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Hi

Shortened version of long story

Cowards Pass / Punishment Pass by SUV with trailer, no problem, have camera footage. Off to Cheshire police, they say not taking action. Challenged them back, but same answer. Now preparing to complain, but need some help.

I know that there are cases in UK law which have established a legal precedent that cyclists 'wobble' ie do not travel in straight lines due to the fact that our vehicles only have two wheels. Does anyone know these cases so that I can quote them in my complaint please?

Please help a fellow cylist of advancing years, thanks.

 

The older I get, the better I was

22 comments

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mike the bike [1001 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

 

I wouldn't get your hopes up Mr Grumps.  The famous and highly esteemed cycling barrister Martin Porter recently took out a private prosecution for exactly this offence and presented the court with both video and expert witness evidence.  Needless to say the jury, being peers of the accused, found him not guilty.

If he can't win it, you probably won't. 

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CXR94Di2 [1959 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Better off now pitting up on YouTube. Quoting the officer who decided on no action. You would be surprised how a little publicity can work. If you could get the insurance of the vehicle you could cause their premium to rise being a enhanced risk on the road.

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bornslippy [17 posts] 1 year ago
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Which "offence"? I'm not a lawyer but I think one of the problems here is that the Highway code gives guidance on various things (such as how much space should be given when overtaking a  cyclist, rule 212 ) but it is not a specific law in every case (which has MUST in the text somewhere if I recall correctly) except within the general bounds of "driving without due care and attention" ie if you were on a driving test and you did that, you would fail.  So if the police see evidence of someone doing that they should do something about it, shouldn't they? Why video evidence isnt good enough I don't know.

Otherwise, I suspect that it is only if there is typically damage or an accident and then an investigation would breaking a rule of the highway code then be looked at as evidence of fault.

I may be wrong on the above, please someone correct me if I am wrong. 

I have no evidence of any police action being taken on any reports I have made about driving without due care and attention. I too, suffer close passes nearly every day and constantly wonder how to stop some drivers increasing my risk of death or serious injury...

Cycling is supposed to be good for your health but sometimes I suspect that it just causes stress.  

I suggest that you complain and see what the response is. The more we do this, the more publicity there is and the more likely some improvment will come. Please don't just give up.  

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
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You need to at least get run over to have any chance of success and even then there are no guarantees. Unless you enjoy the stress, post it up on YouTube and put it behind you.

I know I'll get flammed for putting up with reckless and dangerous behaviour from other road users. We should not have to tolerate it and it's frustrating when people who do bad things to others get away with it. However I have seen people become consumed with their own need for justice to the point where they make themselves ill. 

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grumpyoldcyclist [64 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Thanks for the responses, much appreciated.

Mike the Bike, I'm not even really asking for a prosecution (but actually would be happy if it happened) just want them to 'have a word' and point out sections 163 and 211 of the HC. Be happy with that.

bornslippy, that's the point exactly, there is no 'offence'. We all know that if I started waving a baseball bat around in the high street 300 mm from people, I'd be tazered, even if there was no contact. Do the same with two tonnes of metal, what's the issue?

L.Willo, there's deffo some case law out there that has established a legal precedent, but I can't remember the case  

Mungecrundle, nail on head. Sergeant said as much, I pointed out that I'd probably be dead at that point, so to add further insult, he said that if a following driver gave the opinion the pass was stupid then a prosecution would take place. So the opinion of another driver is more valid than clear camera evidence it seems, thing is I've been driving for over 40 years too, but that doesn't count either.

Strange thing is North Wales police have been most helpful and have 'spoken to' four drivers this year and are currently referring another two cases for prosecution, all based on my camera evidence. I commute the same route most days and I don't go looking for these incidents (who does?) but just want something done to educate drivers. Feel I have to follow this one through, but probably, as everyone says, be pointless.

 

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exilegareth [128 posts] 1 year ago
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What we need is for someone to get a test case brough not on the higher charge of dangerous driving, but to establish whattype of driving would meet the standard for a prosecution for driving without due consideration.

 

Martin Porter's case is much quoted, but he set himself a very high hurdle to clear going for dangerous driving; one suspects a private prosecution for driving without due consideration might succeed.

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grumpyoldcyclist [64 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

'exilegareth'

I do have such a case potentially. I've given an  official police statement and a notice of intended prosecution has been sent, about a pass that took place on 12/2/16. It's a close pass, certainly does not comply with section 163 or 211-5 of the HC, but probably not as close as passes that others have described. The most interesting part is that there is no traffic coming in the other direction. I have two other cases of close passes also going through the process but both of those also involve oncoming traffic, so it could be argued that the overtaking drivers are inconveniencing the oncoming traffic, not me the cyclist. In the incident of 12/2/16 if the driver is ticketed for driving without due care and attention, it will be wholly about the cyclist, nobody else. We shall have to wait and see.

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Grahamd [864 posts] 1 year ago
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How about you post on youtube, put the link on here so everbody can have a better appreciation of the situation?

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grumpyoldcyclist [64 posts] 1 year ago
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Grahamd

I don't plan to post anything that could possibly cause 'issues' with the due process of law. I appreciate that this make not go to court, it may not even get as far as a FPN, but until it's all over I'm not posting, sorry.

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wknight [55 posts] 1 year ago
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Without more detail it's difficult to help, are you looking for a prosecution of careless driving? If so, what did they do, pass too close and cause you to fall off? If so, you have a case. If it's just that they passed too close, then I can't see anything happening. 

Btw if it did go to court, all the details of the incident are read out in court,so anyone in the public gallery can hear.the only time putting information on a forum like this affects the proceeis if someone read it who was dealing with the case I.e. Magistrate, district judge, judge or jury and then they would simply excuse them self from the case

many matters are dealt with by way or courses these days so the driver doesn't get points on their license. My view is that doesn't encourage good driving because not people's view is well I won't get any points, just go on a course 

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grumpyoldcyclist [64 posts] 1 year ago
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wknight

 

Yes I'm hoping for a prosecution for careless driving.

My original question was if anyone could recall the cases that established the legal precedent for cyclists 'wobbling'.

Hope someone can recall them.

 

 

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LegalFun [81 posts] 1 year ago
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Find out where the car is parked, then spray paint "Highway Code Rule 163" on the side!

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EddyP [20 posts] 1 year ago
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I am sorry to hear about what happened to you, sadly I am not sure if you will get anywhere. I have a friend who is something of a legal expert, so will ask him to see if he is aware of an precendents in the past.

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grumpyoldcyclist [64 posts] 1 year ago
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Thanks EddyP, fingers crossed

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Dan S [198 posts] 1 year ago
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I've just found this post. Let me check what it is you're after, then I can look it up next week.

You think there's a legal precedent to say that cyclists wobble. In what context? Is this to say that cyclists wobble and therefore drivers need to give them more room? Or that cyclists wobble anyway so cars passing too close aren't necessarily responsible for the cyclist wobbling? Or something else?

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grumpyoldcyclist [64 posts] 1 year ago
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Dan S wrote:

I've just found this post. Let me check what it is you're after, then I can look it up next week. You think there's a legal precedent to say that cyclists wobble. In what context? Is this to say that cyclists wobble and therefore drivers need to give them more room? Or that cyclists wobble anyway so cars passing too close aren't necessarily responsible for the cyclist wobbling? Or something else?

 

Hi

Yes that's it perfectly, that cyclists wobble and drivers should drive accordingly. If you can find something it would be brilliant.

 

Thanks

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Dan S [198 posts] 1 year ago
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grumpyoldcyclist wrote:
Dan S wrote:

I've just found this post. Let me check what it is you're after, then I can look it up next week. You think there's a legal precedent to say that cyclists wobble. In what context? Is this to say that cyclists wobble and therefore drivers need to give them more room? Or that cyclists wobble anyway so cars passing too close aren't necessarily responsible for the cyclist wobbling? Or something else?

 

Hi

Yes that's it perfectly, that cyclists wobble and drivers should drive accordingly. If you can find something it would be brilliant.

 

Thanks

 

Sorry, I've been away but I'll try to look it up this week and get back to you.

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Dan S [198 posts] 1 year ago
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OK, I've had a look and as best I can see, there is no law dealing with this point specifically. That didn't surprise me: the law tends to be that each case turns on its own particular facts and it is rare to get a case saying that "x behaviour is careless driving", except in very clear cases. This kind of thing tends to be left to the court that hears the evidence.

It is in the Highway Code:
Rule 163: give vulnerable road users [including cyclists] at least as much space as you would give a car

Rule 213: cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven roads surface etc, so give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they might make.

Beach of the Highway Code is not in itself proof of careless careless driving but it's a good start.

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grumpyoldcyclist [64 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Dan S wrote:

OK, I've had a look and as best I can see, there is no law dealing with this point specifically. That didn't surprise me: the law tends to be that each case turns on its own particular facts and it is rare to get a case saying that "x behaviour is careless driving", except in very clear cases. This kind of thing tends to be left to the court that hears the evidence. It is in the Highway Code: Rule 163: give vulnerable road users [including cyclists] at least as much space as you would give a car Rule 213: cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven roads surface etc, so give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they might make. Beach of the Highway Code is not in itself proof of careless careless driving but it's a good start.

 

Thanks for looking Dan, appreciate the time spent. Sadly the officer concerned was clear in his view that a breach of the Highway Code was not a breach of the law and therefore not worth his time.

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Curto80 [52 posts] 1 year ago
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Not sure about the wobbling thing being specifically mentioned but Sinclair v Joyner provides clearly that motorists are required to take into account the extra vulnerability of cyclists and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

 

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Dan S [198 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
grumpyoldcyclist wrote:
Dan S wrote:

OK, I've had a look and as best I can see, there is no law dealing with this point specifically. That didn't surprise me: the law tends to be that each case turns on its own particular facts and it is rare to get a case saying that "x behaviour is careless driving", except in very clear cases. This kind of thing tends to be left to the court that hears the evidence. It is in the Highway Code: Rule 163: give vulnerable road users [including cyclists] at least as much space as you would give a car Rule 213: cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven roads surface etc, so give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they might make. Beach of the Highway Code is not in itself proof of careless careless driving but it's a good start.

 

Thanks for looking Dan, appreciate the time spent. Sadly the officer concerned was clear in his view that a breach of the Highway Code was not a breach of the law and therefore not worth his time.

I'm afraid he's probably right!  Certainly a breach of the Highway Code is not necessarily a breach of the law and it is unlikely that the CPS would prosecute it, much less manage a conviction before the magistrates...

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Dan S [198 posts] 1 year ago
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Curto80 wrote:

Not sure about the wobbling thing being specifically mentioned but Sinclair v Joyner provides clearly that motorists are required to take into account the extra vulnerability of cyclists and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

Yes and no.  Sinclair v Joyner is a civil case and therefore of extremely limited value in the criminal courts.  It is also a decision at first instance rather than an appeal, which reduces its importance further.  Most importantly, it is just  applying the Highway Code and the law as it exists.  There is no need to cite Sinclair v Joyner when you can just cite the Code.