What Constitutes Careless Driving?

I had a run in with a driver a few weeks ago. I was minding my own business in a cycle lane, when all of a sudden I had a car almost touching me and forcing me to take action to avoid a collision. The clip was forwarded to RoadSafe who forwarded it to my local traffic unit for the potential for prosecution.

According to the Road Traffic Act, Careless Driving is

A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way he drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

I would say that driving is well below par of a competent or careful driver. The driver came only inches away from hitting my handle bars with her wing mirror and encroached into the cycle lane whilst I was using it.

I was informed yesterday that the police would not be taking matters any further. At this moment in time I am unsure why, I have asked them if they can let me know their choices behind not taking this further considering the evidence.

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10 thoughts on “What Constitutes Careless Driving?

    • I wouldn’t say that. Roadsafe took a look at this, saw it was bad, thought it was worthy of a potential prosecution and forwarded it onto the relevant department.

  1. The Police are bloody idiots, it is clear to anyone viewing this how close this clustermonkey came to the cyclist (you), a lesser experience cyclist would have came off & you almost did. It seems to me that the Police would be forced for action if you where knocked off ? it is also clear that the driver was doing their face, using the radio, mobile etc. This is going to be very interesting to know why the Police are not taking action on this. I await the reply from the Police on this. Keep use informed Gaz.

  2. Couldn’t tell for certain, but presumably they were texting, checking their email or on facebook. What else could have cause that drifting? Falling asleep, make-up?

    The results of the experiment clearly show that participants’ driving performance was
    impaired by the concurrent smartphone task, and the smartphone task was also affected
    by driving. When compared with their driving performance without a smartphone:
    • Participants were more likely to miss the reaction time stimuli while using their
    phone.
    • When they did respond, reaction times to visual and auditory stimuli were found
    to increase by approximately 30% when using a smartphone to send and receive
    messages on a social networking site.
    • They were unable to maintain a central lane position and this resulted in an
    increased number of unintentional lane departures.
    • They were unable to respond as quickly to a lead vehicle gradually changing
    speed, thus driving at a more variable time headway.
    • They spent between 40% and 60% of the time looking down while using a
    smartphone to write or read messages, compared with about 10% of the time
    looking down in the same sections of the control drive.

    http://www.iam.org.uk/images/stories/Policy_Research/PPR592_secure.pdf

  3. They’ll probably claim it’s because the didn’t hit you which IMHO is only down to you taking evasive action. From what I can see she had no reason to drift over to the left asides from being “careless”, surely she should have seen you as she came up from behind and you’re pretty much alongside her as she moves over.

  4. I think the police just don’t like video recorded data from cyclists, they are also only really bothered if something happened. I have been knocked off twice, once by a lorry and once by a car, both wing-mirror to arm/handlebar incidents. Both vehicles just kept on driving, although I gave chase to the lorry but lost it, a plain white truck and I did not memorise the plate.

    I wish I had a camera at the time but I am not sure where it stands legally i.e. Are we supposed to have some sort of licence to be a mobile CCTV unit and can it be used in a court of law? Is there any known case that has gone to court where footage from a cyclists camera has been used in evidence? I know there are plenty of cases where it has been used to apply a fine to a driver but what about anything more serious?

    Now I am searching for a camera to buy! What is the best model with the best battery life?

  5. Shocking. What really makes the red mist come down is when people don’t apologise. The driver nearly killed or injured you. Saying sorry diffuses the whole situation – we all make mistakes, it’s how you behave afterwards that counts. Refusing to say sorry in this instance is unforgivable.

    The Police reaction is, sadly, unsurprising. I got hit by a minicab driver who was doing an illegal U-turn in front of a double decker bus. They caused permanent damage to my left heel. I was hospitalised. The driver accepted 100% liability for insurance purposes, but Police were’t interested in that either.

  6. Can you bring private prosecutions for this type of thing, Probs not worth it but interesting if you could.

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