I had a run in with a driver a few weeks ago. I was minding my own business in a cycle lane, when all of a sudden I had a car almost touching me and forcing me to take action to avoid a collision. The clip was forwarded to RoadSafe who forwarded it to my local traffic unit for the potential for prosecution.
According to the Road Traffic Act, Careless Driving is
A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way he drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.
I would say that driving is well below par of a competent or careful driver. The driver came only inches away from hitting my handle bars with her wing mirror and encroached into the cycle lane whilst I was using it.
I was informed yesterday that the police would not be taking matters any further. At this moment in time I am unsure why, I have asked them if they can let me know their choices behind not taking this further considering the evidence.
If you watch lots of cycling videos then you will know that lots of us have had various confrontations with drivers over the years and had varying degrees of success/failure with the police.
Our very own cycling lawyer has been working hard at getting a result on an incident which happened well over a year ago now. He was cycling down a road and up ahead was a pinch point, so as taught in national standards cycle training, he took control of the lane to prevent a motorist for passing him far too closely. Unfortunately a motorist behind him who’s valuable 5 seconds was just waisted by having to slow down, felt the need to sound his horn and shout at the cyclist. Further down the road the car driver was of course held up by other motorists and at this point the motorist felt the need to threaten to take the cyclists life.
Well a long story short, the police fobed of our cyclist with his video footage but he didn’t give up, he fought his case and eventually got the driver punished for threatening or abusive words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. This resulted in him receiving over a £500 fine. Read more >
It is no doubt a great result and I’m applaud Martin for his hard work and determination to get a result. I just wish that it wasn’t required and that other threatening behaviour with a vehicle was taken more seriously. As I’ve said before it seems that the roads are un-policed and some people deem that cyclists deserve to be punished for daring to get in the way of such a powerful machine.
Fined £400 + £85 costs and 6 penalty points applied to their license. A good result for some pretty dangerous driving?
The fine is pretty substantial compared to some of the other cases I’ve seen about dangerous drivers bullying other road users. This fine was how ever for failing to nominate a driver.
The registered keeper of this vehicle was sent several letters by the Police and failed to respond to all of them. They were summoned to court for Failing to Nominate a driver and were fined £400 + £85 costs and given 6 penalty points.
It’s a shame the police couldn’t do more work to find out who the driver was a take them off our streets for good. But let’s be honest, this was probably a better results fine wise than if they were charged for dangerous driving. In fact they probably wouldn’t have been charged for dangerous driving, as the CPS pretty much always lowers the driving offence as a standard practise.
So whilst this is a good result, lets not get stray from the issue, the registered keeper may not be the driver in the video. The driver in the video may have gotten away free, we don’t know. The registered keeper could be trying to cover for a friend who may be banned, uninsured or be a wanted criminal, who knows.
You can watch footage of the incident below, the basics of it are as follows.
The driver came too close for comfort as we stopped at some traffic lights, I asked him if he could give me some more space.
The driver replied that it was OK because he hadn’t hit me.
As we set off there is a cement truck to my right and the driver gets closer and closer, my speed stays constant throughout and he edges towards me several times. When he is finally able to squeeze past (and leave me very little room) the driver then slams on his brakes trying to force me into the back of him. Luckily I’m more than aware of this stupid kind of move and I’m able to brake and swerve.
It has to be the worst incident I have had, the only one where I honestly thought I was going to get rammed of the road and potentially die. I feel that it’s a shame that the Police didn’t push more on this to find out who the driver was and get him removed from the streets!
I probably wouldn’t have uploaded this if I didn’t see the coppers as the camera doesn’t catch the driver on the phone whilst moving in the car. But the driver did admit to using his phone whilst driving for a brief moment.
Great timing by the local police officers!