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Inconsiderate driving and abuse from YG55ZVN

8th September 2015

Parked cars, Harrogate

When cycling on a residential street in Harrogate today, I experienced inconsiderate driving and abuse from the young driver of Mitsubishi Warrior YG55ZVN. 

It's a street where there are parked cars on both sides of the road, leaving just one lane for traffic. It can nevertheless be negotiated perfectly well, with a bit of patience and goodwill. Problems only arise if people are impatient.

I was cycling towards the junction with Otley Road, when the Mitsubishi Warrior driver pulled out of a driveway, and came up behind me. I could tell that he wanted to get past straight away, but there isn't space. There might be enough space if I hugged the parked cars, but I won't do that in case I get 'doored'. In any case, there was a very short distance to go before the end of the road.

In these circumstances, I would like a driver to show some patience, back off, and wait the few seconds it takes to get to the end of the road. This driver didn't do that - he drove uncomfortably close behind me.

I indicated right to turn into a driveway a short distance before the junction. I was concerned that the driver right behind me would think I was indicating to turn right at the junction, and wouldn't expect me to turn before it. I tried pointing where I was going to turn, and made a (polite) gesture with my hand to ask him to give me space to turn. It didn't work, so I said, 'back off', then turned.

The driver of the Warrior, a young lad, drove past and shouted 'fuck off' at me out of his window, his face contorted in anger. He then had to stop a very short distance further on, and wait to be able to pull out at Otley Road.

Clearly, I had annoyed the driver, but it wasn't my intention. I was just trying to ask for some space that I felt I needed in order to get home safely. I believe, from his driving, that he was already impatient before he came across me; and that his anger was disproportionate. I worry about someone driving a big vehicle with that amount of anger.

As an observation, I would say that people are sometimes ruder and more abusive when they are in their vehicles, than they would be, for example, walking around town, or in the supermarket. In my opinion, this is because they feel that they can just drive off, and won't have to face the person they are abusing. In the supermarket, if you shouted 'fuck off' at someone by the broccoli, you'd be embarrassed if you then bumped into them again at the fish counter. Also, they might call Sainsbury's security, and you could get thrown out of the shop.

I believe residential streets ought to be liveable, calm, pleasant streets, where it is safe to cycle or cross the road. As things stand, too many people think that they have priority over everyone else when they are in their cars, and that 30mph is a target, not a speed limit.

I wonder if there's anything that can be done to reduce the extent to which cars dominate the streets where we live?

Update 22nd August 2016

The angry Mitsubishi Warrior driver now appears to be driving white Audi P44COW. He is still angry and aggressive, failing to respect vulnerable road users, and giving people the middle finger and a load of swearing at the slightest perceived provocation.

26th October 2015

Inconsiderate driving by the driver of black people carrier FR12HFP today. Near the army barracks on Penny Pot Lane, he/she started an overtake without being able to see whether there was oncoming traffic. When it turned out that there was oncoming traffic, the driver aborted the overtake and remained much too close to my back wheel until it had passed.

I raised my arm, intended as an invitation to the driver to think about what he or she was doing. 

The driver passed me, then immediately braked in front of me, making me slow down. I wasn't sure at first whether this was just to punish me, or if they were considering stopping to have an argument. The driver then drove off.

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