Video: Helmet camera footage leads to aggressive driver pleading guilty to four charges

Motorist who twice brake-checked YouTube user Dave Brennan was already serving a driving ban

by Simon_MacMichael   March 21, 2014  

Glasgow driver caught on camera (Magnatom YouTube still)

Helmet camera footage of a driver twice brake-checking a cyclist in Glasgow has resulted in the motorist, who turned out to be serving a driving ban, being convicted on four separate charges – dangerous driving, breach of the peace, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

On Wednesday, the driver, who pleaded guilty in the face of the video evidence, was fined £375, banned from driving for 48 weeks and ordered to perform 150 hours of community payback.

The incident took place on Springburn Glasgow, on 28 April 2013. It was filmed by Dave Brennan, whose helmet camera videos, posted to YouTube under the name Magnatom, have been used on BBC programmes.

Brennan, who co-founded and helps organise the Pedal on Parliament [POP] ride in Edinburgh - the third edition takes place next month - was cycling back from the Scottish Cycle Show, where he had been distributing leaflets for the second Pedal on Parliament ride.

He has kept the video private until now while legal proceedings were ongoing, with the case concluding at Glasgow Sheriff Court this week.

He told road.cc: “Whilst I wish our roads were safe enough that helmet cameras weren't needed, I think this case demonstrates their power.

“Without the footage the case would never have been brought to court.

“I am though disappointed with the sentencing. Had the driver threatened me with any other potential weapon I suspect the punishment would have been a lot harsher.”

The video shows the driver passing Brennan at speed with very little room to spare, as he apparently sought to undertake other traffic.

The close pass – bear in mind, the wide angle used on some helmet cameras such as this one can exaggerate gaps – prompted Brennan to exclaim loudly, his right arm outstretched in protest.

Initially, that seems to be the end of it. But shortly afterwards, the car slows down, Brennan wondering out loud to himself, “What’s the problem?”

As the cyclist gets closer, suddenly the driver applies the brakes. Fortunately, Brennan reacts in time. Then the driver does it again, this time stopping.

“You mate are on camera!” Brennan told the motorist as he got out of his vehicle. “I don’t care,” came the reply.

The pair continued to exchange words until the sound of a siren prompts the motorist to get back into his car and drive off, although it’s clear from the video that Brennan was still nervous that the motorist might attempt to confront him again.

74 user comments

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
I've said this before, and I'll say it again here as it seems apt.

We all understand that there are certain 'privileges' enjoyed by those behind the wheel of a car. As commented previously, if you went around threatening people with a base ball bat or knife in the same way as you see people doing with cars, you'd be behind bars before you knew it.

Now, to be fair, should things go wrong for any of 'us' when driving our own cars, we'll be pretty pleased those privileges exist, as no one wants to spend 5 years in jail for a careless mistake.... so, I can kind of tolerate the current status quo.

However, I am not sure why those privileges are also given to those already deemed unsafe to be on our road... IMO anyone driving whilst banned, should be tried on the basis that they were not driving a car, but instead illegally in control of a potentially lethal weapon.

I.E the same as running around Tescos waving a machete about.

At first thought I find this argument quite compelling. If you aren't legally on the road in the first place then you are just a guy with a lethal weapon and should be judged accordingly. A driving licence is, in a sense, a licence to impose a certain level of risk on others. If you don't have that licence...

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [636 posts]
21st March 2014 - 16:29

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What really should be done with these type of drivers is ban them for life, yes i did say life and ban them from owning a motor vehicle as it appears some "people" never learn.

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
21st March 2014 - 16:31

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On the subject of persistent driving while banned, obviously another ban isn't going to have any effect, maybe it would be better to just crush the car, or sell it in a police auction. Already done for non payment of VED.

posted by qwerky [130 posts]
21st March 2014 - 16:44

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On banning for life, I think that is too much in most cases, 10-15 year ban perhaps but not life. Unless it can be shown that they deliberately used their vehicle to try to injure somebody, but that would be very hard to prove without footage of someone following and aiming their vehicle at someone else.

posted by kie7077 [434 posts]
21st March 2014 - 16:54

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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
I've said this before, and I'll say it again here as it seems apt.

We all understand that there are certain 'privileges' enjoyed by those behind the wheel of a car. As commented previously, if you went around threatening people with a base ball bat or knife in the same way as you see people doing with cars, you'd be behind bars before you knew it.

Now, to be fair, should things go wrong for any of 'us' when driving our own cars, we'll be pretty pleased those privileges exist, as no one wants to spend 5 years in jail for a careless mistake.... so, I can kind of tolerate the current status quo.

However, I am not sure why those privileges are also given to those already deemed unsafe to be on our road... IMO anyone driving whilst banned, should be tried on the basis that they were not driving a car, but instead illegally in control of a potentially lethal weapon.

I.E the same as running around Tescos waving a machete about.

At first thought I find this argument quite compelling. If you aren't legally on the road in the first place then you are just a guy with a lethal weapon and should be judged accordingly. A driving licence is, in a sense, a licence to impose a certain level of risk on others. If you don't have that licence...

You can make the direct comparison to a Fire Arm Certificate. Makes perfect sense in my opinion.

posted by paulrbarnard [98 posts]
21st March 2014 - 16:57

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velocibob wrote:
It surprises me, that the aggressor, doesn't destroy the video camera. If I was being threatened. My weapon of choice would be my bicycle, and my means of restraint would be nice long zip ties. Very useful for emergency bike repairs, and if of sufficient length capable of cutting off the blood supply to the brain. Devil

Is this the plot of the next Saw film?

posted by thelimopit [118 posts]
21st March 2014 - 17:28

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I have to preface this post that I am a 60 miles/week cyclist because having read it back before posting there is a danger that people may assume I am a bike-hating car-owner.

I have no sympathy for the driver's behaviour, and he should have had a heavier punishment but…

Magnatom is an utterly terrible cyclist. Watch his other videos of supposedly bad driving behaviour. He regularly jumps red lights, cuts lanes, rides in the wrong lane, cuts in between traffic, lane hogs, moves into faster lanes and then slows his speed, cuts right hand corners, passes MUCH closer to vehicles than they pass to him …… and so on.
And when any driver reacts to his bad cycling behaviour he stops and behaves aggressively towards them.

And that is just the footage he posts, how badly does he ride in the bits that he cuts?

posted by kevinmorice [13 posts]
21st March 2014 - 18:30

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I would say the result here is to do with him driving while disqualified, I'm not sure the sheriff has taken the brake tests and punishment pass into account at at all.

Why the hell doesn't driving like an arsehole, whilst banned and uninsured result in a 5 year ban? - minimum.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [464 posts]
21st March 2014 - 19:30

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Yeh, same things happened to me on a few occasions - next time they're (car drivers) DEAD

posted by yenrod [100 posts]
21st March 2014 - 19:41

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Flying Scot wrote:
Why the hell doesn't driving like an arsehole, whilst banned and uninsured result in a 5 year ban? - minimum.

Because we as a civilisation are in love with the motor car. And as long as it is such an integral part of our culture, then dangerous and antisocial behaviour whilst using it, will be tolerated.

It's sort of a variation on the 'boys will be boys' line.

Bad driving is not yet considered to be socially unacceptable, except where is involves alcohol or anything that places the Sanctified Child in danger.

Adult cyclists (especially male adult) make the choice to use 'a child's toy' as a means of transport, and so if we get in the way of a car driver, the latter has the duty and the right to chastise us for it.

'It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning' (Henry Ford)

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posted by cyclingDMlondon [203 posts]
21st March 2014 - 20:01

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kevinmorice wrote:
I have to preface this post that I am a 60 miles/week cyclist because having read it back before posting there is a danger that people may assume I am a bike-hating car-owner.

I have no sympathy for the driver's behaviour, and he should have had a heavier punishment but…

Magnatom is an utterly terrible cyclist. Watch his other videos of supposedly bad driving behaviour. He regularly jumps red lights, cuts lanes, rides in the wrong lane, cuts in between traffic, lane hogs, moves into faster lanes and then slows his speed, cuts right hand corners, passes MUCH closer to vehicles than they pass to him …… and so on.
And when any driver reacts to his bad cycling behaviour he stops and behaves aggressively towards them.

And that is just the footage he posts, how badly does he ride in the bits that he cuts?

Prefacing something with a disclaimer does not mean that what you say is any less misinformed I'm afraid.
I don't know Magnatom but I've got to disagree with this:

>regularly jumps red lights - link to proof please?
>cuts lanes - what does this actually mean?
>rides in the wrong lane - what is a "wrong" lane? Depends where you are going. Use whatever lane you need and feel safe in.
>cuts in between traffic - you mean filtering, perfectly legal.
>lane hogs - you mean primary position then.
>passes MUCH closer to vehicles than they pass to him - I'd suggest you aquaint yourself with the laws of physics as they relate to bikes and cars, discussed on this excellent blog at http://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/newtons-laws/

He cycles assertively which itself is unusual, but not wrong. Most cyclists (me included) usually just shake the head and let it go- but it is not his cycling that is at fault.

I'd suggest you look up "pedal on parliament" and see what the guy is trying to achieve - to make cycling safer. Surely you don't dislike that too?

posted by paulmcmillan [78 posts]
21st March 2014 - 20:10

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kevinmorice wrote:
I have to preface this post that I am a 60 miles/week cyclist because having read it back before posting there is a danger that people may assume I am a bike-hating car-owner.

I have no sympathy for the driver's behaviour, and he should have had a heavier punishment but…

Magnatom is an utterly terrible cyclist. Watch his other videos of supposedly bad driving behaviour. He regularly jumps red lights, cuts lanes, rides in the wrong lane, cuts in between traffic, lane hogs, moves into faster lanes and then slows his speed, cuts right hand corners, passes MUCH closer to vehicles than they pass to him …… and so on.
And when any driver reacts to his bad cycling behaviour he stops and behaves aggressively towards them.

And that is just the footage he posts, how badly does he ride in the bits that he cuts?

jumps red lights: links with times please.
rides in the wrong lane: when? show.
lane hogs: You mean takes primary? And with good reason, read cyclecraft.
cuts in between traffic,.. Yeah mean filters.. And?
when any driver reacts to his bad cycling behaviour: link+ time please.

It seems to me that you don't know how to cycle correctly on Britains roads and are a car worshipping cyclist hating cyclist.

posted by kie7077 [434 posts]
21st March 2014 - 20:45

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Again the same pattern. Cyclist initiates confrontation with a gesture then aggro ensues. Don't forget what cyclists perceive as too close, drivers don't. In fact cyclists often pass cars at speed too close hence dooring collisions. This driver deserved all he got but cyclists don't react like this. This could've been far worse.

Road safety 'experts' are often folk who's CV doesn't cut the mustard.

posted by Sedgepeat [61 posts]
21st March 2014 - 21:32

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kevinmorice wrote:

Magnatom is an utterly terrible cyclist. Watch his other videos of supposedly bad driving behaviour. He regularly jumps red lights, cuts lanes, rides in the wrong lane, cuts in between traffic, lane hogs, moves into faster lanes and then slows his speed, cuts right hand corners, passes MUCH closer to vehicles than they pass to him …… and so on.
And when any driver reacts to his bad cycling behaviour he stops and behaves aggressively towards them.

And that is just the footage he posts, how badly does he ride in the bits that he cuts?

Yes, some of this is true, I've posted this before myself, he also posts on here BTW.

My issue is that I ride on the same roads at this guy and his utter indignation at even slight driving errors, most of which aren't dangerous, just less than ideal. This in my opinion, means none of us get any slack as he becomes the norm in many drivers eyes.

Its rare that I agree with him, but in this case, he is more than justified, I know that road, it's busy, fast, requires a lot of lane changing and is dangerous enough on a bike with arseholes like that 'driver'

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [464 posts]
21st March 2014 - 22:02

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Give a guy driving whilst banned a driving ban - yeah, that'll learn 'im.

posted by Garnett [1 posts]
21st March 2014 - 22:13

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oozaveared wrote:
velocibob wrote:
It surprises me, that the aggressor, doesn't destroy the video camera. If I was being threatened. My weapon of choice would be my bicycle, and my means of restraint would be nice long zip ties. Very useful for emergency bike repairs, and if of sufficient length capable of cutting off the blood supply to the brain. Devil

Do you have these fantasies a lot?

Do you realise that you are posting them online?

Been watching the Die Hard films too much maybe? Those are just films.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
21st March 2014 - 23:30

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Sedgepeat wrote:
Again the same pattern. Cyclist initiates confrontation with a gesture then aggro ensues. Don't forget what cyclists perceive as too close, drivers don't. In fact cyclists often pass cars at speed too close hence dooring collisions. This driver deserved all he got but cyclists don't react like this. This could've been far worse.

Maybe a highly trained fast jet pilot or an F1 driver can make a high speed pass off a cyclist on the off-side of a vehicle and judge the distance so accurately as to be able to get past safely. But 99.99% of car drivers are not that highly trained or skilled and cannot make that judgement call. In any case, a motor vehicle generates wind draft as it passes at speed that sucks in a cyclist towards the vehicle and is dangerous.

By comparison, a cyclist (or motorcyclist has hands on the handlebars, the furthest point in most instances of the two wheeler. It is very easy to judge the distance between the ends of the bars and any vehicle being passed. And when a cyclist overtakes a motor vehicle, there is no draft of air sucking the bicycle towards the motor vehicle.

This is simple science. it is not complex.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
21st March 2014 - 23:39

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Hi to all of you two wheeled potential victims.
Irrespective of the alleged behaviour of Magnatom this footage should be taken for what it really is.
It shows very clearly the aggressive reaction/ actions of a serial banned driver.
What is the point of banning the guy any-more than has already been done,he was driving dangerously and without insurance or a driving license and also causing a breach of the peace.
He clearly has little or no regard for the law and clearly wants taking off of the road by jailing him.
The car should be confiscated and impounded.
If people like this are allowed continued liberty they are going to continue offending and wagging two fingers at society and the law.
One day they will kill whilst doing just what this individual was doing,wagging two fingers and with total contempt.

Your ears are your rear end defenders,don't clutter them and stay safe.
Clutter them and possibly stay in hospital,or worse still!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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posted by TheCyclingRooster [14 posts]
21st March 2014 - 23:44

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"£375, banned from driving for 48 weeks and ordered to perform 150 hours of community payback."

laughable.

£375 - the car has an 03 plate and is worth up to 3 times that amount maybe. Why not crush the car as a starting point ?

banned for 48 weeks? He's already banned and that didn't stop him!!

150 hours of community service? Pouring cups of tea for old ladies in care homes? Woopy Doo. Harsh bro innit?

posted by didds [41 posts]
22nd March 2014 - 9:16

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Dapper Giles wrote:
@themartincox. Your response has to be 'reasonable' so if the attacker had say a tire iron then maybe. If not it's a bit like bringing a gun to a knife fight.

Since he already brought a two ton weapon, I'm not sure a gun would be inappropriate.

posted by oldstrath [135 posts]
22nd March 2014 - 9:34

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qwerky wrote:
On the subject of persistent driving while banned, obviously another ban isn't going to have any effect, maybe it would be better to just crush the car, or sell it in a police auction. Already done for non payment of VED.

Trouble is he'll just go out and buy or steal another one. There probably are technological ways to stop banned drivers driving, otherwise there's the sharp sword, hand, block of wood approach. Certainly nothing else works.

posted by oldstrath [135 posts]
22nd March 2014 - 9:37

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Sedgepeat wrote:
Again the same pattern. Cyclist initiates confrontation with a gesture then aggro ensues. Don't forget what cyclists perceive as too close, drivers don't. In fact cyclists often pass cars at speed too close hence dooring collisions. This driver deserved all he got but cyclists don't react like this. This could've been far worse.

So the cyclist started all of this, funny because I thought the car driver started it by doing a punishment pass.

posted by kie7077 [434 posts]
22nd March 2014 - 14:43

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oldstrath wrote:
Dapper Giles wrote:
@themartincox. Your response has to be 'reasonable' so if the attacker had say a tire iron then maybe. If not it's a bit like bringing a gun to a knife fight.

Since he already brought a two ton weapon, I'm not sure a gun would be inappropriate.

I wonder how it works in the US? I read a story not long ago of a case where a disagreement about tailgating between motorists led to the pair of them pulling off the road and starting a shoot-out in the parking lot, ending with one wounded and one dead.

I would have thought that 'stand your ground' laws would, if interpreted logically, allow cyclists or pedestrians to shoot drivers who appeared about to drive into them stone-cold dead, rather than having to get out of their way.

Sadly, given that country is even more in love with cars than it is with guns I suspect car-privilege would trump gun-rights in that case!

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [636 posts]
22nd March 2014 - 15:01

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cyclingDMlondon wrote:
Flying Scot wrote:
Why the hell doesn't driving like an arsehole, whilst banned and uninsured result in a 5 year ban? - minimum.

Because we as a civilisation are in love with the motor car. And as long as it is such an integral part of our culture, then dangerous and antisocial behaviour whilst using it, will be tolerated.

It's sort of a variation on the 'boys will be boys' line.

Bad driving is not yet considered to be socially unacceptable, except where is involves alcohol or anything that places the Sanctified Child in danger.

Adult cyclists (especially male adult) make the choice to use 'a child's toy' as a means of transport, and so if we get in the way of a car driver, the latter has the duty and the right to chastise us for it.

Agree entirely with your first paragraph, but I don't see any evidence that its any different when its children at risk. E.g. the guy who killed a 9-year-old while driving at double the speed limit getting his sentence reduced.

Children seem to have been pretty much driven off of the streets now. At least they have their video games to make house arrest more tolerable (including the likes of GTA, perhaps ironically)

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [636 posts]
22nd March 2014 - 15:07

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Children seem to have been pretty much driven off of the streets now. At least they have their video games to make house arrest more tolerable (including the likes of GTA, perhaps ironically)

Maybe things are changing a little bit. 4 years ago when I first started taking my son out cycling on the roads, people would look at you like they were going to phone childline or report you to the authorities. Now I see quite a lot of younger kids out on road bikes.

We still get a lot of kids around me playing out in the streets. Admittedly I sometime wish they hadn't resurfaced my road as that has made it worse. Previously exceeding 10mph on it would've destroyed any car.

posted by SteppenHerring [169 posts]
22nd March 2014 - 22:37

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To possess a licence to drive a car is a privilege, not a right.

All drivers should sign up to a charter that says they will obey the rules of the roads, and respect the law. It is not a playground to show who is boss....

If a driver ends up getting a ban, and then drives having been banned; this should fall under a criminal act (not a motoring one).

If banned and a judge deems it, then such people should have a psychological evaluation to ensure they are trustworthy enough to possess a driving licence.

Road safety of vulnerable road users needs to be on the political agenda, or traffic related injuries and death (read financial loss and economic burden) must be taken seriously by Parliament.

posted by Khas01 [3 posts]
23rd March 2014 - 15:34

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It's good to see some consequences to bad driving however giving a driving ban to someone who is known to ignore driving bans is ridiculous. I have long held the view that drivers found to be driving whilst banned should have the remainer of their ban converted into a custodial sentance automatically.

Another option would be to restrict them to travelling at a maximum speed of 20mph. A GPS tracking unit could be used to enforce this.

posted by Matt eaton [298 posts]
24th March 2014 - 12:50

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but if you catch the wrong person then you might find that using a head cam is suddenly an intrusion of privacy

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/cyclists-use-of-helmet-cameras-requires...

wealthy guy doors cyclist and walks away
press suck up
did later apologise
as to the UK already banned issue here in Victoria, Aus' just starting with ARP and finding a lot of banned drivers / drivers never had a license - no surprise

posted by antigee [144 posts]
24th March 2014 - 13:08

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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Children seem to have been pretty much driven off of the streets now.

Yep, it's truly disgusting what has happened. I notice this all the time when I go back to my mum and dads house, the road I grew up on was always filled with kids playing. Usually we'd be playing football on the road, but occasionally we'd switch to cricket or tennis for 2 weeks around Wimbledon, whichever game we were playing cars would slow down and stop for us to finish whatever passage of play we were in and then we'd scramble off the road and the car could pass.

This was not that long ago really, I'm not an old man, I didn't grow up in black and white and I sure as hell didn't grow up in an Enid Blyton book!

Impossible to do that now as even though speed bumps have been installed cars scream up and down the road at ludicrous speeds at all times of the day in order to cut through to the Tesco store. This has lead to people wanting to keep the road clear so park on the pavements in order to not have the sides of their cars clipped by errant shoppers in a rush.

posted by farrell [1302 posts]
24th March 2014 - 13:42

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Could I plead with fellow cyclists not to swear at car drivers, or any other road users. The chances are that the situation is more likely then to escalate rather than deescalate, and it doesn't make us any friends.
Swearing is an understandable reaction, and in this case the driver's actions were deliberate. However, drivers, like the rest of us, do make mistakes, and are more likely to learn from the mistake if we are gracious towards them.
Just the other day I suggested this to another cyclist in Edinburgh, who said the swearing was what came into his head. Maybe we could each rehearse something more positive to say when the occasion arises.
And we can show our thanks to drivers who are courteous towards us, as suggested here http://www.cyclelifestyle.co.uk/blog/why-cyclists-should-thank-courteous...

posted by Storybikes [1 posts]
26th March 2014 - 10:22

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