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Driving Right Into Instant Karma

, , , , , | Legal | April 8, 2020

I’m working at a large cycling event with over 15,000 cyclists on the roads. I’m at a road closure on a major road, making sure nobody drives onto the route. We have no jurisdiction to physically stop people, just to advise them of the consequences if they cross the block. I’ve just received a message from my boss telling me to be on the lookout for a police van coming to arrest some protesters inside the route.

Angry Driver: “What right do you have to close these roads? Why can you tell me where I can and can’t drive?”

Me: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience, ma’am, but this area is shut under the Road Traffic Regulation Act.”

Angry Driver: “Don’t try and hide behind the law. You don’t have permission to do this; my friend is a police sergeant and she knows nothing about the event. If you don’t let me through, I’m reporting you to the police!”

Me: “The police definitely know about this event; if you go past this point you’ll be liable for a £1000 fine. And if you want to report me to the police, just let me know; I can contact them on this radio and save you some time.”

Angry Driver: “Stop lying to me! You can’t infringe my rights like this. I’m going inside and I’ll prove you’re lying.”

The customer gets out of her car and starts moving the road cones out of the way. While she’s doing this, the aforementioned police van turns up with five or six policemen inside. They’re stuck behind the angry driver so one of the officers steps out to see what the problem is. He looks at me, and after seeing that she’s ignoring what I’m saying, he speaks up.

Police Officer: “Excuse me, is this the woman you just called in about? Is it just the fine or is she also being a public disturbance?”

The angry driver heard this, dropped the cones, ran back to her car, and sped off in the other direction.