el ciclista atropellada toby hockley
He doesn't even pay road tax', tweets UK trainee Emma Way who knocks cyclist off bike
Updated: 22 May 2013
Collision: Emma Way (left) tweeted she 'definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier'. Toby Hockley (right), 29, came forward as the cyclist involved in the collision and said he was 'lucky to be alive' following the crash
Emma Way confession tweet
Confession: This tweet by user EmmaWay20 was met with shock and prompted an investigation by Norfolk police
Not angry: Mr Hockley, foreground, said he had not been planning any further action before he was alerted to the Tweet
Having knocked a cyclist off his bike and through a hedge, most drivers would be mortified.
But not accountancy trainee Emma Way. The 21-year-old’s first thought was to boast about the incident on Twitter.
Writing under the name @emmaway20, she tweeted: ‘Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier – I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax! #bloodycyclists’.
Ironically, she would have heard no more about it had she not chosen to share it with the world because injured cyclist Toby Hockley had not intended to report it.
But by rejoicing in her actions, she caused a storm of protest on Twitter – and brought herself to the attention of the police.
Last night officers confirmed they were investigating Miss Way, while her Twitter account suddenly fell silent.
Her defence will not be helped by earlier tweets. One featured a picture which appeared to be taken from her driving seat, showing a slow-moving car in front.
The caption read: ‘This is the reason for my lateness. Always stuck behind some clueless crazy fool!#smartcar.’ Now angry cyclists who claim Miss Way is the ‘clueless crazy fool’ have forwarded that message to police. Another tweet on her account passed to officers featured a picture of a speedometer at 95mph – 25mph over the national limit.
But she must have realised the trouble she was in when she received the following Twitter message from Norfolk Police: ‘We have had tweets ref an RTC [road traffic collision] with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm [direct message] us.’
Mr Hockley, 29, a chef from Norwich, claimed he had ‘a miraculous escape’ after being clipped by her car on Sunday. He was taking part in the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive road riding event when the incident happened five miles from the finish line at Snetterton, near Norwich.
He said: ‘A car came tearing round the blind corner and narrowly missed a cyclist in front of me. She came on to my side of the road, I took the wing mirror off and I went flying off my bike into a hedge.
She hit me really hard. I am lucky to be alive. But I managed to get out of the hedge and stand up.
'The car was nowhere to be seen. She hit me, and she was gone. All I know is that it was a blonde girl driving.
'I have a sore elbow, a bruised knee, nettle stings from riding through the hedge, but nothing serious.’
He said he had not intended to report the accident, fearing that his girlfriend would be worried about him cycling in the future.
Of Miss Way, he said: ‘I think she came across as a very silly girl and made herself look like a bit of a fool. I’m not angry, I would just like it known that her stupid comment that I don’t pay road tax is not an excuse to treat cyclists like second-class citizens.’
Contacted by the Mail last night, Miss Way refused to comment. However a friend said she had been suspended from work at accountants Larking Gowen.
The friend claimed: ‘She stopped, but the other guy didn’t stop. She looked in the mirror and he was gone. It’s absolutely ridiculous. There was nobody marshalling the cyclists and they were going really fast.
'She is a village girl who knows every pothole on every road round here. She made a stupid remark on Twitter but it’s all got out of hand.’
A police spokesman said: ‘Further to recent social media postings, we can confirm that we have had initial contact with both parties involved. Enquiries continue.'
Cop Car Hits Cyclist, City Sends Biker A Bill For Repairs
April 8, 2013
A Brooklyn cyclist who got hit by a cop car was flabbergasted to find a bill for repairs in his mailbox four months after the collision. Justin Johnsen, 31, was biking on Flushing Avenue by the Brooklyn Navy Yards on November 5th when a cop behind the wheel of an unmarked car ran into him. “I had left the bike lane to make a left turn, and I looked behind me and saw that it was clear, and the farthest car was a fair distance,” Johnsen tells the Post. But before he completed the turn, Johnsen says, “I was swiped by this car on my left side.”
Why the war between drivers and cyclists?
By Duncan Walker & Tom de Castella
BBC News Magazine
Toby Hockley was on the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive ride in Norfolk when he says he was struck by a car and flung into a hedge. The driver didn't stop. Hockley emerged from the hedge, sore but intact.It sounds like a run-of-the-mill depressing incident from the UK's roads. But the shocking part came later.
A young woman tweeted: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way - he doesn't even pay road tax! #Bloodycyclists."The post was retweeted hundreds of times and took on a life of its own.Soon cyclists had informed the police, identified the woman, tracked down where she worked and told her employer.Norwich Police tweeted the woman back and told her to report the collision at a police station. "We have had tweets ref an RTC with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us".Police have contacted both the cyclist and the tweeter and are investigating.
Jon Kelly weighed up whether there would be support for a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling.The "war" between cyclists and motorists was played out in Toronto, where Mayor Rob Ford ordered the removal of bike lanes.It's a different story in Britain's first cycling city, Bristol, as Tom Geoghegan found as he clambered on to a two-wheeled machine.The incident and the speed of the backlash on Twitter with the hashtag #bloodycyclists being appropriated by bike users, highlights the simmering tension on the UK's roads."I am a #bloodycyclists just trying to get about London. Would be nice not to risk my life every morning just trying to get to work," tweeted @lennyshallcross.
There appears to be a burgeoning, visceral anger in the cyclist-driver relationship.The recent explosion of cyclist numbers in the UK's cities has changed the dynamic of driving. In heavy traffic cyclists are often the fastest things on the roads, more agile at getting through gaps than motorbikes.Drivers do not always see them. They may forget to check their mirrors. It can be difficult for bikes getting through clogged traffic with lorries and vans blocking both sides of the lane.Cyclists complain of drivers winding down their windows to hurl abuse. Drivers make a similar complaint about being shouted at.
Cycling campaigners are calling for a new law in Scotland to make motorists automatically at fault in an accident. The UK is one of only five European countries - Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland being the others - that does not currently have the "strict liability" law. Some cyclists now wear helmet cameras to record anti-social behaviour.The cyclists' response to the Norfolk tweet is a sign of the growing social media "enforcement" action taken against drivers who are seen as having either endangered or threatened two-wheelers.
Who's at fault?
Analysis of accident data suggested factors involved in crashes can be attributed "fairly equally" to drivers and cyclists
Child cyclists were much more likely to have contributed to accidents, while incidents involving cyclists aged 25 and over were more often put down to the driver
Some 2,801 cyclists were said to have contributed to serious collisions between 2005 and 2007, 43% by failing to look properly and one-fifth by riding out from the pavement
Over the same period, 2,587 drivers were said to have contributed to serious crashes, with 56% failing to look properly and 17% through a poor manoeuvre
An observational study, conducted in London and published in 2007, stated that between 13% and 17% of cyclists jumped red lights. Car drivers - including taxis - were the next most common offenders, followed by those in vans.
Source: Transport Research Laboratory
"It's relatively common because there are a lot of cyclists out there with helmet cams and they will post licence plates and video of bad motorists," says cycling journalist Carlton Reid.Then there are deliberate attempts to scare cyclists, some commentators allege. "Many cyclists have been on the receiving end of 'punishment passes' [driving to instil fear] which can be extremely close, or can even see people being hurt," says Reid.
In 2011, 107 cyclists died on the roads in Britain and more than 3,000 were seriously injured, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.But there's a flipside. Cyclists, to many drivers, are serial flouters of the rules - jumping traffic lights, weaving in and out of the traffic, not signalling and failing to stop at zebra crossings.
There's "huge antipathy" between people on bikes and in cars, says motoring journalist Quentin Willson."We've got a minority of cyclists and car drivers who are aggressive," he says. "It results in a war of attrition between two and four wheels."Today it is perhaps less politically correct to attack cyclists than drivers - but anecdotally many will privately curse cyclists passing them in traffic congestion.
The #bloodycyclists hashtag was largely hijacked by the two-wheeled community
John Griffin, boss of minicab firm Addison Lee, has argued that an influx of novice cyclists could lead to more accidents. "It is time for us to say to cyclists, 'You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up'," he wrote.
Willson is sympathetic to the plight of cyclists. But an aggressive minority have become a metaphor for everything drivers hate. "They're dressed exclusively in Lycra and wraparound shades, they ride on the pavement, go the wrong way down one-way streets and straight through red lights. And that's why motorists hate them."
Cyclists argue that the minority who break the rules are simply more conspicuous when they misbehave. Drivers stuck in a queue of traffic have plenty of time to watch as an errant cyclist jumps a red light, for example.There is also a sense of frustration as car drivers watch a pedal-powered vehicle overtake them. "The very fact that cyclists are able to filter through traffic grates on many motorists and they take that out on cyclists," says Reid.
The tweeting motorist's claim that she had a greater right to be on the road because she paid road tax is a widely held but inaccurate belief, says Reid, who runs a blog called - with deliberate irony - ipayroadtax.com.The reality is that there is no "road tax", he says. Road construction and maintenance is paid for by everyone through general and local taxes. The Vehicle Excise Duty that motorists pay is levied according to engine size or CO2 emissions.
A pupil at a school in Harrow Weald, Middlesex, makes a right turn at a model halt sign during a cycling proficiency test in 1961
Is it time for the return of the cycling proficiency test?
Critics miss the point that bikes don't emit CO2 and that many cyclists also own cars and are paying VED anyway, he says.
While there is bad behaviour on both sides, it is an unequal relationship. The driver is protected by a metal shell while the cyclist is exposed."It's scary as a cyclist because you are the vulnerable road user," says Rob Spedding, editor of Cycling Plus.
"You have someone in a few tonnes of metal bearing down on you and you are just flesh and bone. It's potentially fatal."
ROAD TAX WAS ABOLISHED 74 YEARS AGO
Road tax doesn't exist. It's car tax, a tax on cars and other vehicles, not a tax on roads or a fee to use them. Motorists do not pay directly for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation. In 1926, Winston Churchill started the process to abolish road tax. It was finally culled in 1937. The ironically-named iPayRoadTax.com helps spread this message on cycle jerseys. Car tax is based on amount of CO2 emitted so, if a fee had to be paid, cyclists - who are sometimes branded as 'tax dodgers' - would pay the same as 'tax-dodgers' such as disabled drivers, police cars, the Royal family, and band A motorists, ie £0. Most cyclists are also car-owners, too, so pay VED. Many of those who believe road tax exists, want cyclists off the roads or, at least registered, but bicycle licensing is an expensive folly.