Reporting dangerous drivers

Arjimlad

Tights of Cydonia
Location
South Glos
An update on my experience of reporting phone users and dangerous drivers using camera footage.

I've reported 152 drivers to Avon and Somerset police since Nov 2018, for dangerous driving/phone use. Only 7 were NFA.

I like to hope that's 145 local risk-taking drivers who have received warnings, fixed penalties or prosecution, warning others to be more careful & I hope making local roads a bit safer for all users.

It's a shame that the only feedback you get is

"Thank you for taking the time to upload your footage which has now been processed (a warning letter or a fixed penalty or a prosecution has been issued). Thank you for helping to keep our roads safe.

I can confirm that as you are a witness to this offence, you will not receive any further updates."

There have been some distressing and alarming incidents where I've been told I'm just a witness, which is rather rude actually.

I'm dealing with prosecution of one threatening driver where I'm deemed to be the victim of his verbal threats after a close pass. It seems to take deliberate intimidation or injury for a witness to become a victim.

In most cases though, it's correct. I realise that it is resource intensive to give feedback on every report, and mostly it's enough to know that some contact will be made with the registered keeper.

Other police forces give even less feedback, others give a lot more. There's a dashcam working group trying to standardise the feedback given nationwide.

I'd encourage anyone who has the inclination to report bad drivers. I still enjoy my cycling very much indeed, most drivers are great, and it's been satisfying to get the dangerous few dealt with.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Excellent work. The only bit with which I would disagree is the issue with warnings - crimjnals of any stripe simply don't give a sheet about getting a finger wagging. In their tiny minds they simply think they got away with it.

Thats why my old farce gave up giving telling offs for anyrhing. Theres no evidence it generated any positve benefit, was resource intensive, and on occasion open to abuse with people making malicious reports (although with cyclists and video eviedece thats less of a concern). It's a waste of breath and/or paper. Having ceased to give telling offs there was no corresponding rise or fall in reported offences, demonstrating that it had zero effect. All it was good for was making the person making the report feel warm and fuzzy.

And yes, they way the law is written there must be evidence that the act is directed at you before you become the victim, otherise the victim is Regina and you are a witness. Thats the law, not much the dibble can do with that.
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
Excellent work. The only bit with which I would disagree is the issue with warnings - crimjnals of any stripe simply don't give a sheet about getting a finger wagging. In their tiny minds they simply think they got away with it.

Thats why my old farce gave up giving telling offs for anyrhing. Theres no evidence it generated any positve benefit, was resource intensive, and on occasion open to abuse with people making malicious reports (although with cyclists and video eviedece thats less of a concern). It's a waste of breath and/or paper. Having ceased to give telling offs there was no corresponding rise or fall in reported offences, demonstrating that it had zero effect. All it was good for was making the person making the report feel warm and fuzzy.

And yes, they way the law is written there must be evidence that the act is directed at you before you become the victim, otherise the victim is Regina and you are a witness. Thats the law, not much the dibble can do with that.
I largely agree with you.

I worked in a different area of legal activity and when we stopped giving more than one warning, and instead went directly to penalty notice or prosecution we saw a significant improvement in people's behaviour.

It certainly seemed that repeated warnings were almost completely ineffective, however the first warning did seem to be worthwhile in terms of improved outcomes.
 
OP
Arjimlad

Arjimlad

Tights of Cydonia
Location
South Glos
I remember before online reporting, this incident where a driver overtook me around a notorious blind bend.

Getting nowhere with the initial report, I sent a link to the footage to my local beat officer. He'd attended various collisions on this bend over the years. He went to see the driver. She was horrified, he said, and apologetic. She still overtakes me very regularly on my commute, but ever since she's been very careful.

You don't get this sort of approach nowadays!

But warning a bad driver that he/she's been filmed doing something daft at least lets them know that the next cyclist might have a camera. They may not give a fig, but if there's a repeat performance they're more likely to face a penalty.
 

John482

Active Member
I'll report any driver that harasses me or others but I don't bother watching to see if a driver is using a phone or some thing like that. Relations between cyclists and drivers are already strained. A lot of them basically hate us for being hard to see and moving slowly. The stress of driving a car pretty much puts everyone on the edge in the first place. They know in the back of their minds that they could die and any moment or be hurt pretty bad. Throw us into the mix and it makes it even worse on them. So, I think of it as a balance, I advocate for everyone, drivers or cyclists. It's the moron with the big mouth making threats who should be taken off the road or out of society in general really. After all , we are supposed to be a civilization and if people can't live up to that then why are they even in our civilization? I say jail, or move out of the country or live in a prison if you have to threaten others or endanger people on the road.
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
I'll report any driver that harasses me or others but I don't bother watching to see if a driver is using a phone or some thing like that. Relations between cyclists and drivers are already strained. A lot of them basically hate us for being hard to see and moving slowly. The stress of driving a car pretty much puts everyone on the edge in the first place. They know in the back of their minds that they could die and any moment or be hurt pretty bad. Throw us into the mix and it makes it even worse on them. So, I think of it as a balance, I advocate for everyone, drivers or cyclists. It's the moron with the big mouth making threats who should be taken off the road or out of society in general really. After all , we are supposed to be a civilization and if people can't live up to that then why are they even in our civilization? I say jail, or move out of the country or live in a prison if you have to threaten others or endanger people on the road.
Cyclists are not 'hard to see' if a driver is using the road appropriately and looking where he is going and properly assessing the road and hazards ahead of him.

Some drivers may find driving stressful - some school-run mums seem to fit this description, though the cause of the stress may not be the driving. Others are simply incompetent, and there are drivers out there who would not pass the minimum eyesight requirements.

However, I find that a large proportion of drivers are the opposite - blase, relaxed, sometimes driving on autopilot and sometimes distracted by their phones. Often surprised when a cyclist miraculously appears in front of them 'out of nowhere'.

Then there are the thankfully small number of arrogant or aggressive drivers who see cyclists as an annoying nuisance whose presence can be more or less ignored or dealt with by a punishment pass.
 
OP
Arjimlad

Arjimlad

Tights of Cydonia
Location
South Glos
Cyclists are not 'hard to see' if a driver is using the road appropriately and looking where he is going and properly assessing the road and hazards ahead of him.

Some drivers may find driving stressful - some school-run mums seem to fit this description, though the cause of the stress may not be the driving. Others are simply incompetent, and there are drivers out there who would not pass the minimum eyesight requirements.

However, I find that a large proportion of drivers are the opposite - blase, relaxed, sometimes driving on autopilot and sometimes distracted by their phones. Often surprised when a cyclist miraculously appears in front of them 'out of nowhere'.

Then there are the thankfully small number of arrogant or aggressive drivers who see cyclists as an annoying nuisance whose presence can be more or less ignored or dealt with by a punishment pass.
My cameras catch a fair few whose driving appears to indicate they are in that last category. At least they notice you & try not to hit you whilst inflicting a punishment pass.

The scariest dangerous drivers are the blasé inattentive autopilots, I think ... they're the ones most likely to feature at an inquest or injury trial.
 
In most cases though, it's correct. I realise that it is resource intensive to give feedback on every report, and mostly it's enough to know that some contact will be made with the registered keeper.
If the police keep records of outcomes, they've just made a deliberate decision not to provide feedback, in this day and age, it's perfectly possible for some form of the outcome record to be sent digitally and without any human input once records are finalised.
 
The stress of driving a car pretty much puts everyone on the edge in the first place. They know in the back of their minds that they could die and any moment or be hurt pretty bad. Throw us into the mix and it makes it even worse on them.
It's a wonder they don't give up driving and get a bike. Maybe we SHOULD be piling on the pressure?
 
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matticus

Über Member
I'll report any driver that harasses me or others but I don't bother watching to see if a driver is using a phone or some thing like that. Relations between cyclists and drivers are already strained. A lot of them basically hate us for being hard to see and moving slowly. The stress of driving a car pretty much puts everyone on the edge in the first place. They know in the back of their minds that they could die and any moment or be hurt pretty bad. Throw us into the mix and it makes it even worse on them.
worra load of bollix.
 
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