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Alleges officer drove without due care and attention

A Plymouth policeman is due to appear in court accused of driving without due care and attention following an incident in which he is alleged to have driven too close to a cyclist while passing.

The individual who brought the prosecution, Paul Wright, said that he was cycling home from work along Milehouse Road in September of last year when he was passed dangerously closely by PC Steven Wilson, reports the Plymouth Herald.

At a preliminary hearing at Plymouth Magistrates Court, Wilson pleaded not guilty to the charge. The trial will take place on September 1.

In 2013, police were given the power to hand out on-the-spot penalties for careless driving. The fixed penalty is £100 and three points on the driver's licence. However, courts may impose higher penalties. The maximum for driving without due care and attention is £5,000 together with 3-9 points and a discretionary disqualification.

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13 comments

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Housecathst [600 posts] 2 years ago
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The very best of luck to you Paul Wright, your going to need it.

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Ric_Stern_RST [44 posts] 2 years ago
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rnick [130 posts] 2 years ago
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Good luck... Would the outcome be different if you were to drive too close to a Police officer?

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fatbeggaronabike [847 posts] 2 years ago
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I may not be right here but... when it's a private prosecution the burden of proof is lesser than that needed in a public court, so in theory Paul might win this but seeing as it's against a police officer (and I'm assuming in a marked police car) I won't hold my breath

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Critchio [230 posts] 2 years ago
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Mixed feelings.... On the one hand having not met the alleged victim I admire the apparent determination and the intention to seek redress....

On the other hand, part of me is asking why? We've all been passed 'dangerously close' which I think is a largely subjective thing. I have had my elbow knocked by a car wing mirror which then sped away. So I know, as many as you know, what dangerously close means. I would have liked to have seen the driver prosecuted as contact was made.

It is perhaps because this driver was part of the old bill that this private prosecution was brought. Maybe the cyclist remains aggrieved with the police in general or the officer driving was a complete nob having been challenged over his driving.

In any event, if convicted this will likely come out of the public purse so those of us earning a crust will end up paying for it, and that is why I am questioning it in a way. Before you all yell "private prosecution!" the court, irrespective of verdict, can direct the prosecution costs to the police which means ultimately we pay. With police forces across the UK in financial hardship thanks to our wonderful government and cutting back heavily on roads policing, do we really need this?

Without witnesses, cctv evidence, headcam footage (I've checked for a headcam vid but didn't find one) this chap is going to struggle, the officer will not be prosecuted and it would have all been for nowt.

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danthomascyclist [339 posts] 2 years ago
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Hopefully he has video evidence

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [510 posts] 2 years ago
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Critchio wrote:

On the other hand, part of me is asking why?

Assault a member of the public and you'll be sentenced accordingly. Assault a police officer and you'll receive a stronger penalty. Just as the law recognises that attacks on public servants are more deserving of strong punishments, it should also recognise that we expect higher standards from those same public servants.

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ron611087 [356 posts] 2 years ago
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Near miss safety theory practiced by NASA, British Rail and most 1st world industrial environments posits that there is a direct mathematical relationship between a near misses and and accidents. The only difference between the a near miss and an incident resulting in death or injury is chance. If you can't manage the former, you won't stop the latter.

Roads are industrial environments. Good luck to him, I hope he wins.

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PaulBox [669 posts] 2 years ago
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Critchio wrote:

Mixed feelings.... On the one hand having not met the alleged victim I admire the apparent determination and the intention to seek redress....

On the other hand, part of me is asking why? We've all been passed 'dangerously close' which I think is a largely subjective thing. I have had my elbow knocked by a car wing mirror which then sped away. So I know, as many as you know, what dangerously close means. I would have liked to have seen the driver prosecuted as contact was made.

It is perhaps because this driver was part of the old bill that this private prosecution was brought. Maybe the cyclist remains aggrieved with the police in general or the officer driving was a complete nob having been challenged over his driving.

In any event, if convicted this will likely come out of the public purse so those of us earning a crust will end up paying for it, and that is why I am questioning it in a way. Before you all yell "private prosecution!" the court, irrespective of verdict, can direct the prosecution costs to the police which means ultimately we pay. With police forces across the UK in financial hardship thanks to our wonderful government and cutting back heavily on roads policing, do we really need this?

Without witnesses, cctv evidence, headcam footage (I've checked for a headcam vid but didn't find one) this chap is going to struggle, the officer will not be prosecuted and it would have all been for nowt.

So because we have all been passed 'dangerously close' nobody should do anything about it?

I say good luck to him and would guess that he does have some evidence or witnesses, otherwise he wouldn't be stupid enough to risk having to pick up the costs himself. As he is taking this to court he probably wouldn't stick any footage that he has out in the public domain.

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vbvb [620 posts] 2 years ago
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Good luck to him. If every near miss were prosecuted, we'd have busy courts and many fewer SMIDSYs.

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Stumps [3496 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm neither going to say good luck or your in for a hiding as we don't know what, if any, evidence there is.

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severs1966 [406 posts] 2 years ago
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I wonder how long it will take for the cyclist to start being arrested every 5 days for spurious, invented offences in Operation Close Ranks ?

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Glasgow Cyclist [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Critchio wrote:

...part of me is asking why? We've all been passed 'dangerously close'...

Well you've just answered your own question there.
I'm not content to accept poor driving that risks my life just because it's commonplace.

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In any event, if convicted this will likely come out of the public purse so those of us earning a crust will end up paying for it...

We're paying for it now with cyclists bullied off the roads, injured and killed too, by drivers who don't give a flying fuck about how close they zoom past us. (Financial cost per RTC : Fatal £1,877,583, Serious £216,203, Slight £23,136)

And to be honest, I will gladly pay more in taxation if it finances the courts enough to keep these cunts off the roads or at least modify their driving.