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How riders should deal with road rage

Road rage

Most riders have experienced aggressive, inconsiderate, rude, uneducated, distracted, dangerous and plain incompetent drivers on the road, but there is no point in road rage.

Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users and in road rage situations, we can often come off second-best.

In an incident on April 13 at 5.40pm on the Ipswich Motorway, a rider kicked and broke the side mirror of a blue Toyota Prius.

Without wishing to pigeonhole or profile a motorist – after all, we hate it when police and the public pigeonhole riders – bear in mind this is a Prius driver, so we suspect they’ve done something pretty stupid in the first place to elicit the rider’s road rage.

However, police have now issued a public request for information about the rider who could face serious charges. And with many drivers now having dashboard cameras fitted, there may be some conclusive and damning evidence.

Many of us would have seen this YouTube video of a rider who kicks a car and received “instant karma” by falling off his bike.

Instead of lashing out, the rider should have reported the original incident to the police. And, if they had a bike or helmet camera, they might have some damning evidence of their own.

In another recent incident, a rider was forced off the road by the driver of a white Subaru Liberty on Mt Glorious Rd.

The rider then followed the driver home and confronted him. The driver allegedly said something to the effect that the next time he would kill the rider.

The incident has now been reported to the police who seemed to be unconcerned, according to the rider, but are actually investigating the matter.

Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Ian Park who created the #ridesafely4me Facebook site says he’s not sure if it is perception or reality, but “our roads appear to be becoming angrier places”.

“Unfortunately, it seems to involve individuals from all road user groups as both the victims and the perpetrators. Motorcyclists and bicyclists are of course the most vulnerable due to the lack of physical protection around them. But the fundamentals of personal safety of the roads are no different to anywhere else,” he says.

Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Ian Park a social media sensation
Sgt Park and a group of riders


If you find yourself feeling unsafe as a result of the actions of another road user, the first priority is to remove yourself from the situation as safely as possible. Unfortunately far too often incidents of poor behaviour by one road user to another are only exacerbated when the ‘victim’ retaliates. If another party chooses to yell at you, beep their horn or flash their lights – so what? Let them get it out of their system and get on their way. Inflaming the situation by ‘biting back’ rarely assists, and often only makes the situation more unsafe for everyone.

However if the other party continues to behave in a manner that makes you feel unsafe, then consider your environment. Perhaps pull into a service station, licensed premises or shopping centre that is likely to be fitted with external CCTV. This will often discourage the aggressor from taking the matter further if they know their actions (and registration details) are going to be recorded.

If no such place is available continue to drive without reacting to the aggressor until a place of safety is available, avoid making eye contact and attempt to disengage from the situation as best and safely as you can.

If you feel that you are in imminent danger, pull over and call triple zero (000). Don’t forget that ‘000’ from a mobile phone doesn’t necessarily go to your nearest operator, so always be ready to say ‘I need police in (name of City/town or nearest regional centre)’. 

When speaking with a 000 operator, pass on relevant information that could assist police to investigate the matter, for example, registration details, descriptions of the person/s in the vehicle, time, date, correct location (in case there are traffic monitoring cameras located nearby etc.), descriptions about any features of the vehicle that are not standard (i.e. post factory fitted wheels, decorations, accessories, damage).

Emergency first-aid apps

If you carry any kind of video recording device, ensure the footage is set aside so that it doesn’t get recorded over before being provided to police. Make sure you don’t just secure the footage of the incident – also keep footage leading up to and beyond the incident to help clarify any potential counter claims by the other party that it was actually you that was the aggressor.

If the situation is over, but you are still of the belief that the matter warrants investigation with a view to action by police, you always have the right to report it. You can either attend your nearest open police station to speak to someone, contact the non-urgent police reporting number which is now 131 444 in almost all Australian Police Jurisdictions. Similarly most policing services across Australia also provide on-line reporting services. Just search the police service in your State or Territory to find their websites and follow the prompts.

Be mindful, however that any complaint of an incident involving one person upon another without any supporting evidence is often difficult to successfully prosecute. A successful prosecution requires sufficient evidence being presented to a court to determine that an offence was committed beyond reasonable doubt.

However, this should not prevent you from reporting the matter, but is something to keep in mind if police determine there is not sufficient evidence for a matter to proceed. It doesn’t necessarily mean police don’t believe you! If you provide police with a video recording you must be willing and able to give evidence.

Information on dangerous driving on Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious can be reported to police via Policelink (131 444) or the Hoon Line (13 HOON, or 13 4666), or emailing the Inner West Patrol Group.

  1. Be aware that on occasion the aggressive tailgating moron may be a cop trying to get you to fill his quota.
    However thanks to cameras it’s very rare to find one stupid enough to do it anymore,

  2. Sad but very true, the incline in road rage, however with governments attitude towards road safety deeply entrenched into the silly idea that road safety cameras are the be all, and end all, and the total lack of non static police patrols, this situation will only become greater. Also with the introduction of legal filtering, well here in Victoria anyway, the total lack of any driver education to the concept. Most of the youtube flicks I see on the subject of motorcycle versus driver road rage is through the lack of knowledge on the car drivers behalf, to the fact that filtering is legal, and their self belief that they are self appointed safety nazis.
    The likes of GoPro cameras are a great idea, but here in Victoria, the matter of legality is still not clear, on whether a GoPro or such like cameras can be legally mounted to a helmet. I currently mount mine to the handlebars, which is about as useful as tits on a bull, as for 2 reasons. (1), Mr or Mrs road rage rarely get in front, and generally attack from the rear or side. (2) The camera does not capture what we see as riders, even being used to take scenery shots is very disappointing. Until the legality of helmet cameras is in fact cleared up here in Victoria, it is a almost useless tool in defending and proving our innocence.
    One thing as motorcyclists, is we generally have the advantage of acceleration, which can be used to great affect to remove ones self from a situation, but the Murphy and his mate O’toole scenario can often come into play, and you end up being busted.
    A situation many years ago, when a car driver pulled out in front of me, required me to take evasive action to avoid a painful end, but in doing so the use of the throttle was required to straighten up the 350kg machine I was riding. Click, busted 7 KPH over the limit. Camera didn’t catch any of the events leading up to the “click” moment, or the skill full riding to manoeuvre around the above mentioned driver. Yes indeed a couple of hundred dollars lighter in the pocket and another point stripped from my license was a better alternative to the obvious pain. But it was still morally wrong.
    My point is, well here in Victoria, with its total lack of non static police patrols the less than clear mandate on the use of helmet cameras, one needs to be very careful in how one removes oneself from the situation. As one can very quickly become the villain not the victim.
    In many ways I am lucky with my daily commute being, mainly country Hwy to outer metro, older and wiser, been there and done that, and being a lot more intuitive than most. That most road rage can be avoided although the dickhead, moronic, distracted, driver can not, but by not allowing oneself to engage with them in the first place, and leaving them to blissfully drive on uneducated of the fact of what they have done, is the best strategy. Leaving one, to be relaxed, not upset, distracted at the task at hand, getting to were we are going in one piece.
    I doubt very much by supplying police, (as they claim they are so undermanned) with video evidence of dangerous driving and road rage by others will be followed up, add to that the institutionalised dislike of motorcyclists, only in the case of an accident would it be of any value to them, as it just makes their job easier.
    Mind you they can spend loads of time and resources trolling though youtube, facebook etc to get a IP address to bust someone late at night in a industrial estate filming and doing burnouts and pulling mono’s. But that makes a great news story don’t it, go figure.

  3. It would be nice to think he police would actually act on incontrovertible video evidence, however my experience is that they are just lazy and will in most cases not do anything. Occasionally they may do something, but that is the rarity. And I am talking motorists driving around me on a motorbike to go through a dead red light type of examples. As for road ragers, I generally find filtering laws have worked to our advantage now as we can often just leave the problem behind.

  4. “our roads appear to be becoming angrier places”.
    Finally the police admit this. It is because of red light and speed scameras and parking tickets handed out freely even when motorists are in compliance with THE LAW. The crackdown on motorists who drive slightly over the speed limit leads to angry drivers, and to lots of near misses because drivers are constantly eyeing the speedo instead of watching the road and current traffic conditions. And the more the crackdown continues, the more anger will appear. So motorbike riders are becoming involved in accidents that are the result of this crackdown. Bikes are hard enough to see due to their lack of size but with motorists focused on their speedos, this is going to get worse. Until the political thugs are reined in by us exerting our rights and not just blindly paying fines, the current situation is only going to get worse. In the last 3 years, the road toll has risen each year. So many scameras, so many deaths.

  5. Unfortunately whenever I have been hit by car drivers and taken the matter to police they all too frequently do nothing or suggest, “why don’t you take it like a man.”

  6. It is warranted that as a motorcycle rider we will come across scenarios that will give us reason to get angry. I have had many circumstances where I have had to avoid and evade what is/has happened to keep my self upright and alive. I have shown video and camera evidence to the police of many of these. And every time I have been told there’s nothing they can do about it. I had a vehicle doing a U-turn across double white lines on a blind corner in the mountains with a motorcycle coming the other way. Pictures and video to show what happened and even clear registration of the car. The first question asked was… “What speed was the bike doing?” Followed quickly upon seeing my jaw drop with “I’m sorry but there’s not much we can do about it!” Then when I put this on a public forum similarly as today with the pics and my complaint I received an email requesting I remove it or I will be investigated. So I stated my discontent with QPS and then was targeted. And this article suggests we just take the occurrence and go on with whatever we were doing. I have had many friends hit, knocked off and every time the police have come in knowing it was the motorcycle’s fault and we would have been the cause! I have had car drivers try to ram me, spit on me, hit me and try to push my bike over… and yet nothing can be done about it! Yet I have had friends pulled over for yelling at a car driver for nearly hitting them and to get off the phone, and his “ROAD RAGE” was the issue for the following unmarked car! We get the brunt end of a mistake or accident and we get the brunt end of the police investigating! And motorists wonder why motorcyclists get angry and pissed off!

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