The fierce row between cyclists and drivers has been raging for years, but it’s just hit a new low as a particularly brutal road rage fight was caught on camera, with punches thrown between two people in the middle of a busy road in Brisbane.
The footage, which was initially captured by a passenger in the vehicle behind, has been shared online by several news outlets with many questioning what could have led to such a fierce altercation in the city’s CBD. In the video, the driver of a car can be seen reaching outside the vehicle and holding onto the cyclist’s shoulder before appearing to punch him multiple times.
Retaliating, the cyclist is seen fighting back before freeing himself from the driver’s grip and reaching down to pick up his bike which has fallen onto the ground. He then seemingly hits the driver with the wheel of his bike through the window before eventually placing it back on the road.
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) September 12, 2019
“Classic car vs cyclist battle,” the person who captured the footage wrote on the video which was uploaded to Instagram on Wednesday. The video has since been shared multiple times across Twitter with many confused as to why the two became embroiled in the fight.
“I wonder what preceded that?” one person questioned on Twitter. While another added: “How ridiculous! As if you’d behave like this.” Disagreements between drivers and cyclists on the road are not unusual with many altercations taking place over the years.
Those who jump on their bikes are constantly claiming they are disrespected by drivers on the road and deserve a space next to the cars, while drivers accuse cyclists of taking up far too much room leading to more crashes between the two. Late last year, controversy was sparked when an idea was put forward in Melbourne to give bike riders priority on the road with the installation of new lanes.
The plan, which was announced by the Labor government back in October, included banning cars from the two middle lanes of traffic on St Kilda Road with the creation of new bike lanes, in a bid to reduce the growing number of accidents. The proposed lanes would have separated cyclists and motorists with physical barriers and a central safety zone to avoid collisions and apparently create a safer travelling route.
With a growing number of accidents taking place along the highly congested road, Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said at the time, it was the most sensible decision.
“Whether it’s removing danger and congested level crossings or building safer roads and new bike lanes, only Labor will deliver the things that matter to Victorians,” he said in a statement. “St Kilda Road is one of our busiest roads but also one of the most dangerous. With this investment, we’ll make it safer for everyone to use.”
This followed the creation of petition on change.org earlier in 2018, slamming cyclists for clogging up roads by riding side by side and in groups. Thousands of drivers hit back in the campaign calling for bike riders to be forced to ride single file.
They claimed it was causing major safety hazards, while their money “is being wasted every time an expensive bike lane is built on a main road”. It sparked a mixed response, as many backed the campaign while others – including Karl Stefanovic – defended cyclists.
The petition called on transport ministers of each Australian state to introduce the compulsory road rule as soon as possible, stating they must: “Implement ‘Compulsory Single File’ for all cyclists who ride in groups, regardless of whether a bike lane exists or not. They also wanted cyclists banned from driving on roads with a speed limit of 80km/h or higher, if there isn’t a designated cycle lane in place.
“We are tired of taxpayer dollars being lavished on expensive road systems with designated bike lanes, only to see cyclists continue to ride 2 or more abreast, spilling into main traffic lanes and impeding traffic flow,” the petition added. “We are tired of the safety hazards such cyclists present, and we are tired of being we’re told we’re bad drivers if we complain about this problem.”