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Shocking video shows driver in Canada running over and dragging cyclist

“This is the road violence that cyclists deal with every single day in cities like Toronto,” says local lawyer and cycling advocate

A lawyer and cycling advocate in Canada says that a shocking video showing a driver running over a bike rider and dragging him along the road in what appears to have been a deliberate act reflects “the road violence that cyclists deal with every single day in cities like Toronto.”

The incident happened at around 0710 hours on Wednesday on Yonge Street in the North York area of Canada’s most populous city.

Personal injury and human rights lawyer David Shellnutt, founder of the Toronto-based legal firm The Biking Lawyer LLP, told the website BlogTO that the incident underlined the need for law enforcement officers to protect vulnerable road users, rather than pulling up cyclists for what he insisted were “minor infractions” such as riding on the footway, with police in the city having launched a blitz against such behaviour in recent days.

In footage captured by a dashcam mounted in a following vehicle and posted to Twitter yesterday evening, the driver can be heard apparently sounding their horn and swerving before hitting the cyclist – possibly a food delivery rider, given the box on the rear of the bike – from behind.

The motorist then continued to drive through an intersection following the collision, dragging the cyclist for several yards, before coming to a halt and getting out of their vehicle, looking first at the car then the cyclist, the pair exchanging words briefly before the driver got back into the car and pulled into the side of the road.

Luckily, the cyclist appears to have been thrown to one side of the car as it crashed into him and was quickly on his feet, although he was clearly in shock and seemed to be limping slightly as a result of the collision.

“Today we were tweeting about ongoing incidents of police ticketing cyclists for minor infractions,” he said, “the underlying point being that it is a hugely ineffective and misguided use of resources,” said Shellnutt, who also claimed on Twitter that there was “anti-cycling bias” held by some officers of the Toronto Police Service (TPS).

“To horrifically buttress our point, a community member shared a video with us of a motorist seemingly intentionally ramming into a cyclist from behind and driving over them,” he continued.

“This is the road violence that cyclists deal with every single day in cities like Toronto. It’s not an aberration, it’s endemic.

“It’s why we cringe and protest when the cycling community is targeted by police while motorists run rampage across the city putting all vulnerable road users at risk, daily,” Shellnutt added.

“We need a societal shift in thinking and laws that immediately revoke someone’s ability to drive when they are caught doing such horrific acts as what this driver has perpetrated here,” he added.

There is a fair bit of history of tensions between police and cyclists in Toronto, and last year we reported how an off-duty police officer ​in Toronto who had been giving fines to cyclists later crashed his SUV into a rider who was cycling in a bike lane – with the cop claiming he had not seen the rider because the sun was in his eyes.

> Police officer dishes out fines to cyclists – then crashes his SUV into one in a cycle lane

There have been hopes that official attitudes towards cyclists in Toronto will change for the better after Olivia Chow was elected as the city’s Mayor last month, ending more than a decade of Conservative rule in the city, with the independent candidate pledging to create more cycle lanes as part of a Vision Zero goal to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries.

In winning the election Chow – who does not have a driving licence and was accompanied by hundreds of cyclists as she rode to her inauguration last week – beat the Conservative candidate, Anthony Furey, who had pledged during his campaign to rip up cycle lanes installed on major streets in the city.

> “Arriving like a true queen” – Toronto's “bicycle” mayor arrives to be sworn in, leading hundreds of cyclists on her first day

 

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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4 comments

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OldRidgeback | 7 months ago
1 like

That's truly crap driving. I hope the driver gets a massive fine. But I bet they won't. The cyclist was lucky not to get badly hurt.

Avatar
HoarseMann | 7 months ago
7 likes

Wow. How on earth did the cyclist walk away from that?

It almost looks unreal. Like it's been generated by an AI model.

Avatar
andystow replied to HoarseMann | 7 months ago
2 likes

Probably saved by the car being unable to drive over the bike, so just pushed along the road with it.

Avatar
andystow | 7 months ago
15 likes

Attempted murder.

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