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10th February 2010

3 Grevillea Place

Kenthurst, N.S.W. 2156

Station Sergeant

Hornsby Police Station

292 Pacific Highway,

Hornsby, N.S.W. 2077

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Abusive, Ignorant and Belligerent Driver and Passenger

On Friday, the 5th of February, at around 8am, I was cycling with a friend, Greg Wood, along Arcadia Road Arcadia, heading north. The weather was overcast and the traffic was light. We were dressed in bright coloured clothing and had red flashing rear lights turned on.

As we approached the Arcadia Rural Fire Station, we were riding two-abreast when we were startled by a car, coming from behind blasting its horn, and with the passenger leaning out swearing and shouting at us to get off the road, and to ride in single file.

We normally do ride single file, once we hear the sound of a motor vehicle or see one in our mirrors, but, given the speed at which this car appeared, we had no chance to do so.

The driver then slowed down, drawing close to myself. My friend Greg was, by this time, a little ahead of me. The driver shouted at me that it was illegal to ride two-abreast on N.S.W. roads. I told him that perhaps he should call into Castle Hill Police Station to learn the rights of cyclists on the road.

My friend, ahead, also joined in the heated exchange. In response, the passenger started screaming at the driver to stop the car so that he could get out and “punch their heads in”. Fortunately, he did not stop the car; unfortunately, he accelerated towards my friend, who took evasive action to prevent being run over.

The car carried on with the passenger still screaming and yelling abuse. The car then turned left into the driveway of Number 131 Arcadia Road, barely forty metres from where the abuse started!

The car was a dark-coloured Peugeot sedan with licence plate VWT-846.

There are several issues here:

Why couldn’t the driver have, slightly, slowed down and then turned into the driveway without any drama?

Why should a driver be allowed to attempt to commit grievous bodily harm to a cyclist with a motor vehicle?

Why should a passenger be allowed to use threatening language? Had it not been for the driver and myself trying to placate the passenger, one of us cyclists would have, no doubt, been physically assaulted.

Surely some form of action could be taken, by a member of the police force, even if it is only to warn the driver and passenger that their behaviour was reprehensible. Perhaps you could also check into the driving history of both the driver and passenger (once you establish his identity) and take action before they go and bash somebody’s head in, on a mere whim.

Additionally, there are many drivers and passengers out there who believe that cyclists should always ride single file and feel it to be their duty to tell them so, in the most abusive manner that they can. Motorists, in general, need to be educated about the rights of cyclists, and should be discouraged from venting their opinions upon others, whether they be motorists or cyclists, and whether they be in the right or wrong.

Yours Faithfully,

Geoff Holland

Copy sent to the Minister for Police