Updated 03 March 2014

CT cyclists attack motorist

Footage of a shocking road rage incident could re-ignite cyclist-motorist animosity just before the Argus Tour.

The incident, apparently captured on camera by another motorist in Sea Point, Cape Town, on Sunday, shows a group of cyclists assaulting a driver and passenger in a parked van. WATCH:

According to the accompanying comment posted with the video on FaceBook by Symon Scott, the group of cyclists was witnessed on Beach Road, Sea Point yesterday:

"...moving swiftly and only at the last second when the leader again faced forwards, did he see the vehicle…. Just in the nick of time. He had to swerve violently to avoid the vehicle and this obviously upset him. He stopped his bicycle abruptly and flew into a violent rage. The entire peloton pulled up in support and some followed his lead."

"You can clearly see how they battered the vehicle, bent the windscreen wipers, pepper sprayed the driver, tried to steal his keys, assaulted him with a bicycle wheel and punched him and the passenger in the face repeatedly."

The occupants of the car "were volunteer workers cleaning up... litter after the finish of the SunshineD Nelson Mandela Commemorative Walk."

Cyclist-driver hostility

South African driver-cyclist relations have often been at flash-point, and Scott's video seems to be re-igniting strong emotions from either side of the motorist - nonmotorist divide as it does the rounds on the internet.

With the Argus Cycle Tour days away (9 March 2014), the footage comes at a  time when Cape Town motorists need to be especially restrained if they have negative feelings towards cyclists as tens of thousands of bicycles will be dominating the city's streets.

Cyclists argue that, as vulnerable road users (VRUs), they risk vastly more in a collision with a vehicle; motorists therefore have a responsibility to be especially careful to avoid cyclists and other VRUs rather than the other way round. In accidents such as when a cyclist was ostensibly hit by Cyril Ramaphosa's motorcade in February this year, it's the non-motorised party that invariably gets injured.

As well as collisions, in road rage incidents it's usually VRUs (which include cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians) that come off second-best, as in this fatal altercation between a motorist and motorcyclist, also in February.

Motorists counter such arguments by pointing out that cyclists often disobey the rules of the road by, for example, jumping red lights, thereby putting both themselves and other road users in danger.

Where do you stand on this issue? Add your thoughts below.

Read more:
Be a road warrior
Video: Spectacular cycling crashes

Image of road rage sign: Shutterstock

Olivia Rose-Innes is Health24’s EnviroHealth Editor. Read more of her columns and articles or post a question to her expert forum.


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