Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Video: Sussex Police use CCTV footage of motorist knocking 12-year-old girl off bike in safety campaign

Incident in Chichester in 2012 left youngster with cuts and bruises

Sussex Police are using CCTV footage showing a 12-year-old cyclist being hit by a car as she waits at a junction as part of a new road safety campaign urging drivers to watch out for people on bikes and cyclists to take care around pedestrians.

The footage was taken in 2012 on the A259 in Chichester at the junction with Bognor Road. Luckily, the girl on the bike escaped with nothing more than bumps and bruises.

The motorist, a 41-year-old man, was convicted of driving without due care and attention and was given three points on his licence and ordered to pay £85 costs, an £85 fine and a £20 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Carl Knapp of Sussex Police said: "Fortunately in this case the cyclist escaped with bumps and bruises but it could have been a lot worse.

"Despite being just a few yards away, the car driver completely failed to look for the cyclist.

"It shows how dangerous any one of us can be if we fail to spot and take on board all of the other road users near us.

"This footage shows a car driver to blame but there have equally been incidents where cyclists have been knocked down after pulling in front of vehicles without looking.

"My message to all road users is look once, look twice and then look a third time if you have to - whatever you need to do to make sure you keep yourself and other people safe.

"70% of collisions where cyclists suffer serious harm or are killed happen at junctions.

"I would urge all road users to reflect on this and to take that opportunity to double check their view at junctions before passing through.

"Whether you have right of way or not, by getting a good understanding of the other road users and their position and speed, you are better placed to anticipate and take avoiding action where necessary."

Sussex Police say that four cyclists were killed in East and West Sussex last year, with 145 seriously injured.

The police force has also issued safety advice for both drivers and cyclists:

Safety tips for drivers:

- Look out for cyclists, especially when turning - make eye contact if possible so they know you've seen them

- Use your indicators and signal your intentions so that cyclists can react

- Give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking them, leaving as much room as you would give a car. If there isn't sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it's windy or if a car door is opened

- Always check for cyclists when you open your car door

- Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.

Safety tips for cyclists:

- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb - look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you

- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen

- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor

- Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility

- Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet that is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.

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.

Add new comment

71 comments

Avatar
Gweeds | 9 years ago
0 likes

I love how they named this video 'Cycling Incident'

'Driver not frigging looking incident' might be more accurate.

Avatar
KeithBird | 9 years ago
0 likes

Almost as bad as the driver responsible for the collision is that the driver of the oncoming red Fiesta just drove past, completely ignoring the fact a young child may have been seriously injured.
Frightening just how uncaring and selfish some people are.

Avatar
sfichele | 9 years ago
0 likes

Wondering why this footage was needed....willing to bet it was because the motorist denied everything, and likely blamed the cyclist for appearing out of nowhere....especially one of these reckless kids...

Avatar
allez neg | 9 years ago
0 likes

I hit a car last year. It was my fault entirely. I could plead mitigation by saying that I was trying to make eye contact with the guy in the van to ensure he didn't pull out in front of me as two roads merged into one (he was thinking about it - you could almost see the cogs turning as he assessed it) but while I was doing that I wasn't looking at the old dude slowing, indicating and turning into his driveway just ahead of me

Bump!

As the slightly tiresome IAMs might say, I was going at a speed where I couldn't stop in the distance I could see to be clear, or riding without due care etc but it was a second or two where I was looking to my side, not ahead, that's all. No longer than a look in a rear view mirror, a look at a cycle computer or a speedo. Or someone cute in something minimalist.

The old boy in the car was mortified and couldn't have been nicer, but bike and car ok, and just a light scuff on my knuckles and knee. Still, accidents happen, no harm done and no wailing or gnashing of teeth required. It was all appropriately English - apologies all round.

No intent, no grossly negligent conduct, no recriminations, just an.............accident.

Avatar
Al__S | 9 years ago
0 likes

"This footage shows a car driver to blame but there have equally been incidents where cyclists have been knocked down after pulling in front of vehicles without looking.

NO. NOT "EQUALLY". NOT EQUAL AT ALL.

I'm a little bit angry about that

Avatar
SB76 | 9 years ago
0 likes

A question, should the sentence be worse because it was a cyclist? No doubting the consequences of hitting a cyclist are potentially far worse and more dangerous but would anyone be calling for a harsher sentence if it was car on car??
I'm not defending the sentence but I don't know if the law views car/bikes or pedestrians differently??

Avatar
racyrich replied to SB76 | 9 years ago
0 likes
SB76 wrote:

A question, should the sentence be worse because it was a cyclist? No doubting the consequences of hitting a cyclist are potentially far worse and more dangerous but would anyone be calling for a harsher sentence if it was car on car??
I'm not defending the sentence but I don't know if the law views car/bikes or pedestrians differently??

If it had been car on car, there would almost certainly have been no injuries, no police called, no offence recorded, just another piece of shit driving the cost of which adds to everyone elses insurance.
One in 6 people claim on their car insurance each year. The massive majority for accident damage. Obviously barely any resulted in any driving offence charges. I think the law changed in about 1965 that all knocks had to be notified to the police. Personally I'd revoke that, increase the number of traffic cops tenfold and fund them from the roughly 5 million fines that would be issued from crashes alone.

Avatar
noether | 9 years ago
0 likes

Compelling evidence to introduce presumed liability: road users capable of greater harm have greater responsibility.
The fine is appalling: the driver should have been given 6 months community service securing the roads for use by child (!) cyclists.

Avatar
severs1966 replied to noether | 9 years ago
0 likes
noether wrote:

The fine is appalling: the driver should have been given 6 months community service securing the roads for use by child (!) cyclists.

I absolutely agree that the sentence was inadequately severe. However I confess to being astonished that the police actually bothered with a prosecution, which they normally wouldn't, even with video evidence (well, not unless the victim is killed). The cops usually don't care about cyclists.
What caused the willingness to investigate and prosecute? Was it the overwhelming, plain to see, incontrovertible evidence? Or was it because the victim was a child?

Avatar
oozaveared replied to severs1966 | 9 years ago
0 likes
severs1966 wrote:
noether wrote:

The fine is appalling: the driver should have been given 6 months community service securing the roads for use by child (!) cyclists.

I absolutely agree that the sentence was inadequately severe. However I confess to being astonished that the police actually bothered with a prosecution, which they normally wouldn't, even with video evidence (well, not unless the victim is killed). The cops usually don't care about cyclists.
What caused the willingness to investigate and prosecute? Was it the overwhelming, plain to see, incontrovertible evidence? Or was it because the victim was a child?

At the risk of repetition. I want to say again that the penalties for offences only really have a very small margin of interpretation. Having posted yesterday that the charge was the correct one according to the law and charging guidelines. I'll add today that the sentence was correct as well.

Conviction for driving without due care and attention
3 points on his licence
£85 fine
£85 costs,
£20 victim surcharge.

Here's the guideline sentence that a magistrate or judge needs to follow: They are asked to identify the characteristics of the offence and then look for the appropriate staring point.

The one that applies here is the lowest one
Momentary lapse of concentration or misjudgement at low speed.

The starting point for sentence is based on a fiirst time offender pleading not guilty

Starting point. Band A Fine + 3 – 4 points

Factors indicating greater degree of harm
1. Injury to others
2. Damage to other vehicles or property
3. High level of traffic or pedestrians in vicinity
4. Location e.g. near school when children are likely to be
present

Then consider a reduced sentence for guilty plea.

The Standard Band "A" fine is currently £50 The sentence in this case was £85. This approaches but does not reach the standard Band "B" fine of £100. It's about as high as a magistrate could go without breaking the guidelines.

I mention this because there seems to be an idea that magistrates and judges can just make the sentence as they go along. But they can't and if they go too far from the guidelines the sentences can be appealed. The magistrate also has to set down his /her reasons for adding on for aggravating and reducing for mitigating circumstances.

The issue is far more fundamental than getting annoyed with the CPS and the Judiciary or calling for higher sentences.

In most cases the road safety issue is not that sentences are too light but that there is almost no prospect of minor cases of careless or dangerous driving being dealt with at all.

Take speeding for example. It's happening all the time continuously and it's ignored. If believed that if they were speeding there would be a good chance that they would be caught they wouldn't do it. You wouldn't have to inctrease the sentence at all. It would be pretty clear that if you stood a good chance of being caught everytime you did it that if you carried on doing it you wouldn't have a licence by the end of the week.

We don't need higher sentences as such (though I am not against some increases) what we need is for the roads to be policed in a way that people know that their driving is being watched and monitored and that the police are minded to act.

The opposite is the case now. Most drivers believe that their driving is not monitored and that the police are not minded to prosecute minor offences.

Avatar
SB76 | 9 years ago
0 likes

People can get distracted at nothing sadly. We've all managed it, some worse than others!!

It's a case of hands up, accept hopefully the right punishment. At least he got out of his car and didn't try to blame the cyclist!!

Still, poor punishment. Doesn't serve as a warning shot to less pleasant drivers though does it!!

Avatar
Hensteeth | 9 years ago
0 likes

I wonder if anyone checked his eyesight.
Shouldn't be on the road. What a muppet.

Avatar
Quince | 9 years ago
0 likes

"It shows how dangerous any one of us can be if we fail to spot and take on board all of the other road users near us."

At least it acknowledges the responsibility that comes with simply USING a car. So that's good.

This tweet (twitter.com/kent_police/status/461379517400223744, as mentioned earlier, is not good. Although that's Kent, not Sussex.

Avatar
Pub bike | 9 years ago
0 likes

Sergeant Carl Knapp of Sussex Police said:

My message to all road users is look once, look twice and then look a third time if you have to - whatever you need to do to make sure you keep yourself and other people safe.

Actually motorists, just looking out of your windscreen directly in front of you might help?

I’m very wary of waiting in the centre of the road near the white line to turn right, so only if there is a filter will I not take primary position, although that wouldn’t really have helped in this case. The driver just wasn’t looking. It almost looks deliberate as though the driver was punishing the cyclist for blocking the way.

In any case if I’m signalling to turn right, there’s usually someone on a scooter coming towards me overtaking cars and will lop my arm off if it is anywhere near the white line, so I make sure my hand is on my side of the centreline, which puts me nicely in primary position so that cars can’t try to squeeze by on the inside and knock me off that way. This used to cause a lot of aggravation but people seem to have calmed down a bit recently.

Avatar
jacknorell | 9 years ago
0 likes

I'm happy the advice to cyclists started off with solid advice on where on the road and how to ride, at least we can point the Daily Fail readers to that snippet.

Won't work, but at least it proves 'authority' says it's a very good idea.

Avatar
harrybav replied to jacknorell | 9 years ago
0 likes
Police sergeant wrote:

there have equally been incidents where cyclists have been knocked down after pulling in front of vehicles without looking

Given human inattentiveness is more likely when we're putting others in danger, not ourselves, I very much doubt this "equally" thing.

Avatar
northstar | 9 years ago
0 likes

Pigs in being patronising shocker...again.

Avatar
Kinky aggro | 9 years ago
0 likes

I couldn't agree more. 7th Galaxy (great name!!) is right. Why should we have to wear hi-viz? I wear it, but only because I have poor dress sense. Surely it's not needed to recommend wearing it. Why not pedestrians? Because they aren't on the road and travelling at speed? Then let's have ALL vehicles in hi-viz colours. It's just an excuse for inattentive drivers.
The only case a driver can claim mitigating circumstances IMHO is if a cyclist is dressed in black, on a black bike at night on an unlit road when the moon is not out. Even then it's only MITIGATING!

I have a simple policy of how to treat a cyclist as a car driver -
Treat them as if it's your own child.

Avatar
7thGalaxy replied to Kinky aggro | 9 years ago
0 likes

Yeah, the duty to not drive into something is entirely in the hands of the driver, and if they can't be sure of seeing everything, they should slow down.

Before someone jumps on this - I'd class pulling out dangerously as driving into something - and this should apply to cyclists as much as it does to drivers.

Offtopic: It comes from a Chick Corea fusion tune 'Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy'. It was the first thing which I saw when I needed to pick a username for Call of Duty back in 2002, and it's stuck thereafter!

Avatar
7thGalaxy replied to Kinky aggro | 9 years ago
0 likes

Yeah, the duty to not drive into something is entirely in the hands of the driver, and if they can't be sure of seeing everything, they should slow down.

Offtopic: It comes from a Chick Corea fusion tune 'Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy'. It was the first thing which I saw when I needed to pick a username for Call of Duty back in 2002, and it's stuck thereafter!

Avatar
chrismayoh replied to Kinky aggro | 9 years ago
0 likes

The only case a driver can claim mitigating circumstances IMHO is if a cyclist is dressed in black, on a black bike at night on an unlit road when the moon is not out. Even then it's only MITIGATING!

Better make sure that bike's still fitted with the reflectors it was supplied with, then . . . . . . .  39

Avatar
giff77 | 9 years ago
0 likes

Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

Avatar
oozaveared replied to giff77 | 9 years ago
0 likes
giff77 wrote:

Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

Ok I'll play. Which is a more serious charge that would fit an offence profile in this case?

The offence of driving without due care and attention (careless driving) under section 3 of the RTA 1988 is committed when the defendants driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver - section 3ZA(2) of the RTA 1988.

So that a fit.

Let's try the next one up the scale that's Dangerous Driving.

It has the same criteria as this one of a standard of driving falling below etc but it adds an additional criteria of deliberation and/or persistence.

here's the charging guideline for the Dangerousness element.

The test for "dangerousness" is an objective one: persistent disregard of, say, traffic directions (be they "stop", "give way" or traffic lights) may be evidence that the manner of the driving has fallen far below the standard required, thus making a charge of dangerous driving appropriate.

There's the video. It looks to me like a single instance of inattention and lack of due care. I do not see persistence or deliberate dangerous driving.

Had the CPS charged this fellow with Dangerous Driving he would have been acquitted.

Avatar
7thGalaxy replied to oozaveared | 9 years ago
0 likes

I think you're right on this one, unfortunately. I'd love to see something along the lines of 'if you hurt or damage someone/something by driving in such a way that you would fail your test, you have to retake it before being allowed to drive solo again.'

It's not perfect, but it'd make people (including myself.. I'm careful around cyclists, but I suspect I've got some bad habits) think twice about checking their mirrors.

Avatar
giff77 replied to oozaveared | 9 years ago
0 likes
oozaveared wrote:
giff77 wrote:

Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

Ok I'll play. Which is a more serious charge that would fit an offence profile in this case?

The offence of driving without due care and attention (careless driving) under section 3 of the RTA 1988 is committed when the defendants driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver - section 3ZA(2) of the RTA 1988.

So that a fit.

Let's try the next one up the scale that's Dangerous Driving.

It has the same criteria as this one of a standard of driving falling below etc but it adds an additional criteria of deliberation and/or persistence.

here's the charging guideline for the Dangerousness element.

The test for "dangerousness" is an objective one: persistent disregard of, say, traffic directions (be they "stop", "give way" or traffic lights) may be evidence that the manner of the driving has fallen far below the standard required, thus making a charge of dangerous driving appropriate.

There's the video. It looks to me like a single instance of inattention and lack of due care. I do not see persistence or deliberate dangerous driving.

Had the CPS charged this fellow with Dangerous Driving he would have been acquitted.

Thanks for coming out to play  1 and giving me a bit more clarification. I somehow thought there was a charge somewhere between the dangerous and undue care. I am surprised at the 3 points though. Unless that brings him right up to the limit. Who knows.

Avatar
userabc replied to giff77 | 9 years ago
0 likes
giff77 wrote:

Again the CPS show their unwillingness to come up with a more serious charge. The youngster was in the refuge filter lane waiting to turn into the side street. Directly in front of the driver exiting. How could he fail to have seen her. Also 'glad' the judge opted for the minimum possible sentence. Didn't even bother with the discretionary disqualification.  102

I believe this is the junction of the video if you want to see the road layout.
( https://goo.gl/maps/k1YmL )
Having been along here I can't think of any distractions or obstructions.

Avatar
spence129 | 9 years ago
0 likes

I remember being 12 years old riding home from school on the path, one day a policeman saw me and I got a telling off and he told me to ride on the road! It was a 40mph dual carriageway! I wouldn't let my kids ride on busy roads in this country, which is a shame.

Avatar
PhilRuss | 9 years ago
0 likes

[[[[[ Absolutely outrageous comments from Sargeant Carl Naff...
Just who, and who alone, should he should be lecturing here?
P.R.

Avatar
jellysticks replied to PhilRuss | 9 years ago
0 likes
PhilRuss wrote:

[[[[[ Absolutely outrageous comments from Sargeant Carl Naff...
Just who, and who alone, should he should be lecturing here?
P.R.

What on earth are you talking about? His comments are entirely appropriate and reasonable. He's not lecturing anyone.

Avatar
Ush replied to jellysticks | 9 years ago
0 likes
jellysticks wrote:
PhilRuss wrote:

[[[[[ Absolutely outrageous comments from Sargeant Carl Naff...
Just who, and who alone, should he should be lecturing here?
P.R.

What on earth are you talking about? His comments are entirely appropriate and reasonable. He's not lecturing anyone.

I think he's talking about the tosser from the police force who, in the aftermath of another cretinous motorist ploughing into a cyclist, saw fit to open his trap and vomit forth rubbish about helmets and hi-viz.

Would you like anything else obvious explained to you?

Pages

Latest Comments