. Now he stated straight away that he was sorry (he kept repeating that) but there can only be two conclusions;
    1) He had two obvious opportunities to see me and must have known I was there but deliberately pulled in front of me or,
    2) He didn't see me, in which case, he shouldn't be driving.

    I then took out my mobile phone and took a picture of his registration number informing him i was definitely going to report him to his employer. I was adamant I was going to do that but since then I've thought well either he didn't like cyclists before his dangerous move or he certainly won't like cyclists now if one reports him. It is this that makes me ponder the future repercussions; this will automatically produce an anti-cyclist who may well (probably will) see me on my bike in the future and if he feels resentment boiling over, who knows what he might do? He won't want to get into a fist fight, he backed down immediately he realised I wasn't going to let this incident go away as easily as he'd have liked.

    So I don't like to let things ride, I am either going to report him this morning or let the whole thing drop in the hope my, let's say 'forthright', appraisal of the situation is sufficient an admonishment.

    It's now 11.55 am Monday so I will make my decision at 1pm Monday so I'd appreciate any comments/advice on this before 1, please.
  2. Arjimlad

    Arjimlad Tights of Cydonia

    South Glos
    Sounds like he just didn't think, was on auto-pilot, does that route every day & though he probably knew you were there just didn't apply his mind. He apologised straight away & acknowledged his mistakes.

    I think I'd be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt and hope he will take better care in future, personally. But I wasn't there....
    Matthew_T, dave r, BentMikey and 3 others like this.
  3. Scoosh

    Scoosh Velocouchiste Moderator

    Indeed, he 'must have been able ...' - but did you actually make eye contact with him ? If he didn't look in his mirror and see you - he probably didn't know you were there. :headshake:

    The previous sentences: ...
    .... would indicate to me that he misjudged your speed, didn't expect you to be coming past and had probably assumed you were some way back.

    He should still have 'mirrored, indicated, moved' though. :rolleyes:

    I would maybe accept his apparent apology and contrition - but I wasn't there and it wasn't me who got a mega-scare !

    Many (most ?) of us have done something as bad when driving - some of us have even been relieved not to have caused any damage/injury ... :ohmy:

    Very glad and relieved to hear you are OK too :wahhey: - if mightily angry and confused !

    .. and B-R-E-A-T-H-E :hugs:
  4. akb

    akb Über Member

    One must never assume, you should have adapted your riding to suit, both in road position and speed.
    From your write up, he sounded genuinely sorry. I wouldn't report it, just be glad that you are ok and that the postie learnt something from the whole situation.
  5. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    For me it would probably be enough that he had acknowledged it and theres a good chance when he sees cyclists now he'll pay more attention and reaslise that we can be rather speedy, but since he didnt try to apply the blame on you riding too fast or something like that Id be inclined to just leave it.
  6. 400bhp

    400bhp Guru

    I'll be blunt.

    In hindsight, if you think the title of the thread is correct, then report him. If not, then don't.
  7. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    We must adjust our speed according to how the traffic changes in front of us.
    So when a van pulls out in front of you, the best course of action is to slow down and give them plenty of space. The space is key due to you not being able to see through or over them. I'm not quite sure why you decided to go to the right of the van but it doesn't sound like the best thing to do.

    If the guy was genuinely sorry in your opinion, then I would let it go.
    If you don't have any witnesses that agree with you or any other kind of evidence of what happened, then it's just your word, and I can't really see RM doing much about it.
  8. Nigeyy

    Nigeyy Guru

    Massachusetts, USA
    OK, hands up those who have driven a vehicle and never made a mistake?

    Hmm... thought so.

    The only way I'd report it is if the following were true:

    i. you are 100% convinced he did this intentionally. or
    ii. you are aware that though he didn't do it intentionally, he has repeated this mistake to be a danger to others. or
    iii. even though he didn't do it intentionally, he tells you to f%&k off as he's a nasty piece of work.

    From your account (just because you can see someone's face doesn't mean they've seen you), it doesn't sound like this meets any of the above, so personally -and he did apologize (which admittedly isn't enough if he's a habitual danger mind you) -I'd let it go.
  9. Hip Priest

    Hip Priest Veteran

    My view?

    He misjudged your speed and pulled out. Then he realised that he'd messed up and that you were closing at speed, so he moved right to give you room to undertake (because cyclists ride on the left, next to the kerb).

    So, a bit of ignorance, married to a bit of complacency, but no malice.
  10. Drago

    Drago Flouncing Nobber

    You're alive and unharmed. He's apologised. He's also probably twitching a bit cos you took his reg.

    I'd leave it at that myself, but it's your call.
  11. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    My view is that he made a mistake and probably underestimated how fast you were going. Given that he apologised straight away, if it was me I would leave it at that.
  12. Rule number one: Never assume they've seen you.
    Rule number two: Just because your eyes make contact doesn't mean they've seen you.

    Its kept me incident free over 22 years driving, 7 years motorcycling and 3 years on the pedals!

    A phrase comes to mind: People look, but only photographers see.
  13. Crankarm

    Crankarm Guru

    Nr Cambridge
    If you want your post delivered trouble free, I would let it go.
  14. cloggsy

    cloggsy Boardmanist

    North Yorkshire
    I'd report him, but that's me...
  15. roadrash

    roadrash cycle chatterer

    come on then ,did you or didnt you???????
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