An angry cyclist has been caught on camera causing £1,500 worth of damage to a vehicle in busy London rush hour traffic, saving the company a hefty repair bill.
The bike rage incident shows a cyclist smashing his bike on the hood of a £56,000 Mercedes Viano SUV. after a bust-up in Borough, south-east London.
The high resolution footage, captured on a SmartWitness dashcam, shows the hot-headed cyclist lift his bike and scrape the pedals across the hood before riding off.
The altercation happened in busy rush hour traffic on September 27 in Marshalsea Road, Borough, and is one of an increasing number of cycle rage incidents across the UK. Metropolitan Police are currently investigating, but the chauffer now fears further reprisals from cyclists.
The chauffer, who declined to be named, said: “It is crazy that cyclists can vandalise a vehicle in this way and then cycle away scot-free. He needs to be named and shamed to send a clear message to cyclists that this behaviour is completely unacceptable.
“Cycle rage is an epidemic in London and several other UK cities at the moment - I am subject to threats virtually every day.
“All taxis and limousines needs to fitted with vehicle cameras to protect them from this menace.”
He is hoping that going public with the footage will identify the culprit so he can be prosecuted.
The row started after the cyclist accused the Mercedes driver of impeding him as they crossed a busy intersection next to Borough Tube Station. The cyclist shouts at the chauffeur as they move away and bangs on the side of his car with his fist.
When the driver pulls over in the hope of sorting out the row amicably, the cyclist becomes aggressive - pointing his finger in the chauffeur’s face and shouting at him in front of a pedestrian.
When the chauffeur returns to his vehicle, the cyclist picks up his bike, lifting it up so the pedals are above the bonnet, and slams the bike down and across the bodywork, causing three large and deep scrapes that go right through the paint to reveal the metal beneath.
The video shows the chauffeur rushing back to his car to get his phone to call the police but when he returns the cyclist has made off into the traffic. He has not been seen again.
The chauffeur works for a premium taxi service that insists that its drivers’ vehicles are in perfect condition, he therefore had no choice but get immediate repairs costing £1,500.
Paul Singh from SmartWitness said: “We are seeing a huge increase in road rage incidents involving cyclists.
"Taxi drivers and chauffeurs know they have to protect themselves with video footage to prove they are not at fault and to provide evidence of criminal damage which is highlighted in this case.
“Due to the high resolution video footage the chauffeur has been able to prove he was not at fault to his insurer and claim back the cost of the repairs.
“It is to be hoped that publicity surrounding this case will identify the cyclist so that he can be prosecuted. He is clearly a danger to other road users.”