Wiltshire Police arrest driver after video of car swerving at cyclist goes viral

Police urge cyclists who have experienced similar incidents to get in touch

by Simon_MacMichael   May 21, 2014  

Wiltshire Peugeot driver (copyright Dave Jones on Flickr)

Police in Wiltshire have arrested a 38 year-old man on suspicion of dangerous driving after a video of a car swerving towards a cyclist went viral on social media.

The arrest follows an incident near Ashton Keynes earlier this month that appeared to show the driver of a Peugeot car swerving towards a cylist.

Other riders came forward to say that they believed they had been subject to similar treatment by the driver of the same vehicle, with one urging that the motorist needed to be stoppped "before someone is killed."

Sergeant Barrie Card of Wiltshire Police said: "I want to reassure cyclists in the county that we take all matters involving their safety on the roads extremely seriously.

"I know that this has been a distressing time for the cyclists involved in these incidents and I would like to thank them for their kind co-operation and assistance with our enquiries.

"If any cyclist or member of the public witnesses a similar incident, I would strongly urge them to report the matter to the police as soon as they can."

Police are still seeking information about this specific incident, or similar ones. They can be contacted via 101, or people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

26 user comments

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I am guessing this is going to get closed, but anyway,

here's hoping that if the arrest is actually the offending driver. That the CPS and the courts treat this with the seriousness that this deserves.

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posted by mrmo [1033 posts]
21st May 2014 - 22:43

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Ooh comments are open on this one, can I restrain myself, can YOU restrain yourself? Lets assume justice will take its natural course and the erroneous gentleman will reenter society sufficiently chastened to avoid further complications. Perhaps Karma would be the removal of his drivers licence, he may gain an appreciation of cycling then.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1191 posts]
21st May 2014 - 22:45

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The first two comments are far too sensible, where's the ones demanding that he be hung, drawn and quartered?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [2966 posts]
21st May 2014 - 22:51

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We'll close comments if and when charges are brought.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7937 posts]
21st May 2014 - 22:54

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Living and cycling in Leeds i have the occasional car swerve towards me including a group of young lads in a 4x4, informed the police they said there was little they could do.
Be interested to see what if anything happens other than a £30 fine.

posted by jarrv [3 posts]
21st May 2014 - 22:55

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Unless he pleads guilty I doubt it will even go to court. Even with the video evidence it doesn't show the driver clear enough, and no lawyer will tell his client to plead guilty with a clear lack of evidence.

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posted by Das [29 posts]
21st May 2014 - 23:19

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Das wrote:
Unless he pleads guilty I doubt it will even go to court. Even with the video evidence it doesn't show the driver clear enough, and no lawyer will tell his client to plead guilty with a clear lack of evidence.

Mobile phone records can be quite useful in establishing that a driver was in fact in the car despite their denials. Not something the Police would bother with often, but it's been used in the past and they seem to be investigating these incidents with the seriousness they deserve.

posted by bikebot [463 posts]
21st May 2014 - 23:27

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If driver, sorry registered owner doesn't fess up then plod should say that since he refuses to tell them who was driving then they believe the car to being driven whilst uninsured, that he conspired to allow this then seize and impound his car. Ha-ha! If then he still doesn't tell who the driver was then crush it and bill him for it as well. But if the footage is good quality it might well be possible to zoom in on the driver and his mates….. Bingo! Also charge him and them with attempting to pervert the course of justice. Lets hope he gets properly punished for what he has done. What a complete tosser!

Airzound

posted by Airzound [223 posts]
21st May 2014 - 23:31

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"I want to reassure cyclists in the county that we take all matters involving their safety on the roads extremely seriously", "If any cyclist or member of the public witnesses a similar incident, I would strongly urge them to report the matter to the police as soon as they can" & how many of us done this & got nowhere with the UK Police force?
I think it was only acted on due to it doing the rounds on social media not coz the Police cared. I've tried reporting a few to Police & it went nowhere.

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posted by Dark_Wolf [22 posts]
21st May 2014 - 23:41

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String 'em up!! It's the only language they understand! No. Hang on. 'Anging's too good for 'em. Luvva duck.

Happy notfastenough?

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
21st May 2014 - 23:43

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Would Wiltshire's finest have pursued this without the social media storm?

Will Wiltshire's finest take this any further?

Will the CPS take this any further?

What will the driver be charged with?

What punishment will be handed out if any?

Is the arrest just an attempt to pour oil on troubled waters until the fuss has died down?

All questions, no answers.

posted by levermonkey [344 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 6:19

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Surely this is similar to a speeding case? The registered owner is liable unless he can prove he was not the driver?

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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posted by jmaccelari [144 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 8:36

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MercuryOne wrote:
String 'em up!! It's the only language they understand! No. Hang on. 'Anging's too good for 'em. Luvva duck.

Happy notfastenough?

Once more with enthusiasm, intent, I want to see emotion!! Big Grin

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [2966 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 9:51

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Make him cycle the wrong way down the motorway for a couple of junctions, if he makes it, let him go. TRIAL BY COMBAT.

posted by spence129 [21 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 10:26

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It absolutely drives me bananas that the following seems to be absolutely acceptable to the UK justice/police system...

Police officer: "excuse me sir, are you the registered owner of this car?"

Car owner: "I am indeed"

Police officer: "Great, this vehicle was seen committing x offence on y date, was it you driving?"

Car owner: "no, sir, not me"

Police officer: "Ok, as registered keeper could you tell me who was driving on y date?"

Car owner: "gosh.... no, sorry, I have absolutely no idea officer, it could have been anyone"

Police officer: "OK, fair enough, looks like the drivers got lucky and got away with it this time... thanks for your help, you go have a great day"

How... just how can this be OK?

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [223 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 10:47

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Police officer: "OK, fair enough, looks like the drivers got lucky and got away with it this time... thanks for your help, you go have a great day"

How... just how can this be OK?

That's not entirely accurate though as regards the justice system - if the registered keeper fails to provide details on request that would help identify the driver, then they may be guilty of an offence under the RTA 1988.

posted by dp24 [155 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:07

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What strikes me as odd is that if you threaten someone on Twitter, the police are all over it. If you threaten someone on the road then ... meh.

posted by SteppenHerring [169 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:16

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I think the point is... 'may', they 'may' be guilty of an offence.

They 'should' IMO be guilty of perverting the course of justice as standard. What reason could there be for this not being the case?

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [223 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:17

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There is less chance of anything happening to the driver than there is of England winning the World Cup.

posted by Bikebikebike [71 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:17

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Wouldn't have taken much on either part for the outcome to have been much more tragic.

The driver deserves to be banned as they are clearly not mature enough to be in charge of what is essentially a deadly weapon (and was being used as such in this case).

Or if you want to be a bit more extreme, give Darwin a hand and sterilise them - I'd rather not have those genes continue for another generation.

posted by madhouse [38 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 12:44

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
It absolutely drives me bananas that the following seems to be absolutely acceptable to the UK justice/police system...

Police officer: "excuse me sir, are you the registered owner of this car?"

Car owner: "I am indeed"

Police officer: "Great, this vehicle was seen committing x offence on y date, was it you driving?"

Car owner: "no, sir, not me"

Police officer: "Ok, as registered keeper could you tell me who was driving on y date?"

Car owner: "gosh.... no, sorry, I have absolutely no idea officer, it could have been anyone"

Police officer: "OK, fair enough, looks like the drivers got lucky and got away with it this time... thanks for your help, you go have a great day"

How... just how can this be OK?

Yep, had this sort of thing before. Some little scrote (passenger in small car) slapped my arse as they (well, the driver) drove past. So, a) they were way too close and b) it was rather a large shock and, given that I was tramping along (downhill) at 25-30 mph, could have been rather painful. Fortunately, I didn't throw myself off the road.

When I reported this to the police, it just seemed to be a bit of a joke. I provided descriptions, reg no, etc. They tracked down the driver, but the driver was unwilling to give up the passenger - her boyfriend, or at least friend, I suspect. So, I was given the choice of insisting on pushing this further. But the police very much gave the impression that a) it wouldn't get very far and b) they really couldn't be arsed.

I gave up!

I probably shouldn't have, but the thought of having to stand up in court and describe getting my arse slapped and then to lose and pay costs for the pleasure just didn't appeal.

Back on track, though, I really hope that this arsehole gets their comeuppance. It's just not acceptable to drive like that.

posted by Jimbonic [107 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 13:51

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
It absolutely drives me bananas that the following seems to be absolutely acceptable to the UK justice/police system...

Police officer: "excuse me sir, are you the registered owner of this car?"

Car owner: "I am indeed"

Police officer: "Great, this vehicle was seen committing x offence on y date, was it you driving?"

Car owner: "no, sir, not me"

Police officer: "Ok, as registered keeper could you tell me who was driving on y date?"

Car owner: "gosh.... no, sorry, I have absolutely no idea officer, it could have been anyone"

Police officer: "OK, fair enough, looks like the drivers got lucky and got away with it this time... thanks for your help, you go have a great day"

How... just how can this be OK?

Logically, to me, if one has shown that at the very least one isn't keeping tabs on one's licenced deadly weapon, that weapon should be confiscated (and possibly the owner banned from owning another one). But is that how it actually works with other such weapons?

How does it work in the US with regard to guns? If a gun is shown to have been used in a crime, and the legal owner is located, still in possession of the gun, what would happen? (I genuinely don't know the answer, am curious)

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [643 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 14:09

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Here's an idea: If this is going to get thrown out because of some lack of proper driver ID, I propose a novel solution...

We can already ID the driver. By the car.

So take the car and have it scrapped. If it was the driver, he loses out financially. If it was driven by someone he knew, let him go after them himself.

It might actually encourage people to drive responsibly rather than performing ludicrous and dangerous stunts because they think they can get away with it.

In my ideal world, people who do this kind of thing just wouldn't be allowed drive or hold positions of any importance. It's the lowest form of scum that does this kind of thing. I've never had to "dangerously overtake" cyclists to get anywhere, I've never been held up by bikes anymore than any other kind of traffic, and I've never found the urge to drive head on at someone for a bit of fun. If he had hit him, and not knowing he had a camera, I'm sure the "I didn't see him" or "A dog jumped out of a hedge" defences would have been wheeled out.

While I'm not a fan of helmet cams because a lot of youtubers wearing them seem to be deliberately antagonistic on the roads, in these circumstances they are great and the courts should come down so hard on offenders.

posted by Mike_Hanley [1 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 14:58

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If only one of the victims (or non-victims as the (police) case may be) was non-white, then any of us could claim it was a racist attack, and all hell would be unleashed on the driver.

Ah! Wear a turban instead of a helmet. Then you could claim it's racially motivated and would produce a response.

Anyway, the case filmed is an assault by the definition of the crime:

An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal or civil liability.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/assault

posted by racyrich [115 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 15:13

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racyrich wrote:
If only one of the victims (or non-victims as the (police) case may be) was non-white, then any of us could claim it was a racist attack, and all hell would be unleashed on the driver.

Ah! Wear a turban instead of a helmet. Then you could claim it's racially motivated and would produce a response.

My black brother in law can tell you how much more attention the police pay to non-white road users.
He has often been stopped by the police whilst driving, to check that he is OK. They sometimes help him out when he is walking too. Just to make sure he isn't inadvertently carrying something odd.

posted by felixcat [204 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 15:49

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felixcat wrote:
My black brother in law can tell you how much more attention the police pay to non-white road users.
He has often been stopped by the police whilst driving, to check that he is OK. They sometimes help him out when he is walking too. Just to make sure he isn't inadvertently carrying something odd.

A black mate of mine found that once he started wearing a kilt, he's not had a single stop and search. He's recommended it to many people, but none have copied his style.

Maybe your brother in law will give it a try? If he cycles as well, it's a good way to show off the guns.

posted by bikebot [463 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 18:29

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