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A driver has gained five points on his licence and fined £417 after ‘accelerating’ and passing too close to a group of cyclists.

In a video shared by Sheffield North West policing team, the driver of a silver Peugeot speeds towards and past the group, with some of his car crossing over the central white lines, and into the other lane.

The cyclists were overtaking a parked car in single file. The video does not show the whole group, but the force clarified that footage was taken by one of the cyclists, with bikes in front and behind them.

The prosecution has sparked a row between motorists over who was in the right. 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 the force has defended the decision, stating if the driver had slowed and stayed in his lane, he would not have been prosecuted.

A driver has gained five points on his licence and fined £417 after driving too close to a group of cyclists

A driver has gained five points on his licence and fined £417 after driving too close to a group of cyclists

A driver has gained five points on his licence and fined £417 after driving too close to a group of cyclists 

The force 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.’

The decision to prosecute was called 'idiotic' by the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD)

The decision to prosecute was called 'idiotic' by the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD)

The decision to prosecute was called ‘idiotic’ by the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD)

The driver of a silver Peugeot can be seen speeding towards the group of cyclists from the opposite direction, over the central white lines

The driver of a silver Peugeot can be seen speeding towards the group of cyclists from the opposite direction, over the central white lines

The group of cyclists were passing a parked car at the time

The group of cyclists were passing a parked car at the time

The driver of a silver Peugeot can be seen speeding towards the group of cyclists from the opposite direction, over the central white lines

Other critics on Twitter argued that the cyclists should have given way to the passing car, due to the parked car in their lane. 

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. 

‘If he is seen to drive in a careless and antisocial manner in the year since it was issued his vehicle will be seized,’ it said.

Other Twitter users supported the force’s decision, commenting: ‘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.’

The force warned in a Tweet that the driving was not acceptable, and that the driver had been fined more than £400 for the incident

The force warned in a Tweet that the driving was not acceptable, and that the driver had been fined more than £400 for the incident

The force warned in a Tweet that the driving was not acceptable, and that the driver had been fined more than £400 for the incident

Another added: ‘What you have to do is stay on your own side of the dividing line when other road users are approaching in the oncoming lane, as this driver didn’t. If you find that a problem, hand in your licence, you’re not fit to drive.’

‘The driver is driving dangerously.’ another commenter said. ‘He should have slowed down and stayed well to the left, not drifted across the median line, into the lane of oncoming traffic at high speed. Learn to drive.’ 

Some also criticised the Alliance of British Drivers, for ‘defending illegal driving’.

Some also criticised the Alliance of British Drivers, for 'defending illegal driving'

Some also criticised the Alliance of British Drivers, for 'defending illegal driving'

Some also criticised the Alliance of British Drivers, for ‘defending illegal driving’

The ‘dangerous’ driving incident happened in August last year, before the Highway Code was updated.

It now advises drivers to ‘leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.’

It previously advised drivers to ‘give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car’.

New guidance also includes a ‘hierarchy of road users’ with those at most risk at the top.

Pedestrians come first, followed by cyclists, then horse riders, motorcyclists, and moves into cars, vans, minibuses and lorries.

What do the new Highway Code rules say? 

Here are four of the new rules that have been updated in the Highway Code:

NEW RULE H1 – How ‘hierarchy of road users’ will see responsibility on those who could cause most harm

It is important that ALL road users are aware of The Highway Code, are considerate to other road users and understand their responsibility for the safety of others. Everyone suffers when road collisions occur, whether they are physically injured or not. But those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, followed by vans/minibuses, cars/taxis and motorcycles. Cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles likewise have a responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians. Always remember that the people you encounter may have impaired sight, hearing or mobility, and may not be able to see or hear you. None of this detracts from the responsibility of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, to have regard for their own and other road users’ safety.

NEW RULE H2  – How drivers will now have to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a road or zebra crossing

Rule for drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists

At a junction you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning. You MUST give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing. You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing. Horse riders and horse drawn vehicles should also give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing. Pedestrians have priority when on a zebra crossing, on a parallel crossing or at light controlled crossings when they have a green signal. Cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared use cycle tracks. Only pedestrians may use the pavement. This includes people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Pedestrians may use any part of the road and use cycle tracks as well as the pavement, unless there are signs prohibiting pedestrians.

NEW RULE H3 – Drivers should not cut across cyclists and should wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists

Rule for drivers and motorcyclists

You should not cut across cyclists going ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle. This applies whether cyclists are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them. Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist going straight ahead to stop or swerve, just as you would do with a motor vehicle. You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary. This includes when cyclists are:

  • approaching, passing or moving off from a junction
  • moving past or waiting alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic
  • travelling around a roundabout

NEW RULE 72 – Cyclists can ride in the middle of quiet roads before pulling over to the left when necessary

Rule for cyclists  

Road positioning. When riding on the roads, there are two basic road positions you should adopt, depending on the situation.

1. Ride in the centre of your lane, to make yourself as clearly visible as possible, in the following situations:

  • on quiet roads or streets – if a faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely
  • in slower-moving traffic move over to the left if you can do so safely so that faster vehicles behind you can overtake when the traffic around you starts to flow more freely
  • at the approach to junctions or road narrowings where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake you

2. When riding on busy roads, with vehicles moving faster than you, allow them to overtake where it is safe to do so whilst keeping at least 0.5m away from the kerb edge. Remember that traffic on most dual carriageways moves quickly. Take extra care crossing slip roads.

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Source: Daily Mail

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