Aggressive driver makes rude gesture, nearly collides with cyclist in 'Bike to Work' near downtown

Lileana Pearson Image
Saturday, May 20, 2023
Angry driver almost hits cyclist participating in 'Bike to Work' day
A cyclist recounts to ABC13 after an aggressive driver cuts off a line of cyclists participating in 'Bike to Work' near downtown Houston on Friday.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A cyclist is talking only to ABC13 after an adrenaline-spiking experience in downtown Houston on Friday morning near Lamar Street and Bagby.

"Sadly, it's a pretty regular experience in Houston," Simon Newton said.

According to Newtown, police bicycle officers were escorting the city's "Bike to Work" participants when they stopped flowing traffic at a downtown intersection to let the bikes roll through.

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"There was a person in their car that got very irate and started making rude gestures at all the cyclists and the police," Newton said.

Police let the driver turn onto Lamar Street, but Newton said he felt the situation might escalate.

"He was acting pretty irrational. I thought I would pull out my phone to take a video of it," Newton said.

The situation did escalate. The driver paused in the road until Newton was alongside him and then again flashed a rude gesture and stepped on the gas to swerve in front of him and duck into a parking garage.

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"Everyone on this street speeds a lot. I may have to move because everybody is speeding, mainly the tow trucks," a witness said.

"He basically stepped on the gas and came within, I think, the video shows a foot in front of me," Newton said.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the state leads the nation when it comes to traffic deaths. And this close call felt too close for Newton.

"We're all humans, and we all have bad days, and there are frustrations, but when you're driving an SUV, you need to be careful of people on bikes and pedestrians because that is a deadly weapon," Newton said.

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TxDOT reports 11 people died while riding bikes in Houston in 2022. Newton said he's happy to be home safe with his family but knows it won't be the last time he'll experience aggressive drivers while biking. He filed a police report, and the driver has not yet been identified.

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