Cyclists crash footage sparks debate
CYCLISTS have slammed a ute driver who appeared to deliberately cause an accident after overtaking a group of riders and then braking suddenly.
A Melbourne resident recorded footage of the incident, which happened while a group of eight riders were cycling in the Mornington Peninsula last month.
The 41-year-old, who wished to be known only as Clint, said the incident shows the worst in human behaviour.
The footage shows the ute overtaking the cyclists shortly before braking to make a right hand turn into a driveway.
The abrupt move led to two cyclists crashing as they were forced to slam on their brakes to avoid running into the back of the vehicle.
"You can clearly it was deliberate, it was a very dangerous and stupid manoeuvre," Clint told news.com.au.
"As soon as he overtook us he slammed on the brakes."
Clint said the incident took place on quiet back roads near the Man Ridge area on a weekday morning and it was also not necessary for the motorist to merge back in front of them before turning right.
"It was very unnecessary and very aggressive," he said.
He said afterwards a woman who had fallen was on the ground crying but the ute driver was only interested in picking a fight with the cyclists instead of making sure she was OK.
"People dehumanise other human beings if they are riding a bike on Australian roads and it's very sad," he said.
Clint said the other rider who was injured was lucky not to break his collarbone. Both riders were badly bruised and had abrasions.
"It was undoubtedly intentional and we thought about calling the police but this has happened before and nothing happens," he said.
Clint has been a bike rider for 20 years but said he mostly goes mountain bike riding now and hardly ever rides on the road anymore because the reaction has become "ridiculous". He said motorists were now so angry and less patient, as well as being more likely to be distracted by things such as their mobile phones.
"I really despise this 'us versus them'. Australians should learn to share a little more. There are motorists who behave badly and cyclists who behave badly, the response should be equal, to share," he said.
The ute driver's actions were also slammed on Facebook.
"Absolutely avoidable if the driver was not such a knob," one man wrote.
"Dangerous driving by the d**k in the ute," another said.
One Facebook user said the driver could have waited five seconds to turn behind the riders instead of overtaking, braking and turning.
"If he did that to you while driving a car, truck or riding a motorcycle, you would think it was a d**k move," the user said.
Another added: "I've seen this a few times when riding by myself. Driver passes me right before the place they plan on turning at. Just impatient."
However, others questioned why the cyclists were riding two-abreast instead of in a single file, which could have been a way of avoiding the impatient car driver.
"You cyclists bring this type of driving on yourselves," the user said.
Another man suggested the cyclists were riding two-abreast because they were likely going the speed limit, which was also why the stop was so harsh.
"The driver wouldn't have left that scene if that were my group," the man suggested.
Others suggested "poor cycling skills" may have been to blame.
Clint said the riders had been cycling about 35 to 40 kilometres an hour, and they had been riding two-abreast because they were entitled to according to Victorian law.
"It's just malicious behaviour, there's no other way to describe it and it's not uncommon," he said. "The video doesn't lie."