Tuesday, September 6, 2016
The Jeremy Vine road rage incident has brought a secret war out into the open. For years road users have been shouting, threatening and fighting but now this emotionally charged urban terrorism is firmly on our mainstream radar.  Vine cycling along a narrow Kensington road, was hooted by a following car and stopped to take issue. The driver (who’s now been arrested) got out and launched into a threatening tirade. I have sympathy for Jeremy. He may have been riding in the middle of the road but in a narrow street lined with parked cars squeezing up too too close to them is dangerous. He had nowhere else to go. Maybe his mistake was to stop at all, but the driver’s aggression, threats and hatred was totally unacceptable. But here’s the thing. We know about this incident only because Jeremy filmed it on his helmet cam and uploaded it on Facebook. If he hadn’t it would never have been seen by so many people and the debate that’s raging at the moment would never have taken place and more importantly, that incredibly angry and aggressive woman wouldn’t have been nicked. And here’s my point. Helmet cams and dash cams are the only way we’ll attempt to control the verbal and often physical violence that’s spilling onto our roads every day.

The police can’t help. They’re never there at the right time and are frankly far too busy to break up fights with idiots who have anger management issues. Witnesses will always be reluctant to come forward and without clear evidence cases rarely come to court. Having a real-time recording of a road rage event changes absolutely everything - and not just evidentially. Sure, you can secure a prosecution with filmed footage, but the greatest advantage of filming road rage events is that the aggressor will usually think twice about doing their full heat-of-the-moment, Krakatoa number.  The realisation that everything an angry road user says and does will be on permanent record and admissible in court is the strongest (and only) deterrent we have. Jeremy’s aggressor told him not to film her car ‘because that’s my property’. Well love, I’m sorry but your car is being filmed by a forest of CCTV cameras every time you drive. There’s nothing illegal about filming traffic.

We at FairFuelUK would like to see the insurance industry incentivise all drivers to fit dash cams as way of increasing their use and controlling road rage. Cyclists, if they’ve got any sense, should always wear helmet cams, and most taxi, van, lorry drivers and motorcyclists use dash cams already. The more widespread and generally understood they are the greater the chance of controlling impulsive road rage moments.  We’ll need public information initiatives and government support too - for the hard-of-understanding - but get it right and the simple adoption of inexpensive camera technology will drastically reduce the needless stream of punch-ups and altercations that happen every day on our roads. And this is a serious problem. Last year two children suffered life changing injuries because an angry SUV driver deliberately forced their parent’s car off the road and in Leicester this year a demented pedestrian was photographed kneeling on a driver’s bonnet hammering through the windscreen with his fists. Look on YouTube and you’ll see hundreds of examples of deeply disturbing aggression and rage.  

Being interviewed all this week on the subject I was troubled that some media outlets want to restrict the road rage debate just to car drivers and cyclists. If I didn’t take the position of a rabid cyclist-hater they didn’t want to interview me. But this isn’t just about cars and bikes its for the security of everybody who uses our roads. To marginalise the debate to a war between cars and bikes is mischievous and wrong. Cameras should be used on cars, bikes, vans, HGVs, taxis and buses as a controlling and stabilising influence. And if we don’t self-police our roads with dash cams and helmet cams things will only get worse. Congestion is at record levels, we’re all competing for road space, everybody is late and some of us are getting very angry indeed.  This is a very simple and affordable solution to making road users think twice before they shout, punch or chase another vehicle or cyclist. It really is the simplest short-term solution compared with a road rage education programme in schools that could take years.

And if you find yourself up against an incandescent and fiery road user and you haven’t got a camera fitted, never get out the car or stop your bike. Roll up the windows, don’t engage and if they persist take out your smart ‘phone and film their actions. You’ll be surprised how quickly most will back down. 




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[ posted by Ilma, 06.09.16 14:38 ]

One of the issues to tackle however, is that a camera can identify a car by its registration plate, and therefore the owner/driver, but one cannot identify a cyclist as they have no legal requirement to display a unique registration mark. This allows cyclists to effectively get off scot-free. Perhaps if all cycles had to display a registration (as all other road users do), the behaviour of many errant cyclists may be moderated.

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[ posted by Anthony, 06.09.16 14:41 ]

Horrid to read how you seem to have been sidelined for not meeting the criteria of the agenda of the media outlets. Though its not exactly a new thing, the idea of reporting went to the dogs decades ago.
To quote a certain beard' comedian: "The media pass off their own opinion as public opinion, as though the two were the same thing."

To the suggestion:
Dash cams to help insurance cases and being incentivised wont work at the moment.
Hundreds of people every day on bikes are getting assaulted by motorists in one way or another, being forced in, forced out, knocked over, have some one lean out and push them over, having things thrown at them.

Lots and lots of evidence from the cyclists side thanks to helmet cams but next to none see any kind of justice from it, which I can say with certainty includes those cyclists killed by drivers.
The only reason there has been any progress in this case? was because Vine is a lifetime Tory and Celebrity (hence connected and protected). To think or claim otherwise is to lie and deceit.

And its because of this very reason, the passive and ignorant nature of the police forces towards these cases, that is the real problem.
There is ample evidence to show, that having evidence in the first place can lead to nowhere. Having the means to capture crimes is a great idea on a personal level, and so is self policing to an extent, but unless there are people willing to enforce the laws in these cases?
Its a worthless gesture.

You talk about being edged out of the debate for not being willing to condemn cyclists, if you want to investigate further there are lots, and lots of Facebook groups and pages who's sole purpose is to collate these incidents.
The fact most can post multiple instances daily is alarming.

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[ posted by martin, 06.09.16 16:23 ]

About time

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[ posted by Chris Mimmack, 06.09.16 18:46 ]

Personally I think all new road vehicles should be fitted with a 'black box' and cameras. After any incident, whether it be one driver wishing to report another for dangerous driving, or investigating a fatal collision, imagine how much easier it would be for the police of they could clear the road immediately, get traffic flowing again, then download all the data from the black boxes. Feed it all into a computer and it will reconstruct the accident, and identify the cause. Plus the data could be used to better identify the insurance risk category of the driver.

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[ posted by Yusef Mamoojee, 07.09.16 06:42 ]

I agree with cameras in principle and have them fitted to a couple of our cars. However don't be fooled in to believing that the Police will prosecute a third party even with evidence. My car has front and rear HD cameras with sound recording. Last Chtistmas another vehicle in a right turn only lane pulled into the rear quarter of our car as we were pulling away from traffic lights. I stopped, he overtook on the inside and refused to stop, in spite of being followed at a safe distance for over a half mile. The audio commentary in my car from the four passengers provided a secondary record of what was happening. After making and obscene gesture and turning off I chose not to follow and called the Police who recorded the incident formally as he had failed to stop and there was over £1k of damage to my car. A few months later the third party was still denying all knowledge and finally owned up after being presented with the evidence. However the decision was made not to prosecute for failing to stop and exchange information; he was probably well over the limit anyway. My faith in the legal system is seriously jaded; guy even lied to his insurers and it's taken several months for them to accept liability. Claim is still outstanding.

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