Australia: Helmet cam captures Road Rage

This is from a 2007 article from Wheels of Justice… wear your Helmet cam with Pride!

I would also agree that we need to highlight media that provokes hatred of vulnerable cyclists and confront this issue. Also the Government needs to do more to handle motorists with aggressive behaviour. Some ‘motorist ASBOs’ would also be good! Maybe a Road Sticker on the back of the car should warn others the motorist ‘has had a string of convictions’ ie C for ‘Conviction’.

“A helmet mounted video camera carried by a Sydney cyclist has caught a road rage incident by a car driver, highlighting the harrassment that cyclists face on our roads on a daily basis.

The video incident ocurred on Friday, 26 Oct 2007, at about 9:15 am on Victoria Road on the cyclist’s way to work. The video camera, mounted on the cyclist’s helmet, recorded the interchange between the motorist and cyclist. Although the sound is patchy the video provides a graphic story of motorist road rage. Many cyclists can tell similar stories about road rage and aggressive and abusive drivers.

The cyclist described the incident:
“Here am beeped by a black van. When I catch up 20 seconds later, I ask whats the problem. He’s busy talking on a phone (hand free) so we trade hand signals. I fake a spit on he car, and ride off. 2 minutes later he uses his horn again, cuts me off (I slap the side of his van). He turns the corner, gets out and we have a standoff (he is to close for the camera).”

After the first brief interaction, the driver cut in front of the cyclist dangerously, then did a left turn into a side street and stops. He then gets out of his car shouting at the cyclist and approaching so close that he is not in camera frame. He pushes the cyclist while shouting abuse, and then turns around and walks back to his car.

The incident is witnessed by another driver who is seen on camera offering to be a witness.

According to the cyclist in a post on the Sydney Critical Mass list the incident was reported on the police assistance line who advised that a report should be made in person at Balmain Police Station. The matter was duly reported at Balmain police station with rego number (SJP-333) and vehicle and driver description. The cyclist was told that the rego number did not match the vehicle description on their system (A red mazda).

The cyclist returned later with still images from the video of the car, number plate and driver and was told by a police constable that they will ring the driver to warn warn him of is behavior. There was no concern expressed that the rego details did not match the details on their system.

As the number of cyclists on the roads increase due to peak oil, traffic authorities need to target driver behaviour with education programs. While most drivers behave in sensible and polite fashion, it is the small minority who abuse their use of a license to driving dangerous equipment at speed, and abuse and intimidate fellow road users and their rights.

The media must also bare the blame for inciting road rage with repeated articles stirring up driver hatred of cyclists and sometimes encouraging road rage attacks. The Wheels of Justice continues to highlight examples of poor journalistic practice and incitement of road rage, the most recent piece by columnist John Birmingham in the Brisbane Times expressing a wish that he had a ‘Metal Storm’ weapon fitted to his car to deal with cyclists. (Brisbane: He Died with a Metal Storm Slug in His Head – WOJ 31/10/07)

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