A cyclist who received a “thank you” message from the Metropolitan Police after his video of a close pass helped secure a conviction of a motorist not only for careless driving, but also driving without insurance has described the force’s communication with him as “a world away from the response from any other police force I've reported to.”
The footage that led to the conviction was shot by road.cc reader Joel on St-Martin’s-Le-Grand, close to St Paul’s Cathedral – an area that falls within the territory patrolled by the City of London Police, although for some reason it was the Met that investigated the report.
Filmed on Joel’s former commute home from his office in London, the video shows a motorist make a close pass on him to his left, as well as passing an electric scooter rider.
“Strictly speaking I know that the electric scooter isn't allowed to be on the road, but that's not an excuse for risking his life and mine by cutting through us as this delightful Toyota driver does,” Joel told as.
“The unexpectedness, partly because of the fact that unusually this close pass came in from the left and partly because of the sudden speed up to squeeze through, contributed to the scariness of this one – but the main fear factor was just how close he came.
“As is so often depressingly the case, it was also utterly pointless as he's then stopped at the traffic light 20 metres on – and there are at least 3-4 more sets in the next 400 metres of road along this stretch.
“Today I received the welcome news that this had proceeded to court. I received the following email – unprompted – from the Metropolitan Police on the outcome, which I thought was worth sharing in itself. Not only a courtesy to inform me of the outcome – but actually a thank you from the Met.
The email revealed that the close pass, together with the lack of insurance, had resulted in the driver being fined £660 and ordered to pay costs of £176, as well as having his licence endorsed with 8 penalty points.
The email concluded: “On behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service, I would like to thank you for your assistance in this matter and for helping us to try to achieve our policing objectives of reducing the number of killed and seriously injured on London’s roads.”
Joel said: “This is a world away from the response from any other police force I've reported to – I always get an acknowledgement and a case reference number directly from the Met, and a notification if they issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution.
“In the past I've been able to find outcomes by contacting them to enquire – but they've now gone a step further. This whole approach should absolutely be rolled out as best practice nationwide.
“As you can see, it's not a whole lot of work – the details look to be copy/pasted from the court system, along with a standard thank you text at the end. It makes a world of difference to feel that things like this are taken seriously.”
He added: “Somewhat disappointing that there seems to have been no specific penalty attached to the bit that directly affected me – ie the dangerous driving – but 8 points and a decent fine is at least a good outcome overall, and I read the outcome to be that both the No Insurance and the Driving Without Reasonable Consideration were proved in absence, which is gratifying.”
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.