Road rage incident leaves Saanich councillor shaken

Road rage incident leaves Saanich councillor shaken
An alleged road rage incident leaves Saanich councillor shaken after an encounter with a male driver of a van who tried to run him off the road.

An alleged road rage incident has left a Saanich councillor shaken.

The alleged incident happened Thursday morning at the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Saanich Road.

Saanich councillor Zac de Vries says he was turning left onto Saanich Road when a male driver of a van tried to run him off the road.

“I’m in the left lane, I’m able to go and start to turn home,” said de Vries.

That’s when he says the vehicle behind him sped up and almost hit him.

“So I gave them a tap on the glass of their car because I thought, you know, they might not see me and I don’t want them to hit me,” de Vries recalled. “So I kind of want to alert them that I am there.”

As he turned left, however, the driver de Vries had just spoken to also turned, illegally.

That is when the situation became dangerous for de Vries.

“He basically tried to push me over the centre line of Saanich Road and luckily there were oncoming motorists who were paying attention,” de Vries said. “And they were slowing down and giving space and moving to the side of the road.”

As de Vries was being pushed by the driver into oncoming traffic, he couldn’t believe what happened next.

“Then this driver basically started opening and closing their doors and hit it with their door over the center line.”

De Vries managed to stay upright and out of traffic, while the male driver in the van sped away.

Corey Burger, with Capital Bike a non-profit cycling advocacy group, says these types of encounters are too common in the region.

“Horrified, but unfortunately, not all that surprised that incident happened on our roadway,” Burger said.

Burger says there seem to be more encounters involving cyclists and aggressive drivers, feeling there should be consequences.

“We need to treat drivers who act aggressively like this, because there is only a small number, treat them differently we need better laws to deal with road rage and aggression.”

And de Vries says he’s lucky he wasn’t injured, or worse.

“It was incredibly risky and I think, you know that the chances that this could have ended so much worse than it did were quite high.”

Both riders are proponents of more infrastructure in the region, such as separated bike lanes, to reduce the chances of incidents like this in the future.

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WATCH: RCMP seek witnesses after man with ‘road rage’ exits vehicle, shatters driver’s window near Chemainus

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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