Brake-checking motorist deliberately causes crash: Hertfordshire Police tell cyclist video evidence “does not provide a realistic prospect of conviction”

Motorist clipped cyclist when overtaking then hit the brakes in the middle of an empty roundabout

Watching this video, you may well assume that the bit when the driver clips the cyclist with the car’s wing mirror is the bad bit. Keep watching.

The incident occurred on Melbourn Road, Royston, on January 12 and road.cc reader John reported it to police.

He told us: “My view is that having been enraged by my overtake of the other cyclist and blocking his progress for a few seconds, the driver deliberately caused a collision by first a close pass and striking me with his wing mirror, followed by a brake checking manoeuvre that caused me to collide with the rear of his vehicle.”

We’re inclined to agree. There’s a clear view of the road ahead when the driver brakes and we can’t come up with any reason why the manoeuvre was carried out if not to deliberately cause a collision.

After viewing the footage, Hertfordshire Constabulary wrote to inform John: “The information available has been carefully reviewed and the weight of evidence to prove that any offences have been committed is not sufficient for a prosecution to take place.

“The standard of proof required for a conviction is ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and, in this instance, the evidence available does not provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

“As a result, the police are unable to pursue court action and the file will now be closed.”

Encouraging the notion that this is a generic response, the letter continued: “Each collision is unique and it is likely there are a number of different factors which have led to this decision.

“Frequent examples are where there is inadequate independent evidence of the incident to corroborate the opposing accounts given by the parties involved, sometimes because witnesses have not provided statements or are not willing to attend court.

“In some cases, it has simply not been possible to confirm the other vehicle or driver. Often CCTV (where it exists) does not capture the incident or does not assist in identifying the vehicle involved.”

John said his dealings with the force when attempting to report the collision had been “frankly disgraceful.”

After initially reporting via Hertfordshire Police’s road collision web portal, he received an email response acknowledging the submission and enquiring about his wellbeing.

“I wrote back saying that I was okay apart from a little stiffness. At this point the collisions team responded that they would not deal with my report due to it being an injury incident and that I would have to report it to my nearest Police station.

“I went to my local Police station (Royston) which was closed, but spoke to an officer via the telephone at the front door. She advised that I would have to trek down to Stevenage, but as it was a non-injury collision that I should re-submit via the web portal.

“Again I submitted my report via their portal and again it was rejected. Several emails and a telephone call later they begrudgingly agreed that I was not injured and passed it on to the correct department.

“Last week I was sent a witness form, which I completed, and this week I received notice from the Collisions Unit that they would not be pursuing the matter further.

He concluded: “I am genuinely concerned that Hertfordshire Police do not consider road safety to be of any importance and their failure to act in this case gives me great concern for the safety of myself and any vulnerable road user on the county's roads.”

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.

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