Row breaks out after motorist handed £400 fine and 5 points for 'driving too close' to cyclists

25 April 2022, 12:15

By Sophie Barnett

A row has broken out after a motorist was slapped with five points and a £400 fine for driving "too close" to cyclists on the other side of the road.

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The incident happened in Yorkshire, with Sheffield North West policing team sharing a video of the "careless driving" on Twitter.

The driver of a silver Peugeot can be seen accelerating past a group of cyclists, with some of his car crossing over the white line and into the other lane.

The cyclists were overtaking a parked car, with the footage taken by someone at the rear of the group.

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The driver has been fined for driving "too close" to the group of cyclists.
The driver has been fined for driving "too close" to the group of cyclists. Picture: Sheffield North West NPT

The driver was fined £417 and was slapped with five points on his licence.

"If anyone thinks this is an acceptable manner of driving, let this be your warning," Sheffield North West policing team said.

They said 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."

The prosecution has divided opinion amongst motorists over who was in the right, with some slamming the decision.

The Alliance of British Drivers said the "idiotic" prosecution "undermines the credibility of the courts and the police", with other critics suggesting the cyclists should have given way.

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"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."

Leslie Culyer said: "So the highway code rule of "if an obstruction is on your side of the road, you should give way to the oncoming traffic.

"Cyclists seem to be able to do whatever they wish. Not stopping at red to traffic lights, traveling the wrong direction on one way streets and more."

Others said the cyclists should have given way but police have defended their decision.

"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," Sheffield North West policing team said.

"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."

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Julian Collier wrote: "Well said. It's unbelievable how many drivers are unable to equate excessive speed around vulnerable road users as really dangerous! No one would pass a driving test driving to that example."

Brian Davison added: "The car has crossed the line presumably to avoid the trees. But the cyclist is on his own side all the time. The car should have waited till it was clear to cross the line. Good call."