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Aggressive driver tries to ram cyclist in shocking footage...but "insufficient evidence" for police action

Despite the driver being caught on camera using his phone, threatening the cyclist before trying to ram him, a road.cc reader was told there was not enough evidence for the police to take action

road.cc was sent this shocking footage by reader Greg over the weekend after it was confirmed that no police action would be taken against the driver.

Greg was cycling in Lewisham, south London, in November when he nearly collided with a driver using his phone behind the wheel of a Peugeot 107.

Challenging the driver on his actions, the cyclist shouted "get off your phone" before telling him to "pay attention to what you're doing".

In return the driver wound the window down to shout some expletives back, threatening to "knock you off your bike and smack your f****** head in", and proceeded to drive at the cyclist, pushing him towards the oncoming traffic.

Stopped at temporary traffic lights a few moments later Greg again challenged the driver, asking: "What was the point of that? You weren't paying attention."

At this point the driver interrupted to once again threaten Greg: "What would you do if I cut your throat? Is it worth it? I'll smash your f****** bike around your head."

Greg explained to us how he reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police, but "it was confirmed that no further action will be taken due to lack of evidence".

"It seems that you can nearly knock someone off their bike by not paying attention on their phones, ram them when their terrible driving is highlighted and then make threats to kill. Sadly we have to share the road with these people and have police who just don't care to follow them up."

The complaint was made as a traffic offence, but initially dealt with as a criminal offence by police, who subsequently judged there was insufficient evidence. Instead, the investigating officer decided it should be reported as a traffic offence.

By this point the online reporting service would not allow a new report more than 10 days after an incident, so Greg asked the officer to consider the footage as a collision — thus bypassing the time restriction.

"They said they would check but returned a call the next day to say the Lewisham traffic team reviewed it and there's not enough evidence to proceed," Greg explained. "It has now been left as the 14-day rule has timed it out."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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77 comments

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Tacheonabike | 2 years ago
2 likes

What i always ask in these incicdents , yes had a few , is "would you have passed your Driving test doing that?"  Most have been good in stopping the driver and making them think , and yes there is always the K"£$*&^% s who resort to escalating via volume or profounf language:)

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chrisonabike replied to Tacheonabike | 2 years ago
0 likes

Totally - but this doesn't seem to be an effective argument anywhere (e.g. why can't we bring that into the courts when judging driving standards etc.) I can only imagine that people see the test as some kind of artificial bureaucratic imposition getting in the way of your "right to drive". Clearly the idea that you should continue at this standard or better is missing. People don't even seem to see this as a benchmark let alone a baseline (that you don't fall below).

I'd say it's our "freedom-loving nature" in the UK but clearly we don't excercise that - beyond the freedom to get indignant and grumble.

Like everything I think if we could just bring this in (e.g. as a standard in courts, as regular "refreshers" for all drivers - AKA retests!) there'd be howls of indignation... then after a year or two we'd just get on with it as we do the weather.

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wycombewheeler replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
1 like
chrisonatrike wrote:

Totally - but this doesn't seem to be an effective argument anywhere (e.g. why can't we bring that into the courts when judging driving standards etc.) I can only imagine that people see the test as some kind of artificial bureaucratic imposition getting in the way of your "right to drive". Clearly the idea that you should continue at this standard or better is missing. People don't even seem to see this as a benchmark let alone a baseline (that you don't fall below).

I'd say it's our "freedom-loving nature" in the UK but clearly we don't excercise that - beyond the freedom to get indignant and grumble.

Like everything I think if we could just bring this in (e.g. as a standard in courts, as regular "refreshers" for all drivers - AKA retests!) there'd be howls of indignation... then after a year or two we'd just get on with it as we do the weather.

if we had all driving cases tried in front of a jury of driving examiners the conviction rate would go way up.

It's odd that every jury will likely have  at least 5 below average drivers (and at least 5 above average). So you need to convince 5 bad drivers that the driving in question was not good.

Could you imagine if we had 5 racists on a jury for race hate crimes? 

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giff77 replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
2 likes

There was in 2013 around 29 court districts that were driving offence specific. These thoughwere for minor offences only and dependant on a guilty plea. Whether they exist still is another question  

I think that any driving offence should go to a specific court regardless of the offence and be overseen by a judge/magistrate who specialises in road crime with a jury being brought in for certain serious offences. Medium level should maybe have a panel who will then decide. 

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HoarseMann | 2 years ago
12 likes

You could argue this is a low-end affray. I don't think the 14-day limit applies to this offence.

Weapon being the car, threat made then a physical action to swerve car occurred (passes the test of not merely being verbal threat).

Bystanders seemed concerned for their safety and that of others. Busy public place.

https://www.lawtonslaw.co.uk/resources/what-is-affray/

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/magistrates-court/item/aff...

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The _Kaner | 2 years ago
2 likes

Silca Tattico pump...for those occasions when you know that your video submission is just not going to cut the mustard...

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to The _Kaner | 2 years ago
6 likes

Although did anyone viewing that think it didn't "cut the mustard". The phone in his hand was the minimum offence. Evidence of lots more.

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Muddy Ford replied to The _Kaner | 2 years ago
3 likes
The _Kaner wrote:

Silca Tattico pump...for those occasions when you know that your video submission is just not going to cut the mustard...

Thanks for that bike porn distraction, git :-)..i googled what that was, and thought "ooh that's a quality pump!" and have now bought a new pump, when I already had about 10 minipumps in the jilted bike bits box

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ErnieC | 2 years ago
4 likes

When the law fails to protect, take the law into your own hands. 

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Rik Mayals unde... | 2 years ago
9 likes

Ironically, if Greg had called the driver a stupid fat twat, he would probably be arrested for fat shaming or a hate crime.

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joe9090 replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
12 likes

troll

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Secret_squirrel replied to joe9090 | 2 years ago
1 like

Actually as much as it pains me to say it - Nige might have a point here.  With the courts as backed up as they are I have a suspicion that nothing but a slam dunk will get through, and as a result anything remotely controversial gets dropped.  The Met/CPS were between a rock and hard place on this one.  Too much for a warning/awareness course - too risky to take to court against a soft magistrate.

FWIW I think the first interaction was clearly multiple offenses but the second *could look like* retaliation to an unbiased/ignorant observer of the cyclist.

I do think its worth complaining about it, or even trying a claim against the drivers insurance, but I could see how this got dropped.  Its not right that it did mind you.

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Rendel Harris replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
6 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

I do think its worth complaining about it, or even trying a claim against the drivers insurance

What could he claim against the insurance? There isn't any injury as far as I can see. Is it possible to make an insurance claim for mental trauma? If you could get compensation for drivers acting like a knobhead towards you I'd have been able to retire years ago!

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Captain Badger replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
3 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

....

What could he claim against the insurance? There isn't any injury as far as I can see. Is it possible to make an insurance claim for mental trauma? If you could get compensation for drivers acting like a knobhead towards you I'd have been able to retire years ago!

Intersting question. Insurance claims do ask for details of mental effects. Not sure if they can be claimed for in isolation.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
3 likes
Captain Badger wrote:
Rendel Harris wrote:

....

What could he claim against the insurance? There isn't any injury as far as I can see. Is it possible to make an insurance claim for mental trauma? If you could get compensation for drivers acting like a knobhead towards you I'd have been able to retire years ago!

Intersting question. Insurance claims do ask for details of mental effects. Not sure if they can be claimed for in isolation.

I guess there are 2 reasons to attempt a claim. 

  1. to mess with the drivers head/inconvience them
  2. I suspect if you put your mind to it, gave up commuting for a while and took public transport, claimed PTSD and asked to be referred to a mental health councillor you'd have a material claim for costs as a result of the incident.  A lot of hassle of course, but feasible if single minded about it.
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wtjs replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
3 likes

claimed PTSD and asked to be referred to a mental health councillor
Daily Mail: (other hyper-junk newspapers are available) Unidentified Nutter Cyclists Rampaging on Our Roads

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Captain Badger replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
3 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

.....

I guess there are 2 reasons to attempt a claim. 

  1. to mess with the drivers head/inconvience them
  2. I suspect if you put your mind to it, gave up commuting for a while and took public transport, claimed PTSD and asked to be referred to a mental health councillor you'd have a material claim for costs as a result of the incident.  A lot of hassle of course, but feasible if single minded about it.

I suppose when you put it that way it might look a little, well, obsessive.....

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Awavey replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes

I'd argue this was a slam dunk of at least one if not several offences, it is more a tacit admission they are now considered too low level offences or low priority that they have been NFAd to alleviate backlog pressures on courts.

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Captain Badger replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
4 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Actually as much as it pains me to say it - Nige might have a point here.  With the courts as backed up as they are I have a suspicion that nothing but a slam dunk will get through, and as a result anything remotely controversial gets dropped.  The Met/CPS were between a rock and hard place on this one.  Too much for a warning/awareness course - too risky to take to court against a soft magistrate.

FWIW I think the first interaction was clearly multiple offenses but the second *could look like* retaliation to an unbiased/ignorant observer of the cyclist.

I do think its worth complaining about it, or even trying a claim against the drivers insurance, but I could see how this got dropped.  Its not right that it did mind you.

Not sure it's the police's job to seek "mitigation" as a reason not to take action.

There is none in this case anyway. Ordinary people don't threaten violent assault when told they've almost knocked someone over.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
0 likes

I agree and thats why I said Met/CPS.  I'm offering suggestions as to why a course of action was not followed - not saying that its right.  I 100% think they should have thrown the book at him, however I can *see* a number of reasons why they might not have, given current circumstances and unconcious anti-cyclist bias in the Met/CPS/Judiciary.  

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wtjs replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
3 likes

unconscious anti-cyclist bias in the Met/CPS/Judiciary

I object. It's completely conscious, and mainly in the police! All this tripe about 'Oh! it was the CPS who decided not to do anything, nothing to do with the police' is just that. For the sort of cases we discuss here, that's just the police phoning up some unidentifiable person at CPS and saying 'just tell us there's no case- you don't have to bother looking at the details'. The people who are binning all these cases are police officers, and I should know:

White BMW Driver of PK14 HLW executes very close pass on Cyclist on 7.8.21 and then halts in traffic queue

C: I said Don’t-come-that-close-again!

D: Talk to me like that and I will fucking flatten you...

D, passing very close again: If you speak to people like that, you will get knocked off

There is no swearing by me. It took 3 months and lots of excuses before the 3rd police officer visited him with 'words of advice'. The officer claimed the driver had apologised and claimed that him accepting the claimed apology was 'restorative justice'. We know from this case how far the police are prepared to go in forgiving threatening words and actions against cyclists, on behalf of the whingeing cyclist

 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
5 likes

Nope, as usual Boo doesn't have any point but to blame cyclists. Driver screams and shouts at cyclist in video. "Bravo driver, teach those cyclists in a firm and gentle manner." Cyclist reacts to almost getting killed. "Threatening behaviour and driver was right to drive into him a second time and claim cyclist should be killed multiple ways"

He might have done it in more snidey and less inflamatory language, but he still is claiming false equivalence and victim blaming like always. I was actually happy his (diguised in this case) bile had been ignored for 13 or so hours. Just a shame Joe replied in the end. 

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Jetmans Dad replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
5 likes
Garage at Large wrote:

This might not be popular here, but I can't help thinking that the case would have been thrown out of court anyway due to the aggressive behaviour of the cyclist - which in my opinion could be deemed as threatening. Clearly the motorist was out of order, but would have a mitigation.

But it isn't for the police to decide on mitigation, that is the court's job during the trial. The police's job is to decide whether an offence has been committed and present the evidence to the CPS. 

The CPS then decides whether there is enough evidence to take it further. 

The trial then decides whether (a) the evidence is strong enough to convict, taking into account (b) andy mitigation offered by the defence. 

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jh2727 replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
6 likes

He used his car as a weapon. Absolutely no different than if he had pulled a knife and tried to stab him.

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Rapha Nadal | 2 years ago
8 likes

I wonder what would be considered as sufficient evidence? 

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eburtthebike replied to Rapha Nadal | 2 years ago
6 likes
Rapha Nadal wrote:

I wonder what would be considered as sufficient evidence? 

Broken bones minimum, unless the cyclist was police.

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
9 likes

Clearly a dangerous road; should the BBC do a programme about it?

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PRSboy | 2 years ago
8 likes

If our man can be bothered, I'd say this is grounds for complaint.

Dangerous drivers like these need punishment and they shouldn't be able to evade it just because of an admin cock-up.

In any case, the threatening language is a public order offence, I fail to see what other evidence is required other than a car reg, the bloke's face and a video of him threatening the person on the bike.

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Ride On replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
1 like

What about the threatening behaviour? 14 days dont apply to public order offences. Send it back and ask them to try harder.

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wtjs replied to Ride On | 2 years ago
4 likes

Send it back and ask them to try harder
Looks like you have no experience of dealing with a bent force like the Met or Lancashire- they will just refuse to reply. Then what are you going to do? Complain to Professional Standards? 6 months of delaying tactics, and a finding that the officers made their decision and that's that. Then what? A complaint to the PCC? That body in whose elections you never voted because you thought it was a useless, ineffectual bureaucracy? Well, you were right- it is. So, write to your MP: another 6 months and he just sends you the complete tripe he was fobbed off with by the police. All that will help is publicity, most likely on YouTube. The press is no help, because the great majority of readers are drivers who think you should be run off the road. Now YOU try! Watch out for the joke non-action 'action', where they send you the evasive letter which indicates they have done nothing at all.

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