Police failed to help tailgated rider

Barabra - police failed to help tailgated rider

A Sydney rider who was dangerously tailgated for several minutes by a driver is livid that when she asked police for help, they failed her.

That’s the response 61-year-old Sydney commuter Barbara received after she was dangerously tailgated for several minutes by a driver in a Mazda3.

(Below of a short section of video of the incident. We suggest you read this whole article and not just comment based on this video.)

Barbara says the incident happened recently while commuting home on her “light and easy” Honda Grom fun bike.

“I love the Honda Grom for travelling to work (Westleigh to North Ryde),” she says.

“It’s such a light-and-easy fun-to-ride bike.”Barabra - police failed to help tailgated rider

She says the Grom can easily cope with the traffic in the 60km/h speed limit of her commuting route.

“I have found that most drivers will actually pull over if they see you behind, particularly tradies. You get the odd one who won’t, but the good outweigh the bad,” she says.

“I always give them the thumbs up when I pass if they moved over for me. I never lane filter in the kerb or where I would consider it dangerous; only very slow-moving or stationary traffic.”

Tailgating incident

However, on a recent homebound commute in heavy traffic she found one driver was incensed by her legal filtering at a set of lights.Barabra - police failed to help tailgated rider

“In order that I did not cross the white lines (therefore illegal) I stopped diagonally across the front of this car – not in a dangerous position,” she says.

“I knew I would be off well before the car driver got their foot to the accelerator. Lights went green and I zipped off.”

What followed was a long incidence of intimidating tailgating as well as the driver pulling alongside and shouting abuse at Barbara.

“I looked in my mirror and he was very close so I tapped my brakes to get the light on (you can see that in one of the stills) and he just continued to drive so close,” she says.

Barbara then turned off the main road to get away from the dangerous situation, but the driver followed her.

How police failed her

“I saw a police car parked on the left with all lights going, so as I approached I stopped the bike,” she says.

“The window was down and I shouted to the policeman that the bloke in the car behind was tailgating me. The policeman threw his hands up and said something that I couldn’t hear and I assumed (rightly) that he didn’t want to bother to do anything.”Barabra - police failed to help tailgated rider

Even while Barbara is talking to the police, the video shows the driver edging closer and closer to her bike despite there being plenty of room to simply drive around.

Fortunately for Barbara, the story ends well with her filtering well away from him at the next set of traffic lights.

However, it could have ended badly while the police sat idly by.

“I feel very let down as there was a policeman there – they don’t want to know or bother until someone’s killed or injured,” Barbara says.

“I am sure I won’t be the only person this man has taken his road rage tendencies out on.”

31 Comments

  1. Perhaps the policeman would only come out when someone is either lying on the tarmac or when the tarmac is covered in blood. A simple warning to the driver would have been enough to give the old woman a break and possibly save a life down the track if not that day. Doing nothing is equal to giving consent to the driver to be such a prick and endorsing what he was doing. If a drug dealer commits a bigger crime that a drug addict, then this policeman owes a bigger apology to the old lady than the driver.

  2. Anyone who harasses a lady on a small bike is a softcock.

    Don’t assume everyone else on the road is normal. There are some nutters out there.

    Isolate them.
    I always give a wave whenever someone lets me in or, more often, I force my way in.
    If others have a more positive attitude to bikes, the nutters will look like the richardheads they are.

    When you see a female rider on a small bike, & they’re usually being tailgated by some clown,
    slot in behind them for a short time & push the car back off their tail.
    They get the message that bike riders stick together & become a bit more careful next time they see a scooter
    or any other bike, including you.

    I’ve been riding 40 years, have a Z14. .
    I don’t act like a teenage yahoo but don’t take crap & don’t stuff around
    & cars behave better to me on my bike than when I’m in my car
    which given the standard of driving out there doesn’t say much.

    1. I so wish you were right, Stating The Obvious. Sadly a bike will never win an argument with a driver who has his head shoved firmly up his rear passage. I just pull over as soon as its safe and let the moron go past. He’s happy because he has proven his manhood. I’m happy because I am not in a wheel chair.

  3. 1- video footage of the repeated offence.
    2- number plate of offending vehicle.

    What’s the problem, send a tailgating fine to the driver. You get fined for a lot of things on cameras so why not this. If the driver of the car happens to want to contest it, and gets out of it, so what. I’m sure after writing letters and making phone calls and the thought of copping the points and or fine they will think twice about doing it again.
    Nobody is perfect on the road and we all make mistakes or incorrect decisions at some point and maybe people shouldn’t be fined for every mistake, but this is blatant intimidation with the possibility of causing injury or worse.

  4. Just a thought. We motorbike type users are aware that safe lane splitting is legal in all States and Territories now and its primary purpose is to keep traffic flowing during rush hours etc… However, I believe most other road users are ignorant of this change in the State Road Safety Acts. I think that an advertising campaign to help educate and clear up this anomaly would be justified and hopefully reduce this kind of dangerous incident that Barbara unfortunately experienced. Have never seen any kind of info on this in WA and I wonder if it has been implemented into the learner’s handbook around the country? We live in hope.

  5. i just carry a brick with me in a shopping bag ! If needed , just toss over your shoulder . F@@K them , they are trying to kill you .

  6. NSW Police are ONLY interested in having a speed camera do their job for them while they eat doughnuts and masturbate each other in their squad cars… The community lost respect for police when the police sold out to speed-revenue….

  7. Tailgaters are one of my pet peeves whether I’m on my bike or in my car. Too many drivers have a “I hate motorcyclists” mentality as though we shouldn’t be on the road. I had some clown try to run me into a parked car once when I was legally trying to merge when the left lane ended. I was ahead of him & had right of way but he purposely sped up to try & cut me off just to be a jerk about it. I won’t filter, I don’t trust car drivers to act responsibly.

  8. I filter every day on my daily commute, and on average I get one or two incidents per week here in Sydney. Some people just can’t cope with the idea that you will get ahead of them in traffic and nothing you can do will change that. But if you are going to filter to the front of a queue, you’d better make sure that you get away quickly. Hold people up and you won’t make any friends, that’s for sure. To be honest, I wouldn’t do it on a Grom – it’s just not powerful or quick enough.

    Having said all that however, tailgating a motorcycle is both illegal and dangerous and the reaction of the police in this circumstance is disappointing to say the least.

  9. I’m not big on filtering. If cars leave enough room and there is a lot of traffic, I might think about it. But in Canberra chances are if you filter, you will be tailgated for it (unless you travel well above the speed limit). Canberra has fairly good roads which seems to bring out the worst in Canberra drivers. Go figure?

  10. The cop should have at least questioned the Mazda driver, and remind him to behave or to do not hustle bike riders in general.. but he’s probably the first who does it while he drives his own car.. sad!

  11. What a hero I hope riders in nsw take note of that number.As for the copper he was probably doing something really important.
    Like checking someones helmet for compliance or drinking coffee

  12. I believe that the reason police won’t act is because it comes under the predatory driver legislation. This means it is not a traffic offence but a criminal offence. (More work for the police).
    I had a similar experience where after tailgating me the tailgating driver simply accelerated and hit me from behind. After bouncing forward for a couple of metres I managed to stay upright and while trying to get my bike restarted he then accelerated again and hit me a second time before doing a runner. I had a witness statement to the incident but the investigating officer told me it meant nothing as the witness could not attest to the driver “deliberately” hitting me. The officer then said that although the driver hit me from behind he was entitled to do so as he was in fear of his life because he thought I was a bikie (I ride a 250 Suzuki Cruiser) and am a 5.4″ sixty-two-year-old.
    It took many months and a 30 page complaint to the Area Commander before they charged the driver with negligent driving and leaving the scene of an accident. I then demanded an apology which I was reluctantly given. The predatory act means nothing as police are just too lazy to follow issues like that up because they know it will mean a court appearance.

    1. That’s absolutely ridiculous.. life threatened because you looked like a bikie? That’s the silliest statement I’ve ever read in my whole life! I think it is scary to hear that these things really happens. And I feel sorry that it happened to you

  13. I just ride my bike like its a car. I don’t filter. Yes, its a big Harley, but I think drivers respect that you wait in the queue like they do. Even so I was beeped by a woman (coincidentally driving another Mazda 3) for “being too slow in the slow lane”. I was doing the posted 45kph.
    I love my motorcycle and riding it, but I hate some of the retards who will cut us off, honk, tailgate, try to squeeze past if we are to the side of our lane etc etc.

  14. And of course no-one has asked if the police were doing something more important or critical at that time. I ride and drive and can see fault in both parties. No injuries….move on and learn from the experience.

  15. I have been asking the Qld transport minister Mark Bailey to consider Advanced Stop Lines (ASL) at most traffic lights for motorcycles.
    Most motorcyclist I’ve seen will filter and stop “In the box” just pulling over to the left or right getting in front of the vehicle to let their fellow riders behind a clear way knowing that it is illegal. The thing is at a few traffic lights there is a painted bicycle ASL which motorcyclist are allowed to use by Qld law, just by making the traffic light box legal for motorcyclist to use is just a simple amendment to the Qld road act regarding the stop line.
    It is one of the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland (MRAQ) recommendations to the Qld parliamentary committee on road safety after all, It’s not like it’s the first time anyone has heard about it.

    1. Mark Bailey is also Minister for “Road Safety”. He’s a cyclist too so he should be prioritising this stuff. So far all I’ve seen is excuses.

  16. I’ve watched the vid and it’s not like the 3 or the car next to it took off quickly. The car in the next lane easily drives by the motorcyclist.

    Despite what the motorcyclist has stated, it’s fairly clear she’s taken off slowly.

    Seriously I think she needs to look at her own behavior. Why filter if you’re just plodding along? I think it’s unfair on other drivers to do so. If you filter and move off at a decent rate, well and good but if you constantly see long lines of traffic following you, why bother…

      1. The entire point Adam is making is that if you know you’re going to hold up traffic, don’t filter through and land up right in front of a long line of frustrated drivers/riders for the mere purpose of slowing down the flow of traffic with lousy acceleration and low speeds…

        A lot of car drivers do that. I’m not supporting this idiot who tailgated the lady on the 125cc Grom, but she sure helped the whole thing by frustrating him in the first place. I saw the video too.

        1. ‘I’ve been tailgated too’ – there was no way I held up traffic. This was in peak hour and the Mazda wasn’t going to get where it was going any faster than he did. I wont lane filter if its a road (like Pennant Hills Road) where there are NO traffic jams (and I’ll add that there were on this particular afternoon) because that would be asking for trouble, but saying that the GROM is not as slow as people might think. It is certainly quick off the mark. I value my life and my safety so wont (if I can help it) make a stupid judgement/decision which might affect me. By the way MOST drivers are ok with lane filtering (and this twit got a talking to from the Police because I reported it). He came to with some ‘flannel’ and the police officer told him his story didn’t tally with the video he had (OH I would have loved to have seen that bloke’s face)….. 🙂

  17. Nothing will ever change, police and car drivers think were second class citizens.
    I’ve been riding since 82 and done over 600.000K’s on bikes, I’m waiting to see a change.

  18. I feel sorry for Barbara and that she did not receive the assistance from Police. It seems like she is one of the good riders who do there best to abide by the laws – however when lane filtering to a set of lights, you cannot position your bike diagonally accross a stationary vehicle. The bike must remain parallel to the vehicle. – as a motorist, I do not agree with the way lane filtering g has been implemented in NSW. Most riders have never been tested nor been made to each and comply with the regulations for filtering. Below 30kms, not between a car and the keen, not for L and P plate riders, and the most important – ONLY WHEN SAFE TO DO SO.

    1. Michael can you explain how you think a rider should be tested on lane filtering?
      Riders are made to comply, it’s called following the rules. Yes rules can be broken – there’s car drivers doing it all day.
      I do completely agree L and P platers should not be filtering.

      1. Hey Dean,

        With today’s online applications, if all riders were navigated to the RMS website to review the Lane Use by Motor Bikes 2014 – a 2 page document and watch the 2.37 video by Transport NSW that would go along way to ensuring they understand the best way to apply this new legislation.

  19. It’s disgusting that this is so common. Everybody’s time is apparently so precious that it’s constantly push…push…push.
    Maybe the twit in the car might actually think about the consequences of his actions if he was taken by the scruff of the neck and marched through a hospital to witness the damage that his actions cause.
    Failing that – take his keys off him and drop them into the police station.

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