As per my previous post about how roadsafe are working for better results. I think the following shows just how they have changed. I had an extremely close pass by the driver of M391UMF and I reported it to road safe in the usual way.
PC Walters got in touch with me and asked if I could provide a statement and a DVD copy of the incident for him to take further action. We discussed possibilities and agreed that a Section 59 notice was the best option.
A Section 59 notice refers to section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, this allows the police to warn a driver about their driving, if witnessed doing further driving which would cause alarm distress or annoyance and the car can be seized. The marker is put against both the driver and the vehicle for 12 months. There is a high chance that the seized vehicle would be crushed.
This is the first time that I’ve heard of Roadsafe using a section 59 notice and it is a great way to bring consequences to drivers easily.
A few weeks later and I was contacted by the Traffic Criminal Justice Unit in Sidcup.
Unfortunately, in this particular case as police were unable to serve the driver with the statutory notice within the timescales required by section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, we are unable to investigate this matter further.
I asked PC Walters for some more information about this and what it meant, his response is as follows.
The submission of papers to the Criminal Justice Unit has unfortunately relied on an assumption that letters I sent were acceptable re information sent to all drivers.
By the time statements have been taken and the video copied the ability to prosecute has lapsed in that the Criminal Justice Unit is required to serve a Notice Of Intended Prosecution within a 14 day period.
I argued that the letter telling the driver from myself that a decision had been made to take action did not convince the CJU that it was sufficient information served on the driver allowing them to take action.
There was a problem in wording which I accept puts me to blame. This is down to me not being the reporting officer but the submissions officer.
Apparently exact words and the summons need to be served. As this is a pilot project it fell down to me not informing the CJU in time for them to serve a NIP to the driver. I assumed the letters I sent to drivers ensured that they were aware action was being taken
I am in a meeting with the CJU to ensure that this does not happen again and can only apologise.
I am setting up a new reporting and submissions section of the Roadsafe reporting scheme for incidents like this.
I can ensure you this will not happen again and can only apologise.
As said in the previous post, this is a new initiative and as such there can be a few learning curves on the way. My understanding is that this incident was the first to be ‘given’ a section 59 notice from road safe London and from talking with my fellow video camera cyclists, I’m aware that a few more are being ‘given’ since, so I like to think of this as a positive step, even though it was a failed one. The driver was still notified by the police about the incident, so he was made aware of his poor driving, which is all I was expecting when I initially reported it to road safe.
I asked PC Walters if those of us reporting videos could do anything to make it easier. He told me that the best thing to do is to report it on the day and upload it to a place which road safe to use, the best option is YouTube, he is then able to forward action to the TCJU as soon as possible and this is what will avoid the 14 day limit which was an issue here.
* I would like to apologise for the delay in getting this out. I have actually known about this for nearly a month, work commitments have left me very little free time.