Don't Get Mad, Get Even: Cyclist Hit by Driver, Grabs Car Keys, Throws Them Down Sewer

CC BY-ND 2.0. "Storm Water" by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources/Flickr

Last week a cyclist was going straight through an intersection on a green light with right of way, when the following happened, described on Reddit by a witness:

The cyclist was going eastbound on Queen and the driver was going westbound, the driver made a quick left, t-boned the cyclist and stopped in the intersection. at this point, the driver was getting out to see what happened. the cyclist took the keys from the car, walked to the nearest storm drain and tossed them. shortly after, the cyclist bailed and the cops showed up.

Constable Stibbe of the Toronto Police didn't think this was a good idea, telling the CBC:

Reaching into a vehicle is risky at best," Stibbe said. "And you never know what the person inside that car is going to do to you when you do that.

So far the driver has not been charged with hitting the cyclist, but the cyclist has been charged with mischief. But the war on the car continues in Toronto, with 616 comments on the CBC website, almost all attacking the individual cyclist and all cyclists in general. My favourite:

pyramidhat comment

CBC/Screen capture

This summarizes it all: cyclists are hippie losers who don't pay taxes and ignore the traffic laws and keep real people from getting to work on time.

dooring comment

CBC/Screen capture

Getting doored is absolutely one of a cyclist's greatest fears, caused in every case because a driver did not check their mirror before opening their car door. Yes, drivers should look out for a cyclist's safety because it's the law.


CBC/ In Toronto today. Nothing ever changes, and roads weren't built for cars./Screen capture

Yes, you are entitled to your viewpoint, but as as Daniel Patrick Moynihan pointed out, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." And the facts are that, as Carlton Reid documented in his terrific book, Roads were not built for cars. It is the cars that are the newcomers to Toronto streets. These days, it's the cars that shouldn't be on the roads to make more room for transit, pedestrians and cyclists who significantly outnumber the drivers. But good luck making that argument in this city.

I don't think stealing the car keys and throwing them in the sewer was a very good idea. The car blocked the busy intersection for quite a while, inconveniencing a lot of people; the cyclist could have got more seriously hurt if a fight had started; in the USA where people carry guns he might have been shot.

But judging from the comments on the CBC, we have a long way to go before cyclists get the respect and the road space they deserve. And for the 500 of the 600 commenters who say cyclists ignore the rules and blow through stop signs and bring this on themselves, how about looking before you make a left turn. That's the law too.