A cyclist who captured the moment a Range Rover driver hit him with their car has blasted Northants Police for "victim-blaming twaddle", sharing a letter from the police confirming they were not taking action because the victim placed himself "in front of the car" by dismounting his bike. The force's Chief Constable has now replied to the cyclist on social media to say the incident will be "reviewed and reassessed."
Good afternoon Mat. Please leave this with me, I will have it reviewed and reassessed. Nick https://t.co/BA2roNVWuN
— Nick Adderley (@NorthantsChief) August 7, 2022
The clip from Mat Burnham, shared on Twitter, starts with the driver of the Range Rover sounding the horn.
He told road.cc: "I was cycling in reasonably busy traffic through what is a pretty crappy set of junctions for cyclists to navigate safely.
"The Range Rover driver overtook in a rather rapid fashion to reach a set of traffic lights at red. I filtered through to the front of the lights and took primary. I think she took umbrage at that and sounded her horn."
Mat then dismounts his bike and appears to be shouting at the driver, before the car is driven into his bike.
Sharing a letter from Northants Police after reporting the incident, Mat said it was "confirmed as an assault" but no action was taken "due to victim-blaming twaddle."
Surprisingly the officer tells Mat that the driver has steered "to her right to try to avoid you", saying that he has "put himself in harm's way in front of the car".
He continued: "To be honest I didn't expect much to come of reporting the collision as my previous experience of Northamptonshire Police has had them generating excuses on behalf of drivers rather than addressing poor behaviour.
"I thought they'd at least take it seriously, and warn the driver verbally or by letter even if they couldn't be bothered to prosecute. As it stands, she must still think deliberately driving into a cyclist is perfectly reasonable and rational behaviour."
He added: "I'm at my wits end. When will this nonsense end? Streets aren't safe for vulnerable road users and never will be without enforcement and basic decency."
The reason for police deciding not to forward the incident for prosecution has been questioned by numerous people on social media, with many suggesting that the cyclist's actions in the clip could provide no possible justification for what occurred.
road.cc has contacted Northants Police for comment.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.