One less idiot driver, I hope
It has taken a while but I'm pleased to report a small legal success for one cyclist (me).
Nearly two years ago while on a visit back to London I was cycling back from Clapham Junction when I was cut up by a bus. Classic thing - coming up to a bus stop and rather than wait behind for two seconds he comes around but doesn't get past, sandwiching me between bus and kerb. Thanks god there were no railings or I'd have been in real trouble.
I can't do anything until he moves but I give chase and catch him at the next stop. At this point all I wanted was a sorry, but I get the thousand yard stare and he won't even acknowledge me. So I stand in front of him and refuse to move until he opens his window. He won't do it but he gets unhappy and starts to kangaroo hop the bus forward until eventually it hits me and the bike, pushing the bike over. At this point I realise he's gone beyond rational behaviour and try to drag the bike to the side, and as I do that he moves forward, running over my wheel.
Now I'm really annoyed, and amazingly the wheel still functions (it was a WTB SpeedDisc, in case you were wondering) so I catch him again. This time I stay at the side but I point to the wheel and get out my phone to say I'm calling the police as there has been a traffic accident. He still won't acknowledge me and drives off again, at which point I give up and write down his number.
I reported it to the police and the bus company. The company were excellent. They immediately reviewed the driver logs and the on-board CCTV which they said clearly showed the incident. He was disciplined - they told me he and the union rep denied everything until they saw the footage at which point he admitted it. The company paid for a new wheel of course.
I thought the police couldn't be bothered, although I told them there was CCTV footage. But months later they wrote to say they had followed it up and would be proceeding against him. It took ages to appear in court, and had to be rescheduled once from last October to this week.
I had no idea buses had so many external cameras. According to the CPS there were 12 cameras around the bus and they clearly show all the incidents, and he had a copy of the evidence. I would have thought he'd just plead guilty but maybe he thought I wouldn't bother flying back from Abu Dhabi to give evidence - if so it was an epic fail. He didn't even show up in court - I assume he knew he would be done and had just tried to put it off as long as possible.
Bottom line... Proven on all three counts - failure to drive with due care and attention, failure to stop at an accident and failure to report an accident. He'll be summonsed for sentencing, which may be disqualification depending on previous driving record. The world would be a safer place if the only vehicle he's in is a bus, as a passenger. They'll let me know the outcome in a couple of weeks apparently.