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Motorist fined after being caught on camera driving at group of cyclists, causing one to fall off bike (+ video)

Footage that secured conviction was submitted to Northamptonshire Police’s Operation Snap

Helmet ​camera footage submitted to Northamptonshire Police under the force’s Operation Snap has helped secure the conviction of a motorist who drove towards a group of cyclists on a single-track country road without slowing down, causing one of them to come off her bike.

Land Rover Defender driver Paul Nigel Miley, aged 52 and from Ashby St Ledger, pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court earlier this month to driving without due care and attention in connection with the incident, which happened on 11 June last year.

PC Mo Allsopp-Clarke of Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team commented: “Miley initially pleaded not guilty to the offence, claiming he had driven extremely slowly past the group and was unable to move further across.

“The video evidence clearly showed that Miley had no consideration for the cyclists on that day, and when he appeared at Magistrates’ Court, he changed his plea to guilty.

“His driving fell below the standard of a competent and careful driver, which could have very easily ended in tragic consequences, and I’m pleased the courts have dealt with the driver positively.

“Drivers should always try to give cyclists and other vulnerable road users at least 1.5m of space and pass slowly. In this instance, on this road, that would not be possible.

“On this occasion, the correct thing to do would have been to come to a stop to allow the cyclists to pass safely. It takes a couple of seconds and then everyone can continue their journey in safety.”

Miley was fined £1,008 and ordered to pay £100 in costs and a £101 victim surcharge, and also had his driving licence endorsed with five penalty points.

“The success of Operation Snap is down to the continued support from the public, who enable us to take action against driving offences we otherwise wouldn’t see,” PC PC Allsopp-Clarke added.

“Hopefully this case demonstrates that we take all instances of poor driving very seriously and we will prosecute offenders accordingly, which can only be a good thing to help keep our roads safer.”

The Operation Snap portal enables members of the public to upload video evidence and complete a form that automatically generates a witness statement, with police staff then reviewing the footage to ensure it meets the scheme’s remit and the vehicle’s registration can be identified.

If so, the force’s Safer Roads Team then examines the footage and refers it for prosecution if they are satisfied that a motoring offence has been committed.

In the past, road.cc readers have shared with us their frustration at the force not acting upon the video evidence of poor driving that they have submitted to it, however.

As one example, in October 2018 we published a Near Miss of the Day video showing a motorist making a very close pass on a cyclist, but Northamptonshire Police took no action because they deemed that he was riding too far out in the road and the driver had given him sufficient space.

> Near Miss of the Day 187: Cyclist persuades police to launch close pass operation - then has his close pass video rejected

Five months earlier the cyclist, named Dave, had met with the force’s chief constable to express his concern over the safety of people riding bikes on the county’s roads.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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