A couple of weeks ago a reader emailed us about a friend’s frightening experience. While taking his two year-old son to daycare, a driver took angry exception to his riding in the centre of the lane through a pinch point.
The chap posted about it on Vorb, asking what he should have done about the driver’s behaviour. Nobody seemed particularly sure of the right course of action, so I think it’s worth clarifying.
According to the Police website, you should call 111 and ask for Police when:
- Someone is badly injured or in danger.
- There’s a serious risk to life or property.
- A crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left.
- You’ve come across a major public inconvenience, like trees blocking a state highway.
- Any of these things are happening now or have just happened.
The website goes on to say that if you can’t decide whether it’s a real emergency and you’re still worried, call 111 and ask. They’ll help you work out what to do.
You can see that angry, threatening behaviour would probably fall into the second point, and depending on the circumstances, the first.
As well, section 35 of the Land Transport Act 1998 states:
(1) A person commits an offence if the person—
- (a) operates a motor vehicle recklessly on a road; or
(b) drives or causes a motor vehicle to be driven on a road at a speed or in a manner which, having regard to all the circumstances, is or might be dangerous to the public or to a person; or […]
Now, obviously you’re unlikely to have your lawyer handy when something like this happens, but you can make a judgement call as to whether you think the driving was reckless. If you think it was, then a crime is probably being committed (see point 3 of the Police list above) and you should call 111 straight away.
Just because we’re used to bad driving, it doesn’t mean we have to put up with it.
Bottom line is – if another road user does something that gives you a fright, call 111. If it’s not the right thing to do, they’ll help you work out what the right thing is.