Cyclists call on gardaí to protect them from road rage drivers

Dash-cam footage shows incident involving a cyclist and taxi driver in north Dublin

A video that appears to show a taxi driver trying to hit a cyclist with his car in Dublin has renewed concerns about the relationship between cyclists and drivers on the road.

 

Cyclists have called for more action by gardaí to protect cyclists after a number of apparent road rage incidents emerged in videos on social media.

The call came after dash-cam footage of an incident involving a cyclist and taxi driver on Belvedere Road between North Circular Road and Dorset Street in north Dublin was published on social media on Wednesday.

The footage is understood to have been taken in July.

Gardaí appear to be “not interested in protecting cyclists,” the Dublin Cycling Campaign claimed on Friday.

The recording shows a cyclist and a Toyota Prius taxi breaking a red light before the taxi driver cuts sharply into the cycle lane.

The cyclist moves across to the other side of the road and is followed by the taxi which again attempts to cut off the cyclist.

The taxi driver is then blocked by a car turning onto Belvedere Road and mounts the footpath.

An Garda Síochána said no complaints regarding the incident had been made. “In order for An Garda Síochána to investigate, a complaint has to be submitted,” a Garda spokeswoman said.

Dr Mike McKillen of Dublin Cycling Campaign said gardaí had the option of acting on the video but said “they don’t want to”.

“Every time we meet with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Garda Road Policing Unit we keep emphasising that you can act on [video] evidence. Just do it. But they don’t want to, they seem to be not interested in protecting cyclists,” he told The Irish Times.

“They’re prepared to stand on a street corner and hand out high vis vests and tell cyclists they should be wearing a helmet.”

Dr McKillen said police forces in the UK did act on video evidence provided by cyclists showing incidents of road rage.

The taxi driver at the centre of the latest incident, Felix Ukachukwu, told The Irish Daily Star he was trying to stop a cyclist who had struck and damaged the wing mirror on his taxi.

“I was really infuriated. I was willing to go to any length to get him,” he said.

Similar videos involving conflict between taxi drivers and cyclists have been posted online in recent weeks.

In a separate video that emerged two weeks ago, and appears to have been taken by the cyclist, a silver taxi is seen travelling close to the cyclist and stopping in front of him.

The driver then appears to hit the cyclist with his car before driving off. Gardaí said they are aware of this incident and are investigating.

Dr McKillen said more investment in cycling infrastructure in Dublin would reduce conflict between cyclists and drivers.

“We need to cop on and provide properly for cyclists. The reality of climate change is finally dawning on the Government and that’s what they’ve got to do.

“They’ve got to stop spending on motorways and start investing in segregated cycling lanes and have them defined as critical national infrastructure.”