A driver's wing mirror modification has sparked outrage in the cycling community who believe it's an attempt to harm riders on the road – despite the motorist's alternate claim.
An image of the vehicle was shared to Twitter earlier this week showing dozens of spikes protruding from the left hand side wing mirror.
The spikes, which look like nails, were discovered in the English town of Stockport, Greater Manchester, with the cyclist who shared the image saying it was the third vehicle he'd seen with the same modification.
"Seems to be a growing trend in my area of adding crude spikes to the passenger side wing mirror," he tweeted, suggesting cyclists were the intended target.
Users were quick to condemn the driver's behaviour, calling it "disgusting".
"I feel sick that could be used to hurt cyclists," one person said.
"That is insanely dangerous," another wrote.
"Whoever has done that is unhinged," one person added.
The original poster said the discovery had been reported to local police.
Surrey Police Road Policing Unit weighed in on the matter, saying the person responsible would face arrest for an offensive weapon.
The van's owner has since spoken out over the incident, insisting the spikes are to deter vandals after his vehicle was targeted several times before, Deadline News reported.
Safety groups express concern over incident
Safe Cycling Australia's Katrina Sharp called the modification "concerning".
"We are noticing increased animosity towards cyclists which was unexpected with the increased demand of bicycles during covid restrictions," she told Yahoo News Australia.
"Fortunately, so far none are taking it this far."
The Australian Cycle Alliance said they'd never seen anything like it in Australia however warned there were some motorists intent on harming riders.
"This is not uncommon for people to try and look like they are out to hurt pedestrians or cyclists," they told Yahoo.
They also expressed their concern over the rise in cyclists and motorists during the pandemic due to transmission fears of public transport, suggesting more needed to be done to raise safety awareness.
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