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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

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.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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BikeBud replied to oozaveared | 9 years ago
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The fact is though that this driver didn't get done for the dangerous driving thing in isolation. He got done because the police wanted to do him for other things as well.

Surrey police took up my complaint (no camera_ just a statement from me) and ran with it and got a conviction 6 points (which led to a ban) and £300 fine. It was nice to think they did that for me but it was clear to me that the wheels started moving fast and furiously as soon as the vehicle's driver was identified. It looked to me like they used my statement (they sent an officer round for an extended detailed statement taking session for over an hour), to nail someone they already wanted to nail.[/quote]

I suspect you have a point there.

On the sentencing, a ban seems ridiculous. Is community payback what was called "community service"?

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usedtobefaster | 9 years ago
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excellent, they gave a driving ban to a driver who was driving whilst already banned!

Yeah I'm always astounded by these types of case. The justice system doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that the driver shouldn't have been there in the first place and so the sentence should be harsher.

Why as part of the sentence can't the car be seized and crushed? Hit these people where it has most effect.

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jacknorell replied to usedtobefaster | 9 years ago
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usedtobefaster wrote:

Why as part of the sentence can't the car be seized and crushed? Hit these people where it has most effect.

Agree, any other weapon used against a person will be confiscated and destroyed. Cars are no different when used in road rage incidents.

Though selling them for the benefit of road traffic charities would be more appropriate...

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pwake replied to usedtobefaster | 9 years ago
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usedtobefaster wrote:

Why as part of the sentence can't the car be seized and crushed? Hit these people where it has most effect.

Because that would probably be a breach of his/her 'Human Rights'...

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themartincox | 9 years ago
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excellent, they gave a driving ban to a driver who was driving whilst already banned!

 41

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md6 replied to | 9 years ago
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themartincox wrote:

excellent, they gave a driving ban to a driver who was driving whilst already banned!

 41

yes it seems the courts are oblivous to the definition of madness as 'doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result'

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