Cyclist involved in road rage incident claims VPD ignored story
Rob Easton, CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:32AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 28, 2014 7:16PM PST
The cyclist involved in an apparent road rage incident with a motorist on Dunsmuir St. last week has come forward to defend his actions, claiming police did not adequately investigate his side of the story.
The comments come as a new video of the incident has been making the rounds on social media.
Edward Hoey said he was making a legal turn in the left-turn lane from Hornby to Dunsmuir Street Friday afternoon when the driver cut him off.
“By the motor vehicle code and just by safety, I had every right to be there. I made the left-hand turn promptly as soon as the light turned green. I think he was just upset that I was on the road,” he said.
The cyclist said he got up after being knocked to the ground by the driver’s vehicle and grabbed papers from inside the car, throwing them onto the street when the driver of the car tried to grab him.
In the video, the driver -- who has not been identified -- can be seen driving into the bike lane, bumping his car against Hoey, who is walking onto the sidewalk. The driver then exits the car and takes a run at Hoey.
“Give me my f*** s*** back!” the driver is heard yelling in the video.
A physical struggle ensues for a few more seconds as the driver is heard swearing at Hoey. Three bystanders then step in, pulling the two men apart.
Hoey said he did not steal any of the driver’s belongings and had instead thrown some papers from his car onto the street.
“He knew where they were and it was an excuse to further assault me,” he alleged.
However, Vancouver police don't see it the same way. They are not recommending charges against either man in the fight.
“Neither of these two men walked away as a winner,” said Vancouver police spokesman Sgt. Randy Fincham. “Unfortunately, the cyclist did go to the hospital with some injuries and allegedly there might have some damage to the car involved in this incident.
Police spoke to both men and gave them information on how to avoid such a conflict in the future. Police always advise the public to avoid dealing with anger on the road directly. Instead people should walk away, take down a license plate, and report any incidents to the police, said Fincham.
Hoey sustained an injury to his elbow and is now sporting a sling on his arm. He believes because he is a bike courier, the police weren’t willing to investigate the case fully and weren’t interested in his story because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane at the start of the incident.
“There’s often many reasons why a bicycle would not be in the bike lane. I often cycled downtown at 50 kilometers per hour, which means I’d be a hazard to other cyclists in the bike lane. If I’m having to make a left-hand turn, I can’t do that from a bike lane that’s on the right side of the road,” he said.
Despite this most recent episode, these sorts of incidents have decreased since Vancouver began building more cycling infrastructure according to Colin Stein, director of communications for local cycling advocacy group HUB.
“We’ve seen a demonstrable drop in the number of incidents reported through ICBC and you see no cyclists on sidewalks anymore,” he said.
However, moments of friction do happen where bikes and cars share the road and people should remember to breathe and take the high road, which avoids escalating things to the point of the incident last Friday, he added.
Dexter Deveau, another bike courier and coworker of Hoey, said he sees it as a matter of education, adding he knows Hoey always follows the rules of the road.
“I think it’s just the result of constant friction between cars and bikes,” he said. “I’ve been hit by people all across the country. I’ve got scars. People need to just pay attention. It’s also just people who don’t know the rights and regulations.
For drivers and cyclists interested in learning more about strategies on how to stay safe and share the road, HUB offers a range of streetwise cycling courses in the coming month. Go to https://bikehub.ca/streetwise for information on the next session.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber