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Warning: video contains strong language

Avon and Somerset police have said that no action will be taken against a Bristol cyclist for swearing. Matt Trevers can be heard employing some colourful language in a video of an alleged near-miss that he submitted to police in the hope that the driver would be prosecuted.

The Bristol Post reports that Trevers was riding down Gloucester Road, taking a position in the middle of the lane to avoid a potential dooring by one of the parked cars. He says a driver then beeped and passed him without leaving sufficient room.

Believing this to have been a deliberate and aggressive manoeuvre, Trevers submitted helmet cam footage of the incident to police.

He was told that they would not be investigating, so he put in a complaint. He received a call six months later in which he was told he would not be facing prosecution for swearing in response to what happened.

"After I initially asked for a review of the decision, I had a fairly unfriendly call from an officer, in which he mentioned that it wasn't in the public interest to prosecute me for my 'offence'. It wasn't an official warning, but there seemed to be an implied threat that he could."

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said:

"No action was taken against the car driver as there was insufficient evidence to support the offence of driving without due care and attention. Officers also decided not to take action against the cyclist for his use of bad language.

"Subsequently the cyclist made a formal complaint about the lack of action from officers, which has been investigated by the force's professional standards department.

"It was confirmed that the criminal allegation did not meet the threshold for prosecution and a detailed response has been provided to Mr Trevers, who may appeal the decision if he is not satisfied.

"We encourage all road users to treat each other with courtesy and follow the recommendations of the Highway Code."

Trevers said he was disappointed in the response, but understood that police “often have their hands tied.”

“I had hoped that at the very least, the driver might have learnt a lesson about safety and reflected on his actions. However, immediately after leaving the station, he uploaded his own footage to YouTube blaming me for the incident. He doesn't realise or care that he put me in a lot of danger."

Duncan Dollimore from the Cycling UK's Cyclists' Defence Fund said: "The initial response from the investigating officers was completely inadequate. They should have fully investigated this and failed to do so, seeking to apportion blame upon Matt for his road position when he was riding towards the middle of the road to keep clear of possible opening car doors from the parked cars on his left."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

45 comments

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burtthebike [807 posts] 8 months ago
5 likes

I must admit to having to remove the audio from some of the vids I've taken because of the same problem, but for the police to even hint that they would prosecute a cyclist for swearing in the heat of the moment is just wrong.

That said, I've had some good support from A&S police.

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ktache [525 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

The car driver's video is even worse.  Really dodgy driving.

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bendertherobot [1414 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

What offence are they saying is committed? Section 5 POA? 

If so, who's offended? The public at large at the time of the incident? Or the police officer to whom reported?

Neither are likely to meet the requirements of section 5(1) and to even suggest that they might is pretty outrageous.

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Aquilo [5 posts] 8 months ago
5 likes

Why is the cyclist not on the left side of the road? No excusse for the BMW but the cyclist could give him some more space.

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wycombewheeler [1073 posts] 8 months ago
5 likes
Aquilo wrote:

Why is the cyclist not on the left side of the road? No excusse for the BMW but the cyclist could give him some more space.

don't cycle in the door zone.

http://road.cc/content/news/159991-video-doored-cyclist-falls-path-black...

http://road.cc/content/news/208595-taxi-driver-who-fatally-injured-cycli...

http://road.cc/content/news/199940-leicester-teacher-killed-after-taxi-p...

But I think there were a little further to the right than they should be, centre of lane should be adequate he was almost on the centre line, meaning even when there is no oncoming traffic the overtake would be too close. Clearly the moment chosen by the driver would never be safe.

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Plasterer's Radio [296 posts] 8 months ago
10 likes

Police wankers. It is a 20 mph zone too

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Boopop [13 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes
wycombewheeler wrote:
Aquilo wrote:

Why is the cyclist not on the left side of the road? No excusse for the BMW but the cyclist could give him some more space.

don't cycle in the door zone.

http://road.cc/content/news/159991-video-doored-cyclist-falls-path-black...

http://road.cc/content/news/208595-taxi-driver-who-fatally-injured-cycli...

http://road.cc/content/news/199940-leicester-teacher-killed-after-taxi-p...

But I think there were a little further to the right than they should be, centre of lane should be adequate he was almost on the centre line, meaning even when there is no oncoming traffic the overtake would be too close. Clearly the moment chosen by the driver would never be safe.

 

Inclined to agree - yes, avoid the door zone but he did look to be too far out to the center.

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Leviathan [2558 posts] 8 months ago
8 likes

This guy is cycling up the centre line at one point and filming it. I have to wonder sometimes if these guys with cameras are looking for things to be outraged by. The cycling equivalent of Social Justice Warriors. I don't condone close passes, but he is virtually guaranteeing that any pass is a close one. By all means ride in primary position and avoid doors, but this guy is putting himself in danger he is so far right. Clear example of Passive-Aggressive behaviour, if you ride like that you will definitely meet the aggressive dick of a driver soon than later.

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EK Spinner [75 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes

No matter what the road position of the cyclist here the timing of the overtake was outrageously selfish and relied on the oncoming car braking to avoid a collision.

Out of interest, was any comment made about the scooter rider filtering down the cycle lane to access the ASL zone which I believe to be reserved for cyclist

 

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WiznaeMe [59 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

The cyclist appears to be taking a wide clearance to the bus which is indicating to move out and then moves back to the middle of the lane. Which seems ok to me.

The driver chooses to overtake into the face of oncoming traffic, which the police would be trained not to do.  

Motorists are required to drive in a manner which is considerate to other road users.  It's probably not serious enough to result in a conviction for careless driving but the police could perhaps have resolved this by giving advice to the driver.  Poor public relations, if nothing else.

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velo-nh [105 posts] 8 months ago
7 likes

It seems like the police over there really don't like the people they're supposedly protecting.  Just watching that video, I'd bet nine out of ten cyclists probably would have responded with a few profane words and/or gestures.  He nearly got hit by a motor vehicle, what is he supposed to do, applaud?  

 

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colin267 [27 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

"The driver chooses to overtake into the face of oncoming traffic, which the police would be trained not to do. "

Having observed a police car doing exactly that this morning (in W. Yorkshire), thereby causing oncoming traffic to brake hard, I wouldn't count on the police doing anything around here in similar circumstances!

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Richard D [69 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes

Fucking idiots - excuse my French.

 

I've sent them a message via their general contact form telling them what I think of the quality of their decision-making.  When West Midlands Police appeared to take a giant step forwards in understanding the perils that cyclists face, so Avon & Somerset prove that many forces still have their heads firmly up their arses.

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bikebot [2120 posts] 8 months ago
7 likes
Leviathan wrote:

The cycling equivalent of Social Justice Warriors.

You know there's no such thing? It's just a caricature used as an insult, invented by angry 15 year olds who spend all day playing Call of Duty and wanking (another caricature).

If memory serves, he gave a very simple explantion of why he was in the middle of the road, he made a mistake. If you want to come up with theories about "guys with cameras", join the ranks of Internet bellends.  The people who are obsessed with outgroups and stereotypes, whether that be lycra louts or white van man.

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Applecart [72 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Crikey. I lived on Gloucester Rd in Bristol in at least 4 different properties and cycled daily to and from college, work and university over 10 years. Never have I seen someone cycling like such an utter bellend as this guy. He's cycling in the middle of the road, weaving almost to the centre line. Has he got a death wish? He shouldn't be on a bike as he's a danger to himself and everyone else.

Good job he's got a camera so he can demonstrate what a suicidal maniac he is. Is he actually trying to get in drivers' way to get attention, or what? I don't get it at all.

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Applecart [72 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
WiznaeMe wrote:

The cyclist appears to be taking a wide clearance to the bus which is indicating to move out and then moves back to the middle of the lane. Which seems ok to me.

The driver chooses to overtake into the face of oncoming traffic, which the police would be trained not to do.  

Motorists are required to drive in a manner which is considerate to other road users.  It's probably not serious enough to result in a conviction for careless driving but the police could perhaps have resolved this by giving advice to the driver.  Poor public relations, if nothing else.

 

I think the bus was quite some distance off. I've cycled that route myself hundreds of times and would never cycle in the middle of the road like this moron. I would also brake and wait behind the bus as the odds are he hasn't seen you if you are on a bike and can't judge your speed in his wing mirror, if at all (this is due to bikes being tall and skinny - we have binocular vision and cannot judge the speed of bikes as well as cars, that are wider and so easier to gauge their speed).

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martib [78 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes

About as useful as their neighbours in Wiltshire, there again they are sharing services with A&S & Gloucester. Last weekend I got close passed by a car overtaking me because there was a Police car coming in the opposite direction. Did the Police Car driver turn around and have a word with the driver, nope just carried on driving as if nothing happened.

In these cases there should be a simple acid test and that is if you were to carry out that manouvere in driving test, would you fail? If the answer is Yes then some form of action should be taken. Video evidence when clear as that is, should be enough evidence especially when you conside after a major incident the Police ask for peoples footage

The Police wonder why they have little support from the Public, maybe it is because they are too busy protecting the guilty and screwing over the innocent. Maybe the Police should be privatised and paid on performance, I bet they would soon be all over it.

 

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Leviathan [2558 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
bikebot wrote:
Leviathan wrote:

The cycling equivalent of Social Justice Warriors.

You know there's no such thing? It's just a caricature used as an insult, invented by angry 15 year olds who spend all day playing Call of Duty and wanking (another caricature).

If memory serves, he gave a very simple explantion of why he was in the middle of the road, he made a mistake. If you want to come up with theories about "guys with cameras", join the ranks of Internet bellends.  The people who are obsessed with outgroups and stereotypes, whether that be lycra louts or white van man.

I was in the US this summer and saw people become offended just because other people were having a conversation near them. You might say it is a lazy stereotype or an inappropriate analogy to this video, but it exists. I have also seen the cycling vigilante channels; they share a similar mentality. The internet has entered its second age, the age of outrage, and this video is just one small part of it.

I just believe that there is a danger that camera use can validate this guy's choice of riding style and put him into unnecessary conflict with dangerous drivers, who will exist regardless.

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bikebot [2120 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Leviathan wrote:

I just believe that there is a danger that camera use can validate this guy's choice of riding style and put him into unnecessary conflict with dangerous drivers, who will exist regardless.

Causation vs correlation.

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Colin Peyresourde [1811 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

His cycling is like bear batting. He could considered to be obstructing the flow of traffic because he is not cycling on the left or centre of the road.

That doesn't excuse the motorist, but he provokes/invites that reaction with his riding. Complete idiot. He needs a reality check.

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Felton Grips [4 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes

I've also never quite understood the logic of passing a car at a red light when you know the car will want to pass you 5 seconds after the light goes green. Sort of like when cars roar by a cyclist to get to the next red light 4 seconds later when the cyclist will catch them...

but maybe I'm missing something?

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brooksby [2235 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Hang on: using foul language in a public space is a chargeable offence? Sheesh, I've dodged the bullet a few times...

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burtthebike [807 posts] 8 months ago
10 likes

To all the people criticising the cyclist, I used to ride that route every working day for seven years, and where the driver decided to overtake is a very dangerous spot.  It doesn't matter how far out the cyclist was, it would have been dangerous for the driver to overtake, but many of you blame the cyclist: why?  It wasn't his decision to overtake dangerously, it was the driver.  This is a steep downhill, and I'd regularly exceed 30mph on that section, so why was the driver so desperate to overtake?

Road law is clear: if it isn't safe, don't overtake.  It doesn't say: you can still overtake even if you kill a cyclist.  There is no excuse for the overtaking manouvre of the driver, they clearly put the cyclist at risk to save a couple of seconds.  I'm sure the driver would have been full of remorse and would have paid the £10 fine with a tear in their eye and a spring in their step.

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wycombewheeler [1073 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
Applecart wrote:
WiznaeMe wrote:

The cyclist appears to be taking a wide clearance to the bus which is indicating to move out and then moves back to the middle of the lane. Which seems ok to me.

The driver chooses to overtake into the face of oncoming traffic, which the police would be trained not to do.  

Motorists are required to drive in a manner which is considerate to other road users.  It's probably not serious enough to result in a conviction for careless driving but the police could perhaps have resolved this by giving advice to the driver.  Poor public relations, if nothing else.

 

I think the bus was quite some distance off. I've cycled that route myself hundreds of times and would never cycle in the middle of the road like this moron. I would also brake and wait behind the bus as the odds are he hasn't seen you if you are on a bike and can't judge your speed in his wing mirror, if at all (this is due to bikes being tall and skinny - we have binocular vision and cannot judge the speed of bikes as well as cars, that are wider and so easier to gauge their speed).

Not as skinny as a tennis ball and people can judge the speed of those well enough to hit them. More a case of glancing and assuming bike=slow

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Redvee [321 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
velo-nh wrote:

It seems like the police over there really don't like the people they're supposedly protecting.  Just watching that video, I'd bet nine out of ten cyclists probably would have responded with a few profane words and/or gestures.  He nearly got hit by a motor vehicle, what is he supposed to do, applaud?  

 

I had a similar experience from A&S Police from a close pass but mine was slightly differnet in that the car was in lane two and changed into lane 1 where I was then hit the horn as they got close then passed me closely. I uttered a profane word and gave a gesture  with my hand. When the officer dealing with the case called me to give me an update he said he'd written to the registered keeper in Ireland but wasn't sure if they had received the letter or not and also told me to be careful with my language.

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sam_smith [73 posts] 8 months ago
8 likes
Applecart wrote:

Crikey. I lived on Gloucester Rd in Bristol in at least 4 different properties and cycled daily to and from college, work and university over 10 years. Never have I seen someone cycling like such an utter bellend as this guy. He's cycling in the middle of the road, weaving almost to the centre line. Has he got a death wish? He shouldn't be on a bike as he's a danger to himself and everyone else.

Good job he's got a camera so he can demonstrate what a suicidal maniac he is. Is he actually trying to get in drivers' way to get attention, or what? I don't get it at all.

What are you on about? Didn't you spot the bus signalling to pull out of that bus stop as he started to pass it? He moved towards the centre line just in case the bus pulled out (and having plenty of experience in cycling Gloucester Road myself I can vouch for some of the awful driving by some bus drivers). The Beemer was being driven very badly and the cyclist was probably doing the speed limit of 20 mph on that stretch (it's downhill and picking up that sort of speed is easy) so the Beemer driver should have been done for dangerous driving and speeding. I rode up and down that road for years, was knocked off by shitty drivers twice (their fault not mine), experienced two or three road rage incidents directed at me and seen at least one cycle/car accident (it was the driver's fault). I can say without a shadow of a doubt you don't know what you're talking about.

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jthef [36 posts] 8 months ago
5 likes

My personal opion is up to the 20 MPH sign the cyclist is too far out. after that he is spot on, and basicaly keeping up with the scooter. As for the car driver brake light out, probablly speeding, close dangrous pass, pulling in stright infront of another road user, unreasonable use of the horn and making the oncoming have to move. To me that equals dangrous driving. As for the cyclist swearing, nothing wrong I do much the same when I get a bad near miss (and I try not to swear but it just comes out) and to many people that is just normal work place banter . for me this guy has been let down by the police.

 

over all I do agree with burtthebike coments as well.

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Leodis [423 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Shit cycling & driving.  Nothing to see here.

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Christopher TR1 [117 posts] 8 months ago
7 likes

Look you fuckwits, there is absolutely no justification for such a dangerous overtake!

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CXR94Di2 [1585 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

There is nothing at all in that video to say the cyclist was doing anything wrong.  He filtered to the front of traffic queue, took a prominent position and planned ahead for the bus, he was gathering pace so kept a wide line from parked cars.  I would of done exactly the same.

The driver had no need to beep his horn and force his way by in a 'punishment pass' when 5 seconds later the road cleared and he could of passed safely.  

The rider should feel aggrieved that first the police did not contact the driver and then issue a threat 'not to prosecute' him for being in fear of his life using swearing.

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