I didn’t start cycling to grass on people; I started it to get fit whilst enjoying myself. However I also didn’t start it to get hit by an idiot in a car who thinks passing me at less than 30cm is an acceptable overtake.
Police now run a system called operation snap where people can upload videos of such things for assessment and possible prosecution, and a few weeks ago I submitted my first one. It was on a cycle ride just outside Normanton – I’d taken the bike on the van and had a little ride at work during my lunch break.
The car in question – strangely enough an electric vehicle – a mini – put the pinch on me and forced me to swerve towards the kerb as they did a MGIF (must get in front). We stopped at lights not 100 yards later and I went up the cycle lane on the inside.
Well I submitted the video to West Yorkshire Police operation snap and I received a notification yesterday that the driver had been sent a notice of intended prosecution and had been offered a driver improvement course at their own expense.
Driver improvement courses are an alternative to 3 penalty points; although they stay on your driving record for 3 years and you can’t do another until the previous one has expired – so if you commit another offence you’ll not be offered one and will be dealt with in the appropriate manner. They cost more than the fixed penalty fine (£140 versus £100) but you don’t have to tell your insurers.
Sadly, South Yorkshire Police have yet to roll out operation snap – I had one close pass yesterday which I would certainly have reported – but I’ve sent an email to them asking when the scheme is to roll out and attaching my close pass video for their consideration.
I’ll not be publishing the videos provided both are resolved successfully. Whilst cyclingmikey on YouTube does post them with the result; I have a belief that if you report someone off the back of a dashcam or cycle cam video and they are successfully prosecuted then they should not be embarrassed any further for their mistake and hopefully they have learnt their lesson.
It seems I’ve succumbed to Swine Flu. I blame the pigs.
I feel pretty damned rough, and it’s not helping the fact that my old injury of my broken pinkie has decided to become sore again… I may end up having that one checked out… I know I’ve not broken it again, but I do fear arthritis may set in…
Meanwhile, I’ve been shifting my focus back onto my upright acoustic bass ready for Paul’s wedding do next weekend… it’s just whether I’m well enough to fit a rehearsal in?
Finally… my complaint about the police has been put in. I was disgusted by the way I was given hardly any time to show my phone log, and then the w**ker of a “copper” said he “didn’t believe me”. He was arrogant – just the sort of police officer we DON’T want in the force.
I have sent off the little bit at the bottom of the yellow ticket asking to go to court, and now await the latest phone bill. My doctor’s letter more than clarifies that I couldn’t possibly answer a phone using my left ear – and my apprentice, Alex, is willing to go to court with me and stand as a witness.
Before I forget – my ear has an update as of today – it crackled rather painfully earlier today, and I gained back another % of my hearing – I’d say I’m now at 60% in my left ear, and 95% in my right ear… looking up!
… or abuse of powers?
I was stopped today by Her Majesty’s Police for “using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving”.
OK, Had I been using my hand held mobile phone whilst driving, then I would own up, pay the £60 and take the three points… problem is… I wasn’t.
I had Alex in the van with me (we were actually having an in depth discussion about how smelly Tuna Salad is and why we have to drive with all the windows down when he eats it), not using my mobile phone (which I may add was in a rather inaccessible pocket).
The policeman (who I am presuming is illiterate due to the fact that he can’t even fill in his own name fully on the yellow slip), and was possibly the most arrogant member of the police force I have ever had to deal with issued me a fixed penalty notice… saying “I saw you with the phone up to your left ear”
Ohhhhh wait till he sees the Doctor’s report in court! – I’ve been virtually deaf in my left ear for almost 6 weeks now due to the infection and damage.
Yes. I am rejecting the fixed penalty notice and taking it to court, because… well… I’m innocent.