Cars just make the best weapons

cab hitting cyclist
Video screen capture Roman Atwood

Recently a bike courier got pushed to the ground by a taxi driver in Toronto. It happened to be videoed by American vlogger Roman Atwood; when you watch it, you see the cyclist clearly angry at the cabbie, yelling and banging, and then the taxi just turns right into the courier, knocking him off his bike.

Now cyclists and cabbies often interact, shall we say, and don't always nicely share the sharrow. We don't know what the courier was so angry about and why he was yelling at the cabbie. But if the cabbie had shot the cyclist or went at him with a baseball bat, he would have been dragged down to the cop shop and charged with assault, no matter what the provocation.

But cars are different. No charges have been laid against the cabbie, because as Constable Stibbe notes, all that yelling might be an aggravating factor. He tells the CBC:

"We only saw the dramatic end ... we don't know what led up to it," Const. Clint Stibbe said Monday. "We need to keep in mind that that video doesn't capture the entire incident — it gives us maybe a small glimpse as to what may have been happening,"

They have to check it out to see if the cabbie was provoked. You see, cars are different than guns or baseball bats.

This is not a major case; the cyclist wasn't seriously injured. But still,Constable Stibbe and the Toronto Police often seem to take the windshield perspective, looking at things from the point of view of the driver. Surely, if one uses a car as a weapon, it doesn't really matter what provoked it, what the "aggravating factors" were. Does it?

Cars just make the best weapons
Can "aggravating factors" make it OK for a driver to hit a cyclist?

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