Moment cyclist falls off bike sparks outrage after driver fined £1000 for 'reckless' pass

1 April 2022, 16:08

Cyclist falls off her bike after car passes close to group

By Liam Gould

A Land Rover driver was fined over £1,000 for not giving a group of cyclists enough room on a country road after one fell into a ditch.

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Paul Nigel Miley was driving a Land Rover Defender when he was captured on video passing a group of cyclists without slowing down on a narrow country lane just outside the town.

The moment was captured by one of the cyclist's helmet cameras during the incident in June last year. Northamptonshire Police called the incident a "reckless overtaking manoeuvre."

The 52-year old was fined over £1,000 after admitting to driving without due care and attention. The cyclists sent the footage to Northamptonshire Police's online video department Operation Snap.

Mr Miley pleaded guilty, appearing before a magistrates court on 18 March, and received five points on his driving licence, a fine of £1,008 and was ordered to pay £100 in costs and a £101 victim surcharge.

The footage shows the group of cyclists riding down a narrow country road when the Land Rover comes toward them from the other direction.

The driver doesn't slow down and continues to head toward the group, narrowly passing them, which causes one of the cyclists to fall off her bike and into a ditch.

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bike fall
Northamptonshire driver fined £1000 for 'reckless' pass after video shows cyclist falling off bike. Picture: Northamptonshire Police

PC Mo Allsopp-Clarke of Northamptonshire Police's Safer Roads Team said: "Miley initially pleaded not guilty to the offence, claiming he had driven extremely slowly past the group and was unable to move further across.

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"The video evidence clearly showed that Miley had no consideration for the cyclists on that day, and when he appeared at magistrates’ court, he changed his plea to guilty."

Northamptonshire Police say that Mr Miley did not uphold the safety of a competent driver, and should have stopped to allow the cyclists to pass.

PC Allsopp-Clarke added: "The success of Operation Snap is down to the continued support from the public, who enable us to take action against driving offences we otherwise wouldn't see.

"Hopefully this case demonstrates that we take all instances of poor driving very seriously and we will prosecute offenders accordingly, which can only be a good thing to help keep our roads safer."

The video has caused debate on social media with some claiming the driver didn't come close to the cyclists.

One user wrote: "Seriously, what did the driver do wrong? It was not their fault that the first rider stopped and the second couldn’t put her foot on the floor."

Another added: "I would understand if he had overtaken them but surely you would see he’s coming the other way then perhaps stop to let the car pass.

"If I’m on my bike and I see a large car coming on a single track road I’d give it priority. It’s not like it can get over any more."

But, other users have argued the driver was firmly in the wrong, with one user simply calling the verdict "correct."

"Is that at least a 1.5m gap? No. Is it a safe & legal pass? No. Was the verdict correct? Yes."