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Taxi driver warns CyclingMikey he will "end up needing the dentist" after challenging phone use

The driver is now being investigated by TfL Taxi & Private Hire but avoided prosecution as the Metropolitan Police "ran out of time"...

CyclingMikey's latest video shows a London taxi driver telling him he will "end up needing the dentist" after he challenged the professional driver's mobile phone use behind the wheel.

The cab driver was reported to the Metropolitan Police by the road safety campaigner and YouTuber, real name Mike van Erp, but avoided police prosecution due to staff dealing with an IT system change, Mikey saying they had been left understaffed and the report ran out of time.

Filmed in Hyde Park in July of last year, the footage shows the taxi driver moving forward while holding a mobile device in his hand for several metres before Mikey asks: "What's that you're holding in your left hand?"

"Mate, I'm doing two miles an hour, I'm not in a very good mood, I suggest you just jog on," the man replied. "I'm really not very happy. You can film me all you like, mate, but you're going to end up needing the dentist, now piss off."

In response to being told the footage will be going to the police, the taxi driver replied: "You can do what you like."

Sharing the video on YouTube to his 94,000 subscribers, Mikey said the driver is "supposedly professional" but "you don't seem like London's Finest to me with your phone use and rude and unprofessional threatening behaviour. I suggest you pull your socks up."

And while he reported that the Metropolitan Police had begun prosecuting, they apparently ran out of time, Mikey suggesting that "the Allegations Team at Marlowe House were coping with an IT system change and were understaffed and overworked".

> Tired of road crime": CyclingMikey on episode 16 of the road.cc Podcast

After sharing the video on social media, TfL's Taxi & Private Hire department replied thanking the cyclist for the report, adding that it has been "passed on for investigation".

"He did at least get to feel the pain of the initial prosecution process, and probably would have been worried about the consequences and possible loss of his green badge for the entire six months," Mikey said.

CyclingMikey has reported thousands of law-breaking drivers over the years, with 800 successful prosecutions in the last five years and 383 reports last year.

He attracted attention for particularly high-profile cases, such as catching Guy Ritchie and Chris Eubank, the film director being banned from driving for six months as a result, while the retired boxer was given three penalty points and told to pay £280 in fines, court costs and fees.

In January, speaking to road.cc, Mikey said "people need to see justice being done" and any abuse he receives is simply because some motorists "feel they have the right to drive how they want".

"In the beginning of my camera work, almost 17 years ago, I took a lot of strain at the abuse thrown my way," he said. "I'd answer each comment seriously. Nowadays, there has been such a torrent of abuse and lies about me that I just let most of it wash off me.

"In the UK cyclists are considered by society to be 'cockroaches of the road', unworthy scum who freeload on the public highway and are terrible lawbreakers. For such a person to challenge a driver for lawbreaking is a massive affront to the social order, and people don't like this.

"Many of those throwing abuse also feel that they have the right to drive how they want, and that nobody can tell them what to do. They see the prosecutions, and they are afraid of the consequences, and they are angry that someone dares to do this to them."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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107 comments

Avatar
wtjs | 1 year ago
12 likes

As an aside, I have just used information from CyclingMikey's YouTube channel (including a page dated only yesterday) in my appeal of the Information Commissioner's Decision Notice which not only allows, but mandates, police forces to refuse to tell you what they did about the offences you report to them. The Information Commissioner states that it is an offence against GDPR/ FOIA for the police to even tell you that they hold information about what they did. This is quite important because it could be used by all forces as a precedent. So, the appeal is now at the Information Tribunal, with numerous files of evidence: I have several emails from Lancashire Constabulary in which they tell me what happened (generally nothing because 'case not processed in time') to the driver of vehicles identified only by the registration number. I generally don't have close up video of the driver himself, for obvious reasons if they're close-passing me to within an inch of my life, or crashing through a red light at 50 mph).

However, CM often does show close up video of the phone offending driver stationary in a queue, and also plasters the vehicle registration all over the page. Yet the Met. often tells CM what happened to this very identifiable driver- driving course, warning letter, points, court etc. (obviously, only nothing or warning letter are the only options ever considered by LC!). According to the Information Commissioner, the Met. is committing an offence. I have asked for a court hearing at the Information Tribunal, rather than a decision based on reading the papers alone, because it's a potentially important decision.

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Hirsute replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
5 likes

Can we all come along ?!

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wtjs replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
2 likes

Can we all come along ?!

I've been away on Skye. This case against LancsFilth is EA/2023/0271, which is listed here, although it's just a pending case with no hearing date set. Strictly speaking, of course, the case is an appeal against the Information Commissioner's Decision to support the police in not telling cyclists what the police (didn't do!) did about offences against them. There's now a letter from the Information Tribunal asking the Chief Constable whether he wishes LC to 'join the appeal', and it's likely he would rather see LC conduct a Sheffield NW-style Close Pass Operation- which LC has never done.

The CC would like the Commissioner to do his defending for him, which suits me as I will make strenuous efforts to be allowed to introduce evidence that LC routinely ignores all evidence from cyclists and does nothing at all even when it claims to be taking action. Then, if all goes according to plan, the IC will say 'LC is not here to defend these actions' and I will say that the Chief Constable should therefore be forced to join the appeal- that's my present aim. They're talking about a video hearing between 30th October and 27th November- it seems unlikely that these hearings are 'broadcast' to outsiders, but we'll see. LC is continuing its evil ways, and didn't respond to this at all- it's almost 3 weeks since the incident. Blackburn Council claimed to be 'investigating' but looks like it's also trying to forget about it and has said nothing about it since claiming that the taxi driver was licensed at the time even though he's still not included on the Blackburn taxi driver registration list. This is looking rather suspicious!

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wtjs | 1 year ago
5 likes

saying they had been left understaffed and the report ran out of time

Standard police dodge- I collected a stack of very similar dodge deployments, before Lancashire Constabulary decided that it was safer to simply refuse to respond to offence reports.

This is from 17.1.22:

Outcomes as requested:
1 Black Astra ML60 YMP – No further action taken as incident was processed too late after initial report.
2 Black VW N66 MOO – No further action as incident was processed too late after report.
3 Black Range Rover SL68 VFY – s.59 warning under Police reform act.
4 Black taxi LS07 MHA – No Further action as incident processed too later after initial report.
5 4 axle tipper lorry Robinson’s of Bilsborrow MV18 UJT - No Further action as incident processed too later after initial report.
6 Silver Ford Transit KK07 RTX – No Further action as incident processed too later after initial report.
7 White Audi Q5 T90 JDT – NFA - Although report was made 25th July, was not processed until 12th August and has passed 14 day NIP cut off period.
I appreciate that you will be disappointed with the lack of action by Lancashire Constabulary and would like to apologise on behalf of the organisation for this as it is unacceptable

Sometimes, they ring the changes with really, really stupid excuses for doing nothing. For this Stagecoach double decker offence they simply stated "No offence made out" (I see that the UpRide video sometimes stops at about 14 seconds- click just beyond and it shows the offence)

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
8 likes

Mark Hodson:

"And I've only been to three fatals due to the use whilst stationary causing cognitive distraction which then impaired driving... Totally over the top... 🤔 Very concerning, you carry on being the problem Jeff, but just do it quietly and elsewhere 👍"

"I've actually dealt with three over my career .... One child victim and two elderly."

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brooksby | 1 year ago
8 likes

Does he think that a London taxi driving at 2mph does no harm to anyone/anything it hits, then?  I really don't think that's the case.  It might be moving slowly but it is still a very heavy piece of machinery.  Someone needs to explain some physics to that cabbie*

(edit) *Or, in one memorable line from that film with Matt Damon, "Let's science the sh!t out of it!!"

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pockstone | 1 year ago
16 likes

There's a time limit for threatening behaviour now? Good to know.

Edit: Professional driver may only have been doing 2 mph but so unaware of his surroundings that he doesn't notice he is being filmed by the notorious scourge of London cabbies and phone drivers. What else was he blissfully unaware of?

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grOg replied to pockstone | 1 year ago
0 likes

What is this threatening behaviour you speak of? stating someone may be needing a dentist? internet lawyers like you make me laugh..

In determining whether words or actions constitute a threat there is a difference between an intention to cause harm, and someone who is merely “sounding off” who does not intend to create any fear. For example a statement 'I feel like I could kill my spouse' could be interpreted as an expression of emotions, whereas 'I want to kill my spouse' is a threat to do harm.

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Rendel Harris replied to grOg | 1 year ago
16 likes

grOg wrote:

What is this threatening behaviour you speak of? stating someone may be needing a dentist? internet lawyers like you make me laugh..

In determining whether words or actions constitute a threat there is a difference between an intention to cause harm, and someone who is merely “sounding off” who does not intend to create any fear.

I'm afraid your credentials as an "internet lawyer" aren't that great either: the test of the offence of "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" under Section 4 of the Public Order Act (1986) is not whether the accused intended to cause fear or to progress to actual physical harm but whether the words used and the way they were expressed were enough to make a reasonable person fear immediate violence (or provoke violence in defence/retaliation) or be caused "harassment, alarm or distress". It's the effect the words/behaviour of the accused have on the victim that counts, not the intention of the accused. "I was just sounding off and didn't mean to cause any fear" is not a defence in law.

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Car Delenda Est replied to grOg | 1 year ago
6 likes

In good faith I'll inform you that they were threatening to damage Mikey's teeth

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pockstone replied to grOg | 1 year ago
4 likes

No need to be a lawyer ('internet' or otherwise) to understand the words 'threat' and 'behaviour', or to recognise when the latter constitutes the former.

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cyclisto | 1 year ago
2 likes

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-65679387

Not a popular opinion here, but this guy recording guys playing on their phone at zero or near zero speeds and trying to confront them, creates a more dangerous situation than if he just continued his commute. A still cyclist on the the middle on the road is dangerous, and an enraged driver hating a little extra cyclists is even more dangerous.

Don't try get heros in motor traffic.

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open_roads replied to cyclisto | 1 year ago
14 likes

the danger comes in the 5 mins when the driver returns to normal road speeds - research has shown that drivers remain distracted for up to 5 mins after mobile phone use.  

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hawkinspeter replied to open_roads | 1 year ago
6 likes

open_roads wrote:

the danger comes in the 5 mins when the driver returns to normal road speeds - research has shown that drivers remain distracted for up to 5 mins after mobile phone use.  

FTFY

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hawkinspeter replied to cyclisto | 1 year ago
12 likes

cyclisto wrote:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-65679387

Not a popular opinion here, but this guy recording guys playing on their phone at zero or near zero speeds and trying to confront them, creates a more dangerous situation than if he just continued his commute. A still cyclist on the the middle on the road is dangerous, and an enraged driver hating a little extra cyclists is even more dangerous.

Don't try get heros in motor traffic.

How exactly is a stationary cyclist dangerous and to whom?

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cyclisto replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Go ask the duck saver guy in my link.

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hawkinspeter replied to cyclisto | 1 year ago
12 likes

cyclisto wrote:

Go ask the duck saver guy in my link.

Do you mean the pedestrian that was hit (and killed) by a teenage driver who obviously wasn't paying attention to what was ahead of them?

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cyclisto replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Exactly, unless someone believes a guy on a 15kg bike is more close to a 1ton car regarding passive safety than to a pedestrian.

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brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
4 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

cyclisto wrote:

Go ask the duck saver guy in my link.

Do you mean the pedestrian that was hit (and killed) by a teenage driver who obviously wasn't paying attention to what was ahead of them?

And the local constabulary have almost immediately made a media statement to the effect that they do not think that she will face any charges at all 

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cmedred replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
6 likes

It is extremely rare for a driver in the  U.S. to get charged for running down a pedestrian or cyclist unless the driver is a.) drunk or b.) shown to have been driving way, way, way in excess of the speed limit. Normal speeding , five to 15 mph over the limit, is accepted as a norm and is inattention. Any pedestrian or cyclist hit in or along the roadway (including in bike lanes) is considered to have been asking to be hit. Enforcement of the law requiring responsible driving parallels where rape and women who dressed provocatively were decades ago. It's all very primitive. Here's an example: "The Contra Costa County District Attorney blamed the (fatal) collision on the driver’s inattention, but that it was not enough to press criminal charges."  You don't want the UK to be anything like the U.S. https://www.bicycling.com/news/a37081489/jets-assistant-coach-gregg-knap...

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OldRidgeback replied to cmedred | 1 year ago
1 like

The US has a poor record on road safety with around 4x as many people killed annually/head of population than the UK. Some states are worse than others. North Carolina, population 10.6 million, had more road deaths in 2021 at 1,700 odd than the UK at 1,600 odd, population 67 million.

There has been an increase in pedestrian deaths on US roads in the last three years. I think the same applies to cyclists in the US, though I don't have the figures to hand.

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like

brooksby wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

cyclisto wrote:

Go ask the duck saver guy in my link.

Do you mean the pedestrian that was hit (and killed) by a teenage driver who obviously wasn't paying attention to what was ahead of them?

And the local constabulary have almost immediately made a media statement to the effect that they do not think that she will face any charges at all 

The U.S. has a strange interpretation of traffic rules - they either let drivers get away with anything, or they give them humungous sentences.

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grOg replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

The pedestrian that helped the ducks across the road stepped back out into the roadway afterwards without checking for traffic; seems like he needed someone looking out for him..

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hawkinspeter replied to grOg | 1 year ago
5 likes

grOg wrote:

The pedestrian that helped the ducks across the road stepped back out into the roadway afterwards without checking for traffic; seems like he needed someone looking out for him..

Reminds me of Charlie Alliston when he got put away for 18 months for not taking enough action to avoid hitting a pedestrian who had stepped back into his path.

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Backladder replied to cyclisto | 1 year ago
7 likes

cyclisto wrote:

Go ask the duck saver guy in my link.

I can't find any evidence in that link that the duck saver guy was killed by a stationary cyclist, could you provide additional information?

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cyclisto replied to Backladder | 1 year ago
0 likes

cyclisto wrote:

Exactly, unless someone believes a guy on a 15kg bike is more close to a 1ton car regarding passive safety than to a pedestrian.

Can't write to more than one the same things, sorry, see before.

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grOg replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Propping to confront motorists in the middle of the road is dangerous to the cyclist and in my jurisdiction can be construed as a road rage offence.

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hawkinspeter replied to grOg | 1 year ago
9 likes

grOg wrote:

Propping to confront motorists in the middle of the road is dangerous to the cyclist and in my jurisdiction can be construed as a road rage offence.

Just as well that your jurisdiction is irrelevant to us

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chrisonabike replied to cyclisto | 1 year ago
11 likes

Hmm... Pedestrian hit by car in America is proof of ... something something Cycling Mikey?

I don't think me confronting people would help most situations. It also tends to spoil my day. So I don't. However I've experienced folks losing it at me on the road several times - no fault of my own, no cameras, no CM in sight.

The problem is behind the steering wheel here. If they don't kick off at an irritating cyclist it will be something. Being in a vehicle can amplify the consequences so you bear more responsibility if you drive.

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cyclisto replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
0 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

Hmm... Pedestrian hit by car in America is proof of ... something something Cycling Mikey?

cyclisto wrote:

Exactly, unless someone believes a guy on a 15kg bike is more close to a 1ton car regarding passive safety than to a pedestrian.

Can't write to more than one the same things, sorry, see before.

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