Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Driver 'spat in woman's face in Derry road rage incident'

A woman has described her horror after a motorist spat in her face as she picked up her daughter from primary school.

The road rage incident has sparked calls for a bypass to be installed to ease traffic at a bottleneck outside Culmore Primary School in Londonderry.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, claimed the man who attacked her made obscene gestures and spat at her in front of her two-year-old son.

The incident is alleged to have occurred at around 2.40pm on Tuesday.

The man was allegedly venting his anger at parents parking on the single lane carriageway outside the school and causing tailbacks on the 40mph road.

She said the motorist appeared quite irate and when she “gestured” to him that it was a school, he got out of his car after giving her the finger.

After a short exchange, she said the man became “verbally quite aggressive”.

“It was quite frightening. He was using profanities, everything about him was very frightening,” she said. “He told me I should have my four-way flashes on but when I told him I did he was really annoyed that he was wrong.

“Then he just looked at me and cursed at me. I thought he was going to hit me so I turned away and he actually spat on me.”

She said the man had been accompanied by a woman who remained in the car and the couple drove off after the assault.

SDLP councillor for the Culmore area Angela Dobbins said that plans for a bypass at Culmore that would ease traffic congestion should now be revived to prevent any other parents being targeted.

Ms Dobbins said: “I’m calling on DRD Roads Service to rethink their decision not to grant a bypass to the area because as we have seen recently, the traffic congestion is leading to disgraceful instances against parents and the lollipop lady.

“This has caused no shortage of anger and frustration within the school community that they could be targeted by irate motorists through no fault of their own.

“The onus is now firmly on the Department for Regional Development to sort this problem out before it leads to serious problems. What happened to this parent is simply common assault.”

Ms Dobbins warned there could be no excuse for violence.

Police in Derry have issued an appeal for witnesses following “an altercation on the Culmore Road involving two motorists”.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “A female driver was parked outside a primary school on the Culmore Road when a male driver got out of his car and approached the female. It is understood the male driver spat on the female before he got back in his car.”

Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact them at Strand Road station on 0845 600 8000.”

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