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Incident in Chichester in 2012 left youngster with cuts and bruises

Sussex Police are using CCTV footage showing a 12-year-old cyclist being hit by a car as she waits at a junction as part of a new road safety campaign urging drivers to watch out for people on bikes and cyclists to take care around pedestrians.

The footage was taken in 2012 on the A259 in Chichester at the junction with Bognor Road. Luckily, the girl on the bike escaped with nothing more than bumps and bruises.

The motorist, a 41-year-old man, was convicted of driving without due care and attention and was given three points on his licence and ordered to pay £85 costs, an £85 fine and a £20 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Carl Knapp of Sussex Police said: "Fortunately in this case the cyclist escaped with bumps and bruises but it could have been a lot worse.

"Despite being just a few yards away, the car driver completely failed to look for the cyclist.

"It shows how dangerous any one of us can be if we fail to spot and take on board all of the other road users near us.

"This footage shows a car driver to blame but there have equally been incidents where cyclists have been knocked down after pulling in front of vehicles without looking.

"My message to all road users is look once, look twice and then look a third time if you have to - whatever you need to do to make sure you keep yourself and other people safe.

"70% of collisions where cyclists suffer serious harm or are killed happen at junctions.

"I would urge all road users to reflect on this and to take that opportunity to double check their view at junctions before passing through.

"Whether you have right of way or not, by getting a good understanding of the other road users and their position and speed, you are better placed to anticipate and take avoiding action where necessary."

Sussex Police say that four cyclists were killed in East and West Sussex last year, with 145 seriously injured.

The police force has also issued safety advice for both drivers and cyclists:

Safety tips for drivers:

- Look out for cyclists, especially when turning - make eye contact if possible so they know you've seen them

- Use your indicators and signal your intentions so that cyclists can react

- Give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking them, leaving as much room as you would give a car. If there isn't sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it's windy or if a car door is opened

- Always check for cyclists when you open your car door

- Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.

Safety tips for cyclists:

- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb - look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you

- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen

- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor

- Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility

- Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet that is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

71 comments

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7thGalaxy [44 posts] 1 year ago
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I know it's probably been discussed on here many times, but I always have issues with the police issuing guidance on reflective clothing and helmets. It can't help but put people off. Why don't they give the same advice to pedestrians?

Also, why is that person still driving? That's such a terrible bit of driving that I can't even begin to imagine why they didn't just have their license removed.

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Bez [587 posts] 1 year ago
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That's a nasty collision.

Still, pleasing to see mostly good advice for once. Looking multiple times is critical. About time we had a campaign to get education about saccadic masking into driver training and testing.

Obviously the two usual red herrings make an appearance - it seems there's no chance of research overturning the tide of opinion there.

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Leodis [399 posts] 1 year ago
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As mentioned its amazing how hard it is to get your license revoked, have half a beer more and lose it, hit a cyclist and get three points and pass part of the blame onto the cyclist.

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PhilRuss [352 posts] 1 year ago
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[[[[[ Absolutely outrageous comments from Sargeant Carl Naff...
Just who, and who alone, should he should be lecturing here?
P.R.

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spence129 [21 posts] 1 year ago
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I remember being 12 years old riding home from school on the path, one day a policeman saw me and I got a telling off and he told me to ride on the road! It was a 40mph dual carriageway! I wouldn't let my kids ride on busy roads in this country, which is a shame.

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jellysticks [94 posts] 1 year ago
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PhilRuss wrote:

[[[[[ Absolutely outrageous comments from Sargeant Carl Naff...
Just who, and who alone, should he should be lecturing here?
P.R.

What on earth are you talking about? His comments are entirely appropriate and reasonable. He's not lecturing anyone.

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giff77 [1193 posts] 1 year ago
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Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

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Kinky aggro [4 posts] 1 year ago
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I couldn't agree more. 7th Galaxy (great name!!) is right. Why should we have to wear hi-viz? I wear it, but only because I have poor dress sense. Surely it's not needed to recommend wearing it. Why not pedestrians? Because they aren't on the road and travelling at speed? Then let's have ALL vehicles in hi-viz colours. It's just an excuse for inattentive drivers.
The only case a driver can claim mitigating circumstances IMHO is if a cyclist is dressed in black, on a black bike at night on an unlit road when the moon is not out. Even then it's only MITIGATING!

I have a simple policy of how to treat a cyclist as a car driver -
Treat them as if it's your own child.

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7thGalaxy [44 posts] 1 year ago
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Yeah, the duty to not drive into something is entirely in the hands of the driver, and if they can't be sure of seeing everything, they should slow down.

Offtopic: It comes from a Chick Corea fusion tune 'Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy'. It was the first thing which I saw when I needed to pick a username for Call of Duty back in 2002, and it's stuck thereafter!

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7thGalaxy [44 posts] 1 year ago
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Yeah, the duty to not drive into something is entirely in the hands of the driver, and if they can't be sure of seeing everything, they should slow down.

Before someone jumps on this - I'd class pulling out dangerously as driving into something - and this should apply to cyclists as much as it does to drivers.

Offtopic: It comes from a Chick Corea fusion tune 'Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy'. It was the first thing which I saw when I needed to pick a username for Call of Duty back in 2002, and it's stuck thereafter!

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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7thGalaxy wrote:

I know it's probably been discussed on here many times, but I always have issues with the police issuing guidance on reflective clothing and helmets. It can't help but put people off. Why don't they give the same advice to pedestrians?

Also, why is that person still driving? That's such a terrible bit of driving that I can't even begin to imagine why they didn't just have their license removed.

I have no problem with them advising that you should try to be as visible as possible and that might include you considering what you wear. That's good advice.

Helmets provide almost no benefit to road safety whatsoever. Advocating their use is based on voodoo science. They have though become some kind of four leaf clover or rabbits' foot for the superstitious. Religious trinkets like a St Christopher medals are perhaps less popular than they were. I had one as kid and my mum was always there to give me a spalsh of Holy Water on my way out of the house. A double splash for races single splash for ordinary cycling and club runs.

These oldy worldy superstitions have now been replaced by the wearing of a helmet. They even have their own set of blessed miracles to report.

The more life changes, the more it stays the same.

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chrismayoh [24 posts] 1 year ago
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The only case a driver can claim mitigating circumstances IMHO is if a cyclist is dressed in black, on a black bike at night on an unlit road when the moon is not out. Even then it's only MITIGATING!

Better make sure that bike's still fitted with the reflectors it was supplied with, then . . . . . . .  39

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northstar [1108 posts] 1 year ago
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Pigs in being patronising shocker...again.

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Paul M [350 posts] 1 year ago
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7thGalaxy wrote:

I know it's probably been discussed on here many times, but I always have issues with the police issuing guidance on reflective clothing and helmets. It can't help but put people off. Why don't they give the same advice to pedestrians?

Also, why is that person still driving? That's such a terrible bit of driving that I can't even begin to imagine why they didn't just have their license removed.

Actually, it seems that they are now doing just that. Only this morning Kent Police issued Twitter advice to pedestrians to wear bright or reflective clothing under the hashtag #playyourpart. They have been given a right beasting about it too.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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giff77 wrote:

Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

Ok I'll play. Which is a more serious charge that would fit an offence profile in this case?

The offence of driving without due care and attention (careless driving) under section 3 of the RTA 1988 is committed when the defendants driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver - section 3ZA(2) of the RTA 1988.

So that a fit.

Let's try the next one up the scale that's Dangerous Driving.

It has the same criteria as this one of a standard of driving falling below etc but it adds an additional criteria of deliberation and/or persistence.

here's the charging guideline for the Dangerousness element.

The test for "dangerousness" is an objective one: persistent disregard of, say, traffic directions (be they "stop", "give way" or traffic lights) may be evidence that the manner of the driving has fallen far below the standard required, thus making a charge of dangerous driving appropriate.

There's the video. It looks to me like a single instance of inattention and lack of due care. I do not see persistence or deliberate dangerous driving.

Had the CPS charged this fellow with Dangerous Driving he would have been acquitted.

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm happy the advice to cyclists started off with solid advice on where on the road and how to ride, at least we can point the Daily Fail readers to that snippet.

Won't work, but at least it proves 'authority' says it's a very good idea.

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Pub bike [132 posts] 1 year ago
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Sergeant Carl Knapp of Sussex Police said:

My message to all road users is look once, look twice and then look a third time if you have to - whatever you need to do to make sure you keep yourself and other people safe.

Actually motorists, just looking out of your windscreen directly in front of you might help?

I’m very wary of waiting in the centre of the road near the white line to turn right, so only if there is a filter will I not take primary position, although that wouldn’t really have helped in this case. The driver just wasn’t looking. It almost looks deliberate as though the driver was punishing the cyclist for blocking the way.

In any case if I’m signalling to turn right, there’s usually someone on a scooter coming towards me overtaking cars and will lop my arm off if it is anywhere near the white line, so I make sure my hand is on my side of the centreline, which puts me nicely in primary position so that cars can’t try to squeeze by on the inside and knock me off that way. This used to cause a lot of aggravation but people seem to have calmed down a bit recently.

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7thGalaxy [44 posts] 1 year ago
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I think you're right on this one, unfortunately. I'd love to see something along the lines of 'if you hurt or damage someone/something by driving in such a way that you would fail your test, you have to retake it before being allowed to drive solo again.'

It's not perfect, but it'd make people (including myself.. I'm careful around cyclists, but I suspect I've got some bad habits) think twice about checking their mirrors.

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vbvb [526 posts] 1 year ago
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Police sergeant wrote:

there have equally been incidents where cyclists have been knocked down after pulling in front of vehicles without looking

Given human inattentiveness is more likely when we're putting others in danger, not ourselves, I very much doubt this "equally" thing.

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Cranky Acid [40 posts] 1 year ago
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Oh they've started down that road now too:

https://twitter.com/kent_police/status/461379517400223744

Why is it the Police feel it is appropriate to call for high viz and helmets yet never infrastructure and space for cycling?

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allez neg [497 posts] 1 year ago
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Cranky Acid wrote:

Oh they've started down that road now too:

htps://twitter.com/kent_police/status/461379517400223744

Why is it the Police feel it is appropriate to call for high viz and helmets yet never infrastructure and space for cycling?

Perhaps for similar reasons that rather than address the root cause of acquisitive crime first regardless of cost (poverty, inequality of wealth, drug addiction, a general feeling of disenfranchisement with wider society, nihilistic thrill seeking etc etc..) plod will recommend that to reduce the risk of being burgled you should maybe lock your doors, get a dog or some security lighting etc.

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Quince [382 posts] 1 year ago
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"It shows how dangerous any one of us can be if we fail to spot and take on board all of the other road users near us."

At least it acknowledges the responsibility that comes with simply USING a car. So that's good.

This tweet (twitter.com/kent_police/status/461379517400223744, as mentioned earlier, is not good. Although that's Kent, not Sussex.

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Hensteeth [71 posts] 1 year ago
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I wonder if anyone checked his eyesight.
Shouldn't be on the road. What a muppet.

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userabc [3 posts] 1 year ago
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giff77 wrote:

Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

I believe this is the junction of the video if you want to see the road layout.
( https://goo.gl/maps/k1YmL )
Having been along here I can't think of any distractions or obstructions.

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SB76 [102 posts] 1 year ago
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People can get distracted at nothing sadly. We've all managed it, some worse than others!!

It's a case of hands up, accept hopefully the right punishment. At least he got out of his car and didn't try to blame the cyclist!!

Still, poor punishment. Doesn't serve as a warning shot to less pleasant drivers though does it!!

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giff77 [1193 posts] 1 year ago
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oozaveared wrote:
giff77 wrote:

Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

Ok I'll play. Which is a more serious charge that would fit an offence profile in this case?

The offence of driving without due care and attention (careless driving) under section 3 of the RTA 1988 is committed when the defendants driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver - section 3ZA(2) of the RTA 1988.

So that a fit.

Let's try the next one up the scale that's Dangerous Driving.

It has the same criteria as this one of a standard of driving falling below etc but it adds an additional criteria of deliberation and/or persistence.

here's the charging guideline for the Dangerousness element.

The test for "dangerousness" is an objective one: persistent disregard of, say, traffic directions (be they "stop", "give way" or traffic lights) may be evidence that the manner of the driving has fallen far below the standard required, thus making a charge of dangerous driving appropriate.

There's the video. It looks to me like a single instance of inattention and lack of due care. I do not see persistence or deliberate dangerous driving.

Had the CPS charged this fellow with Dangerous Driving he would have been acquitted.

Thanks for coming out to play  1 and giving me a bit more clarification. I somehow thought there was a charge somewhere between the dangerous and undue care. I am surprised at the 3 points though. Unless that brings him right up to the limit. Who knows.

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noether [96 posts] 1 year ago
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Compelling evidence to introduce presumed liability: road users capable of greater harm have greater responsibility.
The fine is appalling: the driver should have been given 6 months community service securing the roads for use by child (!) cyclists.

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SB76 [102 posts] 1 year ago
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A question, should the sentence be worse because it was a cyclist? No doubting the consequences of hitting a cyclist are potentially far worse and more dangerous but would anyone be calling for a harsher sentence if it was car on car??
I'm not defending the sentence but I don't know if the law views car/bikes or pedestrians differently??

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severs1966 [293 posts] 1 year ago
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noether wrote:

The fine is appalling: the driver should have been given 6 months community service securing the roads for use by child (!) cyclists.

I absolutely agree that the sentence was inadequately severe. However I confess to being astonished that the police actually bothered with a prosecution, which they normally wouldn't, even with video evidence (well, not unless the victim is killed). The cops usually don't care about cyclists.
What caused the willingness to investigate and prosecute? Was it the overwhelming, plain to see, incontrovertible evidence? Or was it because the victim was a child?

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Al__S [959 posts] 1 year ago
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"This footage shows a car driver to blame but there have equally been incidents where cyclists have been knocked down after pulling in front of vehicles without looking.

NO. NOT "EQUALLY". NOT EQUAL AT ALL.

I'm a little bit angry about that

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