Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Police “refused” to take cyclist’s statement after near miss with motorist – because they believed the cyclist was “speeding”

The cyclist was travelling at up to 24mph when a driver pulled out in front of him, with Police Scotland later admitting that the officers were “wrong” to dismiss his report

Two police officers who witnessed a motorist pulling out in front of a cyclist, almost causing a collision, allegedly refused to take the rider’s statement at the scene and neglected to make a note of the driver’s details, because the motorist and one passer-by claimed that the cyclist was “speeding”.

However, after the cyclist reported the incident to Police Scotland later that evening, the motorist was subsequently charged with careless driving, with an investigating officer later informing the cyclist that the officers at the scene were “wrong” to dismiss his complaints on the grounds that he was “speeding” – despite no legislation existing that requires people on bikes to adhere to speed limits.

The news that police in Scotland initially failed to act on a cyclist’s careless driving complaint comes in the same week that Cycling UK claimed that Scottish roads have been made “less safe due to Police Scotland’s inaction”, following the force’s decision to drop plans for a new online road safety reporting tool.

The incident, which was posted earlier this week on X, formerly Twitter, occurred as cyclist Alan Myles was riding along the A879 Balmore Road, Glasgow, on 23 May this year, when a motorist suddenly emerged from Strachur Crescent, forcing him to stop.

“I was traveling home when the driver pulled out in front of me,” Myles told road.cc, “bringing me to a halt – though she comically claimed that it wasn’t a side road, because she lived there.

“There was a police van just out of view behind me, and the officers came and spoke to us in the immediate aftermath.”

Describing his discussion with the two officers, Alan continued: “Despite, bizarrely, me and the driver agreeing on all the key details – that I was on the A road, and that she pulled out – the two officers refused to take a statement because the driver and a ‘witness’, who turned up after around five minutes but isn't visible in the clip strangely, said I was speeding and that would go against me in court.”

“I wasn’t speeding, I couldn’t speed”

As we noted in September – after a group ride in Dartmoor was stopped by the police for descending at 39mph into a village with a 30mph speed limit – cyclists do not share the same legal obligation as motorists to stick to speed limits in the United Kingdom.

Rule 124 of the Highway Code outlines the maximum legal speed of vehicles permitted on different roads, from built-up areas through to motorways, but does not mention cyclists. Furthermore, the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act also outlines the law regarding speed limits, but again cyclists are not mentioned.

> Do cyclists have to stick to the speed limit?

In any case, Alan’s Strava file from his commute home (below) shows that he was travelling at a maximum of 38.9km/h (just over 24mph) on the section of road where the motorist pulled out in front of him.

“I explained that legally I couldn’t be speeding, and had both the video evidence and my Garmin to show that I was travelling at 24mph,” Myles tells road.cc.

“And even if I was traveling too fast, the driver pulling out in front of me – she confirmed that she saw me – was still an offence.”

Cyclist's Strava file after being accused of speeding before near miss (Alan Myles, X)

Nevertheless, despite his protestations, the officers still refused to either make a record of Alan’s complaint or take a note of the driver’s details.

“They told me they weren’t going to take it forward. I said I would submit a complaint and the officers said they would like to be kept updated,” he says.

Later that evening, Alan reported the near miss through what he describes as Police Scotland’s “arcane” reporting system, before complaining about the officer’s response to the incident the following day.

“When two other officers reviewed the footage, they instantly agreed to charge the driver with careless driving,” he says.

> 'Vulnerable Road User' operation sees police fine cyclists for jumping red lights

An investigating officer dealing with the cyclist’s complaint then phoned Alan – “Police Scotland prefer to settle minor complaints over the phone,” he says – and explained that he found the officers to be “wrong on all counts”, including not taking the cyclist’s report, not noting the driver’s details, and not weighing up the available evidence to determine whether a crime had been committed.

“I wasn’t speeding, I couldn’t speed, and the driver’s actions were careless anyway,” he says. “The motorist also subsequently refused to give details to the other officers, and I suspect she will instead receive a fine and points for not declaring the driver.”

“However, and this was the funny bit,” he continues, “Despite it being a police van with an operational log, because I was not making a criminal allegation against the officers, the professional standards division was not allowed to use that information to find out who the officers were, due to GDPR.

“Therefore, other than passing the information onto the station manager, there was no other feedback the officer could give!”

> “Can’t the police use Google?” Cyclist mistakenly pulled over by police and threatened with ticket for “using phone” – and then gets lectured by officer for not wearing helmet or hi-vis

When contacted by road.cc, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a complaint which has been investigated and the complainer has been responded to.

“Anyone not satisfied with the way in which a complaint has been handled, can request a review by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC).”

The spokesperson continued: “It’s the responsibility of every driver to help protect vulnerable road users like cyclists, and drivers should understand how their actions can impact the life of that person riding a bike.

“Safety is the main priority for all road users and we encourage every road user to conduct themselves responsibly on the road. Weather can be unpredictable. Be prepared. Be Safe. Be Seen.”

> Driver escapes punishment for alleged hit-and-run on cyclist, as victim blasts police inaction and “barriers to justice”

Alan’s frustrating encounter with the two officers on his commute home isn’t the first time that he has been stymied by Police Scotland’s apparent ineffectiveness and glacial procedural policy when it comes to road safety.

Back in February, he criticised Police Scotland’s “appalling” inaction that enabled a motorist to escape punishment for an alleged hit-and-run, which he claimed left him with a broken bike and “unable to sit down for a week”.

Motorist escapes punishment after alleged hit-and-run (credit - Alan Myles)

Myles told road.cc earlier this year that, despite contacting East Dunbartonshire Police around 30 times in relation to the incident, he only received two responses – with one officer even taking over six months to reply to an email containing the crash footage.

He also alleged that those investigating the apparent collision failed to contact two witnesses, and that an officer told him that, due to the lengthy delay in tracking down the motorist, the offence had been downgraded from dangerous to careless driving because “the driver couldn’t remember the incident”.

The cyclist added that he only discovered that the case had been thrown out after contacting the Procurator Fiscal, who dismissed the police’s report as time-barred – over a year after the alleged hit-and-run took place.

“Roads less safe due to Police Scotland inactions”

Incidentally, Police Scotland’s inability to protect vulnerable road users has come under the microscope again this week, as Cycling UK criticised the force’s decision to drop plans for a new online road safety portal, which would allow members of the public to submit video evidence of road crimes and dangerous driving directly and more easily.

Despite committing in March 2022 to implementing a National Dashcam Safety Portal (NDSP) – which Cycling UK says would save valuable police time, improve road safety, and bring Scotland up to speed with the rest of the UK regarding how road crimes are reported – last month Minister for Justice Angela Constance revealed that the system had been scrapped.

According to Constance, Police Scotland concluded that “a stand-alone portal is not the optimum route to create the capability for digital media submissions to be submitted by members of the public.”

> Delays to introduction of online road safety portal putting cyclists “at risk”, says Cycling UK

Instead, a different system, the Digital Evidence Sharing Capability, is currently being piloted in Dundee and is scheduled to be rolled out across Scotland in 2025, although it is not thought to provide the same functionality as the NDSP.

Following the force’s decision to cancel the NDSP, Cycling UK has questioned why Police Scotland is pursuing a new system for 2025 when existing tried and tested systems in use across the rest of Great Britain – and which have the support of the Scottish public – could be implemented much sooner, arguing that the delay could cost more lives.

“We are extremely disappointed that Police Scotland has gone back on its commitment to develop and roll out the National Dashcam Safety Portal across Scotland as a vital road safety tool,” Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager for Scotland, said yesterday.

“The technology is there, so it's hard to understand why Police Scotland has refused to adopt it, when the case for its introduction is overwhelming: it will save them time and money, is widely supported by the public and road user groups, and is used successfully everywhere else in Great Britain.

“Cancelling the NDSP and delaying until at least 2025, with a lesser replacement, puts responsible drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians in Scotland at risk.

“Cycling UK is happy to work with the police to ensure that the people of Scotland receive the system that they were promised.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment

45 comments

Avatar
mattw | 3 months ago
6 likes

I'm glad that Alan won this one.

And utterly appalled by the neanderthal attitude of Police Scotland; they are going to need to be woken up the hard way.

The excuse for Professional Standards not being able to access the police vehicle log is an absolute shocker - GDPR. AFAIK they can adjust their policy in a heartbeat.

...The answer was the professional standards division couldn't access the log as it would breach GDPR! Clear evidence that all cyclists should have number plates though
https://twitter.com/AlanMyles8/status/1724902468616855738

Unfortunately it is 2026 before the people of Scotland have a chance of getting rid of the SNP Holyrood Panto.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to mattw | 3 months ago
1 like
mattw wrote:

Unfortunately it is 2026 before the people of Scotland have a chance of getting rid of the SNP Holyrood Panto.

Change may be as good as a rest... but not sure that any alternatives are going to take active travel forward, never mind sort the polis, outside of a Green party landslide...

Avatar
wtjs replied to mattw | 3 months ago
3 likes

The answer was the professional standards division couldn't access the log as it would breach GDPR! 

The GDPR dodge is used by The Filth as an omni-excuse for everything. OpSnap Lancs -as I have bored people with time and time again- includes this obligatory 'agreement':

I confirm that I understand that dashcam footage falls under the Category of CCTV and as the footage is taken in the public domain, the Domestic Purposes Exemption under the Data Protection Act/UKGDPR does not apply and therefore all users are Data Controllers in their own right. As such you should be informing the public that they are being filmed and should have some form of notification on your mode of transport as you have responsibilities under the Data Protection Act /UKGDPR 

I have never seen any such 'form of notification' on any cycle or vehicle in Lancashire (except police ANPR vehicles), which means that all or almost all submissions to OSL are 'invalid' under this made-up rule. I include a denial on all my reports. You can imagine the bonanza for offenders and their shyster lawyers if we allowed such a 'rule' to stand: my client was not informed because there was no possibility of him seeing that notification in the dark/ rain /sun etc. etc. I have included this abuse of GDPR in my case against LancsFilth, which I am attempting to take to the Upper Tier Tribunal, involving this offence which I have noted many times before

https://upride.cc/incident/4148vz_travellerschoicecoach_closepass/

The police case is that they are forbidden by GDPR to tell me the punishment for that driver. The notion that 'Professional Standards' differs from 'The Police' is a laughable fiction

Avatar
Bigfoz | 3 months ago
10 likes

Ok, I'm confused. She admits she saw him, and STILL pulled out - how is this "careless"? It seems pretty damn deliberate to me. As in "Sod it, it's only a cyclist"...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Bigfoz | 3 months ago
7 likes
Bigfoz wrote:

Ok, I'm confused. She admits she saw him, and STILL pulled out - how is this "careless"? It seems pretty damn deliberate to me. As in "Sod it, it's only a cyclist"...

She couldn't "care less" about other traffic as long as she's okay

Avatar
bikes | 3 months ago
2 likes

Can someone explain the decision to not use the existing NDSP? Is there some kind of financial reason to make a new system (in-house?) when one already exists?

Avatar
mark1a replied to bikes | 3 months ago
8 likes

It could be "Not Invented Here Syndrome"

 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
1 like

Interesting how "not invented here" is definitely "invented here" in the UK. Maybe an atavistic memory of when the UK was leading the way, inventing things like microchips*? (And then failing to exploit the same, because the non-inventors in the UK clearly knew better...)

* McCains, I think?

Avatar
mark1a replied to chrisonabike | 3 months ago
1 like

You're referring to a construct known as the UK, which the current governing party in Scotland has no interest in participating in, hence the north of the border interpretation of "here"

Avatar
bikes replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
0 likes

I wondered if it was a local tech company that managed to persuade the government not to go with the existing system (and pay them to make a new one instead).

I understand implementing a new system will cost money and resources but presumably the amount a country saves by reducing the consequences from bad driving far outweighs the cost of a system. Is there evidence of this from studies of other countries that have done the same?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
0 likes

Scotland definitely *had* a reputation of appreciating good ideas and skilled people, whether or not they were local*. Maybe one of the reasons Scotland was overall in favour of remaining in the EU?

* occasional exception - those from South of the border...

Avatar
Bill H | 3 months ago
3 likes

I am fortunate enough to have experienced two positive experiences with the police but it really comes down to the individual you deal with. Peelite principles dictate that the police reflect the population being policed so we have to keep complaining and making our views known.

 

Avatar
arowland | 3 months ago
4 likes

"officers at the scene were “wrong” to dismiss his complaints on the grounds that he was “speeding” – despite no legislation existing..."
I think you mean, "officers at the scene were “wrong” to dismiss his complaints ... because no legislation exist\[s\]..."

Avatar
OldRidgeback | 3 months ago
13 likes

It seems typical for Police Scotland to bungle traffic policing. This is yet another case to add to the long list of shameful responses to incidences of poor driving and crashes.

Avatar
Bigfoz replied to OldRidgeback | 3 months ago
2 likes

Probably because so little traffic policing goes on that they don;t know enough about how to do it...

That being said, very glad we moved up here some years ago as the roads are very much emptier and polite than where we previously lived in Herts and my commute into London

Avatar
Oldfatgit | 3 months ago
14 likes

GDPR ... the blanket that is trotted out to allow organisations to cover the arses of usless tosspots everywhere.

Avatar
Dnnnnnn replied to Oldfatgit | 3 months ago
7 likes
Oldfatgit wrote:

GDPR ... the blanket that is trotted out to allow organisations to cover the arses of usless tosspots everywhere.

Pretty sure it's BS in this case too. The idea that an employer is not allowed to access its own records of employees' activity is nonsense.

Avatar
Safety | 3 months ago
9 likes

P.S. "Minister for Justice Angela Constance" Not surprised in happened on her watch. Good God, after the mess she made while education secretary I wouldn't trust her to run a bath.
Still raging.

Avatar
TheBillder replied to Safety | 3 months ago
4 likes
Safety wrote:

P.S. "Minister for Justice Angela Constance" Not surprised in happened on her watch. Good God, after the mess she made while education secretary I wouldn't trust her to run a bath.
Still raging.

I _think_ (based on a telephone call with Police Scotland a couple of years ago, so possibly out of date) that the video evidence debacle needs legislation to fix it, due to rules of evidence in Scotland requiring corroboration.

So a vaguely competent politician will be required. Holding one's breath is not advisable.

Avatar
Safety | 3 months ago
14 likes

Words fail me on Polis Scotlands criminally negligent approach to an online portal and road safety. This along with some other experiences of them confirm to me they have an in built grudge against anyone they deem to be vigilante / doing their job for them.

As well as being institutionally anti cyclist. Anti anything that's not invented here. And quite frankly plain inefficient and stupid.

Apologies for the rant but I'm raging.

Avatar
giff77 replied to Safety | 3 months ago
6 likes

Pretty much my thoughts with the heel dragging regarding a perfectly robust and effective system being used by constabularies in England. Would be interested to hear the experiences of any Dundee cyclists with the trial currently being run there. 

Avatar
IanGlasgow replied to Safety | 3 months ago
1 like
Safety wrote:

institutionally anti cyclist. Anti anything that's not invented here.

Are you suggesting Polis Scotland don't believe that Kirkpatrick Macmillan invented the bicyle? That's pretty unpatriotic of them if true.

Avatar
lio replied to IanGlasgow | 3 months ago
1 like
IanGlasgow wrote:
Safety wrote:

institutionally anti cyclist. Anti anything that's not invented here.

Are you suggesting Polis Scotland don't believe that Kirkpatrick Macmillan invented the bicyle? That's pretty unpatriotic of them if true.

Probably took offence to somone on one of those trendy chain-driven bikes from that English upstart Henry John Lawson, eh?

Avatar
lukei1 | 3 months ago
20 likes

So if you ask the Police to identify themselves, they are legally required to do so

But a Police officer investigating a complaint can't use official logs to determine which Officer was driving a vehicle?

What?!?

Avatar
dubwise | 3 months ago
11 likes

I cycle on the same roads as Alan and, like most of the UK, the standard of driving is appalling.

I don't have a camera, I should have one, but as the corrupt scum known as Police Scotland would do nothing with it... probably charge me for sweary words.

Avatar
Surreyrider replied to dubwise | 3 months ago
3 likes

There is nothing untoward about this video - that sort of thing happens every single ride in Surrey.

Avatar
giff77 replied to Surreyrider | 3 months ago
10 likes

What, the exiting of a side street without care or the peelers lack of knowledge regarding traffic laws. I've had numerous encounters with Polis Scotland's finest failing to grasp that close passes and SMIDSYs fall under careless driving. I even had an officer solicit advise on the wearing of a helmet when I complained about the shoddy response to close passes at speeds of 50mph. Told him that he would still be dealing with a fatality regardless of attire when being struck with 2 tonnes at 60mph. Not all the polis are inept. It's the handful that are stick in your mind. 

Avatar
grOg replied to Surreyrider | 3 months ago
1 like

Same where I live; I always slow when I see a motorist at an intersecting road, ready to take evasive action should the driver pull out; I certainly don't ride straight at the vehicle, rather I swerve to the left and go behind them.

Avatar
dubwise replied to Surreyrider | 3 months ago
2 likes
Surreyrider wrote:

There is nothing untoward about this video - that sort of thing happens every single ride in Surrey.

So basically, shut up you whinging Scots. Is that it?

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to dubwise | 3 months ago
6 likes

The main reasons I have cameras is so my NOK has evidence of who did it.
At least the footage could be used in an insurance claim.

Pages

Latest Comments