Private Prosecution of dangerous driver?

by commutebig   January 27, 2014  

Has anyone got experience of pursuing a private prosecution against a driver? My fiancee got knocked off her bike by a motorist. Two witnesses (both motorists) gave statements to the effect that the driver was extremely reckless. The police don't seem that bothered. Fortunately my fiancee is largely ok, albeit off work resting with some decent pain killers. I am fuming and am keen to pursue a private prosecution, purely out of principle.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this?

8 user comments

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Was there any financial impact on your wife? Under civil law that's pretty much all you can pursue through the courts - an individual (either real or fictional) can't impose a punishment on another individual. If the time off work cost her money (self employed, or employer only giving statutory sick pay) or there has been permanent disability (physical or mental) or her property was damaged then she can pursue this.

posted by pjt201 [101 posts]
27th January 2014 - 14:31


Leaving aside the private prosecution for a moment, is there a mechanism to escalate the reluctance for a criminal prosecution? What about your local police commissioner?

Is it not possible then (pjt201 sounds like he/she may have experience in this area, certainly more knowledgeable than Sleepy to claim some form of compensation against the other party for injuries sustained?

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
27th January 2014 - 14:47

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Sod a PP, make the police do their job properly, they can't just be allowed to get away with doing nothing, tell them you will go to the IPCC, should sort them out unless they are breathtakingly even more arrogant / stupid than normal...

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
27th January 2014 - 14:48


If your partner is a member of British Cycling / CTC etc you will have legal cover as part of your membership - speak to them in the first instance to get advice.

posted by andycoventry [120 posts]
27th January 2014 - 14:49

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posted by morethansonglyrics [56 posts]
27th January 2014 - 14:55


Telling the police you will go to the IPCC will do nothing to change their approach. A prosecution for dangerous driving is a notoriously difficult thing to achieve and against what all too many people seem to believe it is not the police that authorise charges for it. The CPS make charging decisions for the vast majority of offences. The CPS and the police are not the same thing! Also the CPS are not impressionable, they will not change their mind just because people ask them to. The police provide them with the evidence and they make the decisions, often much to the disappointment of the police officers that have tried their best to do their job. Yes obviously they're are a lazy officers out there, but believe me when I say this, the vast majority would love to prosecute dangerous drivers. Trust me going to serious injury or fatal RTC's is not fun!
Sorry if this sounds like a rant is!! People who can sit there and say 'the police do nothing' without actually any knowledge winds me up immensely!! It is not a perfect world but all the negativity that people exude at the minute is only making it worse, if you think you can do better then please, be my guest to try!!

As for a civil prosecution, without knowing the full circumstances giving any views on it would be impossible. However for a criminal prosecution the police need to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the offence has been committed. In a civil case the victim only needs to prove that on the balance of probability it occurred. Citizens advice or any local criminal law solicitor will be able to give you suitable advice on whether you would be likely to be successful or not.

I'd love to be able to say what I really think on these forums at times but unbelievably the arm of professional standards is very long and all reaching!!

posted by fullers1979 [48 posts]
27th January 2014 - 15:49


Thanks everyone. We're getting some legal advice through British Cycling, I was just interested as to whether this sort of thing ever happens and is ever worth doing, beyond irritating a haemorrhoid.

posted by commutebig [3 posts]
27th January 2014 - 18:07

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My only experience of this was the successful prosecution supported by the campaign against drinking and driving (CADD) for causing the death of a cyclist whilst over the limit. The CPS would not proceed, presumably they (CADD)financed the prosecution because they thought they would win, not 'on principle'. To say the investigating officer was annoyed at the CPS for not proceeding is an understatement. Hopefully British Cycling can 'sort' this. But do not forget you can still claim damages through the civil court without criminal charges being considered. British Cycling can also 'sort' this! Good luck!

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
27th January 2014 - 19:57

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