NEWS

Cyclist and driver square off in Vancouver streets

01/27/2014 09:00 EST | Updated 03/29/2014 05:59 EDT
A Vancouver cyclist is furious police have not laid charges against the driver who allegedly drove him off the road and assaulted him last week in what appears to be a case of road rage. 

Edward Hoey says he was riding his bicycle down Georgia Street around 4 p.m. PT on Jan. 24 when he stopped in the left-hand turning lane for a red light. When the light turned green and Hoey started making the turn, he claims the motorist behind him started honking his horn and revving his engine.

"He just started yelling at me about not being in the bike lane — I presume on Hornby Street — and was driving erratically, swerving into me," says Hoey.

Hoey says this caused him to crash his bicycle into the sidewalk. He got off his bicycle and approached the vehicle to confront the driver about what happened.

"He was making threats at me at this point in time, indicating that he had martial arts experience and could take me down," says Hoey.

"He did pull my hand into the car. I managed to free it, and in freeing it pulled some papers out from his passenger side seat and threw them on the sidewalk."

Hoey said the motorist then tried to drive his vehicle into him, before getting out of his car and twisting Hoey's arm behind his back.

That's when Hoey says a handful of witnesses pulled the motorist off of him, and police were called to investigate. 

"This is an example of a cyclist and a driver of a car not seeing eye-to-eye on the rules of the road or what's happening on the roadway," said Sgt. Randy Fincham with the Vancouver Police Department.

"At this point, there are no charges being laid. We are still waiting for a couple witnesses to come forward to provide statements, but we think we have a pretty good idea of what happened in this event."

Personal injury lawyer David Hay says he has dealt with confrontations between cyclists and drivers "at almost every intersection in Vancouver" and, based on what he knows about this case, police should be laying charges.

"Someone's clearly been assaulted and I don't think provocation is a reason not to lay charges," says Hay.

"Charges ought to have been rendered. An assault is an assault, quite apart from whether it involves a cyclist."

Cyclists are not required to use bike lanes in Vancouver. 

Hoey says he was using Georgia Street because it is "essentially impossible to make a left-hand turn without using the two pedestrian sidewalks from Hornby Street onto Dunsmuir."

He says he did, however, move into a bike lane once he was on Dunsmuir Street.  

CBC News could not reach the motorist for comment because his identity has not been released.

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