Just the latest of many such altercations
In Canada, the battle between motor vehicles and cyclists over sharing road space continues with no let up. Both sides typically accuse the other of bad behaviour. This has led to a rising degree of tension and a fair number of flare-ups between drivers and cyclists especially in crowded urban situations, although usually only remaining at the level of some nasty comments thrown back and forth. But not always.
On Thursday last week, a physical altercation occurred in downtown Toronto between a bicycle courier and car driver. The incident was partly filmed by two different pedestrians which showed the courier throwing the driver to the ground.
According to the driver, the cyclist cut him off and he had to brake hard to avoid hitting the man, and honked the horn. The cyclist is alleged to have then dismounted and kicked the car. The driver got out to confront the man, since identified as a 30-year-old bicycle courier. He further alleged the cyclist hit him with a bike lock before pulling him to the ground hard when he turned to call for help.
The cyclist then rode away.
However, when the video was put on the internet and went viral, the cyclist was easily identified as a courier. The courier company later fired him saying they having no tolerance for such behaviour.
Police have since charged the cyclist with assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, and mischief. He has been released on $1,000 bail and will appear in court August 12. The charges have not been proven in court.
This kind of altercation is becoming more and more common in Canadian cities, and is often being captured on mobile phone videos with many such incidents posted online. With both sides accusing the other of disobeying road laws, disrespect, provocation, and antagonism, it is very likely there will be many more such incidents.
- CTV Toronto- Jul 5/19: video news report on incident
- CBC: Jul 7/19: Courier company fires cyclist
- Global News: O Vuong: Jul 7/19: cyclist fired after incident
- City News: July 8/19: Toronto cyclist released on $1k bail
- CBC: A van der Zwan: Juil 3/19: Vulgar anti-cyclist messages painted on Victoria B.C roads highlight tensions