How do you deal with inconsiderate drivers?

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by 886014, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. 886014

    886014 New Member

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    I moved to Sydney a few years ago and have come to the (unfortunate) conclusion that, as a percentage, the drivers here would be some of the rudest, most aggressive, a#$holes I've encountered anywhere in the world. Sorry to the local born Sydneyites, not trying to bag the place, but the roads and many of the drivers simply suck!

    I like to consider myself a reasonably considerate rider. I try to stick to routes involving cycle lanes etc, and do my best not to inconvenience motorists (even in instances where I may have a "legal" right to do so). If somebody has moved aside or had to slow down because of me I try to give them a friendly wave as they pass. Nevertheless I consider a "good ride" to be one where I haven't had abuse yelled at me at least once during the ride! For example, today while riding through a relatively quiet part of Terry Hills (those who ride the North Shore will know where I'm referring to), nobody else on the road except the truck going the opposite direction who yells at me to "get off the f#$king road!". Relatively quiet road, I train alone, he's going in the opposite direction, certainly not the first time I've copped this; go figure.

    Anyway, I normally give the old 2 finger salute which probably doesn't really help the situation, so I'm wondering what others may do in these situations? Is the solution encrypted in the film Madagascar ... just "smile and wave boys, smile and wave".
     
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  2. rooman

    rooman New Member

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    smile and wave...two fingers just makes them more agro... better to show them how small they really are by more courtesy...AND THEN

    don't get mad, but by all means ..get even...

    report any dickheads at www.idiotdriver.com.au , cell phone users, aggession, dangerous acts, stupidity...

    I have a very neat voice recorder built into my USB/MP3 wrist watch and I take a contemporaneous message of time date location car description rego number...(it's a Xonix MP Retail $149AU, if you are interested same people who make the Sunglass MP3's) and has 128MB flash drive back up too...

    now they never escape me and posterity !!!
     
  3. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb New Member

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    I try to always smile and wave to rude or incondiserate drivers. Seems to work best. Gives them no ammunition to take out there anger on other cyclists. I always like to see the look on there face as well when you give them your best smile and a friendly wave, they really do not know how to react!

    Dangerous drivers are a different problem IMO. I'm not going to smile and wave at someone who has put my life at risk because of there thoughtless driving. These ones should be reported to the police.
     
  4. zabba

    zabba New Member

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    Saw an interesting exchange between a commuter and driver in SF. The driver cut-off the commuter who then caught-up with him at the next set of traffic lights. After a heated exchange the driver wound up his window - the commuter then used his handlebar to smash the window and continued the "discussion"!!

    Not advocating the above as an answer to your question, however, thought you might be interested!
     
  5. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    Most folks who live in areas like yours find that training in groups works a lot better than going it solo.
     
  6. robalert

    robalert New Member

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    i think wave and smile is the best thing.... after commuting for 3 yrs now it ain't worth getting annoyed.

    i ride out to parra and find most ok... generalisation, the further north you ride the more well mannered the drivers... when you venture west/south west it just deteriorates

    everyone has bad days... most people are more courteous of bike riders, more and more ppl are weekend warriors... we just need to be good ambassadors ourselves...
     
  7. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    ======================================================
    I find the big smile and friendly wave is the best. Unfortunately my auto reaction is often the 2 fingered salute.:(
    I ride with a helmet mirror(even racing) and find that helps to see what's coming - car/truck too close etc.
    I've found riding in traffic if someone has cut me off etc that coming up to their drivers window and bashing it with the side of my fist(wouldn't want to hurt my hand) gives them a good scare.
    I bashed the roof of a guy's car a couple of years ago - he was talking on the cell phone while stuck at the lights(after pulling out in front of me). He yelled with fright - which probably didn't do much for his phone conversation!!;)
    If you do any of these things ALWAYS have an escape route.
    Now that I am not able to commute by bike I note the drivers/car info and file Police reports.
     
  8. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    I agree with the other posters, in not fighting fire with fire, but its not easy. By doing the right thing when others have done the wrong thing, you are lifting yourself above the others action.

    Strange how I have never had a single problem on Thursdays when I commute with boxing gloves attached to the outside of my bag. Perhaps thats a good day for me to buy a lotto ticket.
     
  9. 886014

    886014 New Member

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    Ha ha, boxing gloves, now there's an idea. :D

    Had a truck deliberately swerve at me the other day…twice. Pretty hard to smile, particularly when he’s giving me the finger in his rear-view mirror. What the hell is wrong with these people!
     
  10. Archibald

    Archibald New Member

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    i now keep a small notepad n pencil in my pack specifically for rego numbers & police reports.
    i've flipped the bird at one guy once and then thought "holy crap, this guy could flatten my with his car! who cares who's right or wrong, that's serious pain!". thankfully nothing happened.
    i've generally found drivers in melbourne to be reasonably good at giving room when they pass me, but still had plenty do dumb stuff. a "tap" on a boot or window usually wakes them up and not too many get upset - more apologetic really.
     
  11. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Thats an offence. Has anyone tried the line "I've got your licence plate number" and then casually ride off.
     
  12. Jeytown

    Jeytown New Member

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    generally when someone comes from another part of the world or from another part of the same state the impression i always get it is "not like it was in my old town" as they get more established they tend to be a little more forgiving even accepting.

    sydney is not as bad as every makes it ive been in many situations either my fault or theirs or both.

    mainly in all cases i would advocate the softly softly approach be nice you dont know whats going on with the other driver more interestingly enough you dont know what he is capable of i think that is actually more important.

    not to make too much of a deal but i find that some (no accusations here) cyclists concentrate on the road ahead 100%

    when we all learnt how to drive cars the instructors (if they were any good) taught you check your rears and anticipate the cars movements in most cases cyclists are fairly intelligent and will apply the same to thier cycling life

    however sometimes this is not the case and we tend to get shirty at the driver

    my rant is coming to a close and i will summise with this and try to understand that i dont mean anything to hurt or defame

    as a road user you have certain rights that are afforded to you
    but you also have responsibilties to

    your duty is to act responsibly you cant ever predict an accident however you can apply active political pressure.

    • write and pressure (nicely of course)on your local memeber to do siomething about th road you use
    • pressure the council and councillors(especially councillors)
    • pressure newspapers
    • today tonight/aca
    • strangers and anyone you think looks interested
    trust me you wont have any action unless you make the first move

    cheers
     
  13. 886014

    886014 New Member

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    I ride a bike in many different countries including Australia, and many different cities here too. Of course I've had a few "interesting moments" elsewhere, including having a car load of "gentlemen" in a particularly dodgey part of Los Angeles deliberately pull out from a side street in front of me just a few days ago (they thought it was hilarious, needless to say, in this instance I most certainly did just smile). As proud as I am to be an Aussie I can say without any doubt that the drivers in Sydney are the most inconsiderate to cyclists I have come across.

    Cyclists are not perfect and we all make mistakes, but it's not a bike people are overtaking, it's a person who happens to be riding a bike. I wonder how much more careful drivers would be if it was a good friend, their husband or wife, or one of their children on the bicycle? If a cyclist and a car come together we're not just talking about a bit of paint being scaped off, we're talking injuries or the death of the cyclist. Perhaps the political pressure should be put towards asking drivers to think about that for a few moments before they "teach this guy a lesson".
     
  14. beauyboy

    beauyboy New Member

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    Generally in the part of Brisbane I live in I have not much trouble with cars. Well except the ones with small genitals that just have to get in front of you for a one second saving to get in a driveway quicker.:D Yes gettin the licence and reporting is a good start and if they operate for a company log a complaint with the company as well. I did that. When it come to riding i have one rule, You either ride like a pedestrian which means riding on the footpath or you ride like a vechical on the roads. Bikeways well it simple keep the the left and dinge the bell when a approching pedestrians, many don't and it smegs me when i am walking and i do not get a heads up, anyway back to the road.
    Alot of frustration with motorists against cyclist is because we do illegal stuff. Riding up beside cars at lights from what i can remember this is not legal, it is dangerous and it frustrate the hell out of motorists. If there is a red light ahead i will wait in the queae like everyone it is just manners (oh wait they are far and and few between these days) Only if there is a bike lane will i ride to the front of the queae that is why the bike lane is there. Riding on the road then on the footpat jumping back on the road to get the front of a queae at a roundabout or lights. another is riding the down the wrong side of a street mind you this is normally done by the very dumb or young.

    that my rant:p

    Beauyboy
     
  15. piero

    piero New Member

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    What happened to me last week:

    A Willouhby Council Van was pushing into my lane leaving no space for me to esacape at all. To be honest, I thought I will be killed ... I didn't "big finger" the driver at all.

    But I just tried to memorised the number plate, the council vehicle number and the model of the van. and I just emailed the council once I get back home.

    I received a phone reply within 30 mins, actually that is 8.30am in the morning.

    Coz I wrote something in the email like "if I didn't receive any reply from the council within one week, I will consider to raise the issue to my local papers and tv"

    The guy who call me back from the council is trying to be very very nice to me, very polite. And they said theywill try to monitor their council driver, of course, apologies for that situation
     
  16. bicycles.net.au

    bicycles.net.au New Member

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    What about an airhorn?

    I have one made especially for bikes (though have to check what brand it is). I pump it up with my bike pump (or better foot pump) and the button can be mounted conveniently on the handelbars. 'air bottle' is light and can be put in the waterbottle cage or velcroed to somewhere else on the frame.

    The horn is almost as loud as a car horn, has a droning sound like a truck air horn or football siren (not quite so loud) and gets noticed by drivers. They usually look for what made the noise... sounds bigger than a bike.

    Being aggressive or rude doesn't achieve much except letting a bit of steam off. With a little incident, a long term solution.. ie bike lanes, bike paths and general driver education or awareness (like what BUGs do) will have a better effect.

    Cheers
    Christopher
     
  17. Fraggle

    Fraggle New Member

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    I'm all for the smile and wave for the drives who like to yell at riders. It gives them no ammunition to continue on.

    For drives who deliberately endanger riders, swerving in their path etc.

    Take the licence number down and report it to the police (hope that they actually follow it up)

    I was in a pack once and the driver swerved to push us off the road, we caught up to him at the next set of lights. One of the riders went up beside the drivers door, I thought he was going up for a verbal sparing match, but he reached in grabbed the car keys and road off leaving the car and driver stranded in traffic. Just deserts for the driver I thought. Although I dont think i would ever attent this myself. Not recommended for the faint hearted !!
     
  18. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Wrong - it is a cyclist's legal right in Australia to ride to the left of motorised traffic to the head of any queue. It makes sense, sometimes, not to do this, however - as you suggest.
     
  19. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

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    Hi Arte,
    One a two lane road, with the left lane able to turn left and go straight, and the right lane go straight, where do you position yourself at the lights if you wanted to ride straight?

    Thanks
     
  20. 11ring

    11ring New Member

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    In the right hand side of the left hand lane or the middel lane to let the cars turn left- especially if there is a seperate left hand turning light or "turn left at any time with care" sign.


     
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