The Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police has agreed that an incident caught on camera by a cyclist in which he was clipped by a vehicle’s wing mirror was a close pass – but said the force was unable to act on the footage because it was not submitted in accordance with Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines which he said require the original video, not one posted to YouTube.
The video was filmed on the morning of 28 August last year by road.cc reader Wayne as he commuted into the centre of Leicester along the A47.
“As I was riding in the bus lane a silver Transit private hire minibus close passed me,” he told us. “I caught up with the driver at the next set of traffic lights, during a slightly heated conversation I was told I belonged in the gutter by the driver.
“As we pulled away from the lights, he drove his vehicle at me, clipping my shoulder with his wing mirror.
“I subsequently reported the incident to Leicestershire Police via their online system, attaching the link to the YouTube video.
“The incident was acknowledged, and I was later asked to provide the original footage, unfortunately as this was a couple of months later, I had not saved a copy.
“I received a letter on 8 February from the police informing that the vehicle owner had been contact regarding this incident however they could not proceed as they were not in possession of the original footage.
Following a tweet I sent on the 8th a friend forwarded this to the Twitter account of the Leicestershire police Chief Constable Simon Cole who replied he would look into the case.
I've watched this. I think it is a close pass. However, we have never received the original footage as requested. So, when we consider what admissible evidence we have then it is without that original footage. See 'video' part of this for explanation. https://t.co/fcNJryPByq
— Simon Cole (@CCLeicsPolice) February 10, 2020
“Today he replied, stating that it was a close pass however without the original footage they could not proceed with the case.
“As the YouTube video shows, this incident is a very close pass with some intent to injure me at the end, so it’s disappointing that despite clear evidence of dangerous driving the police will not act on it.”
Wayne added that he regularly sees the same driver while riding to work, and that the motorist has since confronted him.
He said: “I see this vehicle and its driver frequently on my commute, and following the initial report to the police I also contacted the licensing department at the local council, which he was aware of and confronted me about a week later wanting me to pull over and ‘talk about it’, when I declined he told me I’d ‘bottled it’.
“I still this driver on my commutes, based on this outcome he may well now feel he did nothing wrong and is free to repeat this behaviour.”
As we point out in this article about what to do if you capture a close pass or other piece of poor driving on camera, it is worth familiarising yourself with the policy on video submissions of the police force(s) responsible for the roads you ride on.
Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.
If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.
If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).
Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.