Gandhi On Two Wheels

by sjbgilmour

I get that there are a lot of annoying road-users out there who flaunt the rules.  Taxi drivers, truck drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists all number pretty high in the could-do-better department, but then so too do many car drivers.  It’s a shame that for every one of the road-users I mentioned with the F’s on their report cards, there are hundreds, if not thousands more that are law-abiding and don’t deserve to be treated any differently than the average Joe Commuter.  I ride a bike and like to think I’m one of them.

I wear reflective gear.  I have lights on the front and back of my bike.  I obey the road rules by indicating when I’m turning and changing lanes.  I don’t go against red lights or zip from the footpath to the road and back when it suits me just to get ahead of traffic.

And, even though I may look like a dork, I wear my GoPro camera mounted on my helmet.  Now the footage I caught is probably not enough to get the driver of the Silver Prado (Rego number THU 333) more than a caution, but it certainly made her think about what she did.  What you don’t see after this brief video ends, is me pulling out in front of the Prado while it was stopped at a pedestrian crossing, and informing the driver that I’d caught her on camera and was calling the police.  There was quite a bit of fragrant language from her at that point, and when I wouldn’t engage her in a screaming match, she started in on some passers-by.  While I called the police, she then parked in a vacant spot, got out and did a bit more yelling.  I stayed pretty well clear of her, though did keep the camera on my helmet running – I’m not posting that footage…  yet.

I guess because nobody was hurt, and there was no physical confrontation – though she was very loud – the cops didn’t show, not that I really minded.  She overtook me so dangerously because she was impatient.  Obviously time was an important factor.  What could be more frustrating to her right then and there than to be held up for an hour when she was already in a hurry?

I wasn’t violent.  I didn’t threaten her.  I just made her wait.

I could have thrown something at her vehicle, as I’ve known other cyclists and motorcyclists to do (bolts are a common favourite), but I didn’t.  If, as I’m sure it will, this kind of thing happens again, I’ll react the same way:  passively.  The extra chunk taken out the impatient driver’s already precious time will hurt far more than a ticking-off from Mr Plod, and certainly more than allowing myself to be the aggressor which would also make me the bad guy.