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Is this fair? Motorist is given five penalty points and a £400 fine after driving too close to a cyclist

By Tom Gibson | May 3, 2022

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A video posted by Sheffield North West policing team shows the car travelling quickly, and closely, to a cyclist

A driver in Sheffield was given five points and a £417 fine after this video emerged of them driving briefly over the central lines, at what looked to be a fairly decent speed - albeit this may still have been within the speed limit – and we’d estimate that they were also within 1m of a cyclist travelling in the opposite direction.

This incident has happened just weeks after new Highway Code guidance came into force that means motorists must now give cyclists extra space when passing.

In the video, the driver of a silver Peugeot speeds past the group while the cyclists were overtaking a parked car in single file. 

The video was taken by one of the cyclists and there were additional members of the group travelling behind the person that filmed the incident.

The video has sparked debate about whether this was the right decision or over the top policing. The Alliance of British Drivers said it 'undermines the credibility of the courts and the police', with other critics suggesting the cyclist should have given way.

But Sheffield North West Policing team said in a Tweet: 'If anyone thinks this is an acceptable manner of driving, let this be your warning.

'The driver didn’t just endanger one cyclist, he was also too close to those following. He would have seen a group of bikes in a line, and chose to accelerate to a speed increasing the danger to all of them and swerve over the white lines towards them. 

'If he had simply driven to the conditions at a less dangerous speed and stayed on his own side of the road he wouldn’t have been prosecuted.'

The decision to prosecute was called 'idiotic' by the Alliance of British Drivers, which said it 'undermines the credibility of the courts and the police'.

'We all know there are fanatics who want drivers to stop and bow down before every cyclist. If the police foolishly choose to side with them it will damage the relationship with the public,' the group said. 

'This is not policing, this is intimidation.'

Sheffield North West policing team defended its position, adding: 'If people do choose to endanger vulnerable road users by poor driving, they need to remember that any pedestrian, horse rider, cyclist or vehicle may be recording. 

'We will be happy to make sure that there are consequences to endangering others.'

The force said that the driver was also issued a S59 warning as soon as they were notified of the offence. 

This means that if he is seen to drive in a careless and antisocial manner in the year since it was issued his vehicle will be seized.

Let us know what you think in the comments box below. 

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