How to complain about bad driving.

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thirdcrank
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Nov 2012, 9:56pm

scottmac

Just to change tack slightly, you mentioned having campaigned but with nothing achieved (my wording.)

I think it's worth noting that the Road Safety Act, 2006 went some way to tackle some of the points you mentioned, eg an unlicensed/ uninsured driver killing somebody. Among many other provisions, sec 21 amended the Road Traffic Act, 1988 to make that an offence.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/49/section/21

I'd be the last person to say that the situation is ideal, but that amendment of the law suggests to me that campaigning has some effect.

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scottmac
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby scottmac » 7 Nov 2012, 10:06pm

thirdcrank wrote:
I'd be the last person to say that the situation is ideal, but that amendment of the law suggests to me that campaigning has some effect.

I agree that it does, but the maximum sentence of 14 years has never been imposed, probably due to some jumped-up-brief giving his tuppence worth in a (farcical) court of law.

Anyhow, I'm off to bed as I have to walk to work tomorrow as my bike's in the attic. :wink:

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scottmac
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby scottmac » 7 Nov 2012, 10:10pm

****** Wiggo's been knocked off his bike!

http://www.lep.co.uk/news/local/wiggins ... -1-5102981

Let's see justice done now, eh?

LollyKat
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby LollyKat » 7 Nov 2012, 11:32pm

Shootist wrote:All that is left is the car driver being on the wrong side of the road. Without knowing the full facts of the case, and in particular when this happened as driving offences have changed over the years, what we are left with is a careless driving. The court will have had to ask itself the question, "What would the penalty be had the cyclist not been there and this driving event had taken place without harm?

Does that mean that the fact that harm did take place does not have much influence on the sentence because it was just bad luck that the cyclist was there?

Also would there normally be a separate charge for driving uninsured/unlicenced/without MOT or would that have been covered by the careless driving charge?

thirdcrank
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Nov 2012, 8:01am

LollyKat wrote: ... Does that mean that the fact that harm did take place does not have much influence on the sentence because it was just bad luck that the cyclist was there?


The defendant has to be convicted, of course, before there's any question of sentencing. Then the guidelines set a starting point. Aggravating factors and mitigation are then considered in reaching the sentence. There's little flexibility. It's normal now for a judge when passing sentence to explain what factors have been taken into account. the defendant can always appeal against sentence and they frequently do, with little to lose, so there's possibly a tendncy for sentencers to aim low to prevent it happening. If a sentence is considered unduly lenient, the Attorney General can refer the case to the Court of Appeal but I think that's less frequent.


Also would there normally be a separate charge for driving uninsured/unlicenced/without MOT or would that have been covered by the careless driving charge?


The offences charged have to be capable of proof by the evidence that the prosecution believes it will be able to call. One set of circumstances can include a lot of potential charges but it's normal only to proceed with the more serious. Part of the reason is that serious offences are generally indictable - trial by judge and jury - where the lesser offences can only be dealt with by magistrates. It's a complicated subject but on conviction for something like causing death by dangerous driving, the prosecution should outline the everything relevant to sentence.

For anybody wanting to dig deeper into this the CPS Prosecution policies are here:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/

There's a lot of general material and then policies for specific types of offence. "Bad driving " is here:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/pros ... olicy.html

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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby LollyKat » 8 Nov 2012, 2:12pm

Thanks, TC.

Highkicker79
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Highkicker79 » 20 Feb 2015, 12:13pm

Shootist wrote:I’ve read quite a few posts here about the futility of cyclists complaining to the police about bad driving of car drivers. So, here’s a guide as to how I think it can best be done. For those of you who think it too much trouble I can only say stop your futile whining on BBSs and at the tea shops as it’s utterly pointless.
It is not nearly as difficult as it might seem for what follows. Feel free to offer imrovements.

Here’s a few things for starters.
1. The police will almost certainly fail to prosecute anyone involved in an incident of which they are unaware. So bloody well report it. Also, if cyclists are being carved up regularly on a particular road and these events are not reported to the police and the council then both of those ‘organisations’ can, and will, deny there is a problem.
2. There has to be some fairly good evidence. Video cameras, witnesses, audio recordings, all are good. But, sometimes you have to accept that there is insufficient evidence and move on.
3. But, if you have gone to the bother of gathering the evidence, then why on earth waste it? You may end up saving someone’s life in the future if you pursue your complaint. It’s that serious.
4. Police officers today are only interested in whatever the police officers of today are interested in today. It’s an unfortunate fact that they do not care to be directed towards doing their job, so you have to apply pressure to persuade them.

So, let’s assume you have evidence, you’ve made the effort at the scene, written down car numbers, obtained the details of witnesses, photographed the scene etc. and finally, and most importantly, it isn’t your own stupid fault.

(A classic example of a good complaint is the left hooker video posted on this forum that I have commented upon previously. Perhaps the OP will be kind enough to post a link on this thread.)

There are two types of incident, one where the police attend, and the other where they don’t. I’ll start with the one where they don’t.

You have all the details and evidence. You have written them down in that little note book you carry with the little pen you also carry. As soon as you get home and have had your first cup of tea, you call the police (not 999) and tell them you wish to report a case of dangerous driving. Don’t bother to try and get it right about careless or inconsiderate. That doesn’t matter. You will be asked for your details which you will obviously supply. It is possible, even probable, that the person you speak to will suggest that there is insufficient evidence or to otherwise put you off. Ignore their advice as they are mostly call handlers who have no interest whatever in you or your problems. Here’s a list of things to insist upon.

1. That you wish to see a police officer to make a complaint of a criminal offence i.e. dangerous driving.
2. Insist you are given an incident number for your complaint.
3. Insist that (if there was no accident as defined in the road traffic act) the incident includes a requirement that the officer it is allocated to sends a written Notice Of Intended Prosecution (NIP) immediately he receives the report. Ask the call handler to confirm that this has been included in the incident report.
4. Make sure that the call handler has noted correctly the vehicle registration, type, colour, etc. correctly.
5. Ensure that the call handler notes that you have video evidence and witnesses etc. (assuming you have).
That should signal the end of phase 1. Note, on the above, they may not follow the sequence I have listed, but make sure they are all there.

Now for phase 2.

If you have video. Make copies. Lots of copies. On CD as well as all over your hard drive/s.
Then, as soon as is practicable and very much preferably the same day, sit and write or type a full summary of the event. Include:
1) Time, day, date, location of the incident.
2) Weather conditions, visibility, road surface conditions, traffic flow.
3) A basic sketch plan of the scene and what went where. Include a pointer to the north.
4) Time day and date you wrote this summary and prepared any video evidence.
Have another cup of tea.

Phase three. This can depend upon what the police do and when they do it, or not, as the case may be.
If you have not heard from them after no more than three days, phone up and, referring to the incident number (which you wrote down, didn’t you) and ask what is happening. Make particular reference to the NIP and ask if it has been sent. If the answer is not a definite yes, accompanied by details of who sent it and when, ask for a reminder to be sent. The NIP is vital in a non-accident complaint of dangerous / careless / inconsiderate driving and a few other relevant offences as if it isn’t sent within 14 days of the incident, there can be no prosecution. Be sure to press this point.

When, assuming one does, the police officer visits, make your statement and press for prosecution. Hand over copies of your notes and a video CD if requested, which you should be, at least in the case of the CD, and almost certainly your notes also. Make sure you retain copies as if you appear at court you can refer to these notes to assist you.

With luck you are now waiting to hear if you are going to have to attend court. CPS (Couldn’t Prosecute Satan) will have to make a decision. At the very least the driver will have had an NIP and a notice to require the ID of the driver at the time of the incident, which might buck his ideas up a bit.
Note that if the driver is prosecuted and pleads guilty you won’t have to appear in court. The police should keep you informed of what is happening, particularly in reference to any court proceedings, but they usually will not. Too much time and effort.

Part the next will follow for if the police fail in their duty, for then they must be taken to task.


Sorry to dig up such an old thread but this was quite useful instructions which I had to follow recently due to a very near miss.

I made the initial call and got an Incident Reference number. Then filled in a Self Reporting Form at a local Police station giving them all the information and the Incident Reference number, I was told that I would hear back within 2 weeks time. I gave it a few days before chasing it up and spoke the Police offer who would be receiving the report and handling it (if not him then one of his colleagues in his department). What he gave me was some different information. He said they would need to wait for the report to come through from the Police station it was reported too, the evidence would then need to be obtained and then they'd need to speak to the driver in question before an NIP might be issued. It all sounded like it was going to take more than 2 weeks so I raised the concern, what happens if the NIP isn't issued within 2 weeks, does that mean that there's no chance of prosecution?

He then clarified the points:
If after reviewing the evidence, there is grounds for prosecution, it doesn't matter whether an NIP is issued in 2 weeks or not. They can take up to 6 months to put together evidence before a summons to court is issued. He said that they cannot issue an NIP without reviewing the evidence and speaking to the other party to get their side of the story. His explanation was that if they didn't, it could be very distressing for someone to be given an NIP when they are falsely accused of something. However, my video evidence (both front and rear camera views) are very clear cut that it was a dangerously close overtake so I can't imagine that they'd even need to speak to the other person to get their side of the story because there's nothing really to tell from their side.

Anyhow, I'm going through this process for the first time so I'm a little confused with what is correct and what is not. He did categorically say that I was misinformed about the 2 week deadline for sending out an NIP as a precursor for any legal court summons as they can summon anyone up to 6 months later even without sending out the NIP.

Tonyf33
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Tonyf33 » 20 Feb 2015, 2:11pm

Well done, hope you get the outcome desired.
Think if you're able to post the resultant on the forum as a seperate thread with how you went about things that would be interesting for people to read about.

Highkicker79
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Highkicker79 » 20 Feb 2015, 2:21pm

Tonyf33 wrote:Well done, hope you get the outcome desired.
Think if you're able to post the resultant on the forum as a seperate thread with how you went about things that would be interesting for people to read about.


Yes, I'll definitely do that after I've heard back from them. But I agree with the opening posters comments about no point going to the effort of capturing evidence (i.e. using cycle cams) if all you do with it is whinge on forums where nothing really will get done. Just need to do a few things just to bring it to the Police's attention in a manner they can actually do something about it. It's extremely unlikely Police will do anything from a forum post whinge.

But just for info, I don't believe the call to get an incident number is necessary. The Police for my area is Metropolitan Police station, I just have to fill in Section 4 of the Self Reporting Form (Form 207, also available here).

If the video evidence fully explains the situation then the form only takes 2 minutes to fill in. However, just to save time in future, I'm going to create a Word template that'll allow me to enter details on the computer and then printing it on an already printed PDF 207 form will then just have all the fields aligned. The only thing I'd need to hand write is my signature.

thirdcrank
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Feb 2015, 3:08pm

Re NIPs

The subject is covered in some detail on the CPS website here:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road ... P344_37188

In brief, if you have correctly quoted the person who advised you, they were talking rubbish. O tempora, O mores!

In the absence of an "accident" several traffic offences, including careless/ dangerous/ inconsiderate driving cannot be the subject of criminal proceedings unless an NIP is served either on the driver or registered keeper within 14 days of the alleged offence.

Apart from "accidents" the only other leeway is if the name and address of the accused or the registered keeper could not with reasonable diligence be ascertained within the (14 days) or the defendant contributed to that failure by his or her own conduct. (See the same link.) The idea is that the suspect is alerted to the possibility of proceedings while things are fresh in their mind and the prosecution certainly does not have six months to consider the evidence before deciding about an NIP (That six months is the time limit for obtaining a summons - with certain exceptions - for summary offences and is explained further down my CPS link.) From the same link, here's one of the biggest understatements ever made:
A claim that the requirements of the section have not been complied with is a popular technical defence

Google "NIP" and you will die of boredom before ploughing through to the end of all the ads from loophole merchants. Talking of ploughing, plough through some of my own trips down memory lane on here and the subject of NIPs looms large. If your incident was now more than a fortnight ago and if you provided registration details which were good enough to trace the vehicle, if no NIP has been served, then it's one of those things you put down to experience (to quote lyrics which betray my age :oops: )

Highkicker79
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Highkicker79 » 20 Feb 2015, 3:16pm

thirdcrank wrote:Re NIPs

The subject is covered in some detail on the CPS website here:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road ... P344_37188

In brief, if you have correctly quoted the person who advised you, they were talking rubbish. O tempora, O mores!

In the absence of an "accident" several traffic offences, including careless/ dangerous/ inconsiderate driving cannot be the subject of criminal proceedings unless an NIP is served either on the driver or registered keeper within 14 days of the alleged offence.

Apart from "accidents" the only other leeway is if the name and address of the accused or the registered keeper could not with reasonable diligence be ascertained within the (14 days) or the defendant contributed to that failure by his or her own conduct. (See the same link.) The idea is that the suspect is alerted to the possibility of proceedings while things are fresh in their mind and the prosecution certainly does not have six months to consider the evidence before deciding about an NIP (That six months is the time limit for obtaining a summons - with certain exceptions - for summary offences and is explained further down my CPS link.) From the same link, here's one of the biggest understatements ever made:
A claim that the requirements of the section have not been complied with is a popular technical defence

Google "NIP" and you will die of boredom before ploughing through to the end of all the ads from loophole merchants. Talking of ploughing, plough through some of my own trips down memory lane on here and the subject of NIPs looms large. If your incident was now more than a fortnight ago and if you provided registration details which were good enough to trace the vehicle, if no NIP has been served, then it's one of those things you put down to experience (to quote lyrics which betray my age :oops: )


I reported the incident to the police station 2 days after the incident. I'll chase it up again early next week to see how goes. May be he was talking about it being an accident but I did mention to him that it was not an accident but a near miss due to dangerous driving.

thirdcrank
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Feb 2015, 4:38pm

The word "accident" has become controversial, but it is the word used in this and other legislation. The situation is blurred by different interpretations being used in different contexts. "Following an accident" is one of the grounds for the police having a power to require a breath test from a driver. The decided cases there have tended to give the word a wide meaning so that incidents which did not involve a collision have been included. OTOH, as I posted, the rationale behind the NIP system is to alert the driver when the events are still fresh in their mind. Decided NIP cases have, therefore, gone the other way so that even when there has been a collision, if it's possible that the driver was unaware that there had been a collision, then the defence may argue that there should have been an NIP.

I don't like coming the old soldier, but there was a time when any police officer taking a report like this at a police station would have dealt with the service of an NIP before submitting it for a decision about whether it should be investigated etc. It's a while since I've seen anything of shootist on the forum and his experience is more recent than mine but I think his views on NIPs seem to be even more strongly expressed than mine.

Highkicker79
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Highkicker79 » 25 Feb 2015, 3:04pm

I've not forgotten to update here about my experience. It's still on going but I must say pulling my own teeth out feels like less hassle than what I'm going through now. Things are definitely not as simple as described in the opening post. However, it has been a few years since so may be times have changed with procedures and processes. Watch this space.

thirdcrank
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Feb 2015, 1:12pm

The law and procedures for enforcing it do change but my link to the CPS stuff on NIP's is current. The staffing of police station enquiry counters has been largely passed to people employed solely to do that work, whose training and experience are inevitably limited. I could understand how an enquiry desk clerk might not be aware of the NIP procedure, but not somebody delegated to carry out the investigation of a complaint of bad driving. I'd like to think that you have misunderstood what you were told but I fear that that is not the case, which means that your experience is just another example of how little priority is now given to the enforcement of traffic offences.

The fortnight for serving an NIP slips away in no time at all. The file need only linger briefly in the police internal mail and it's panic stations if the NIP is to be posted in time to get there within 14 days. Or rather, it used to be panic stations, once upon a time.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 1 Mar 2015, 8:28am

The original post is riddled with errors, technical, procedural, and frankly moral.

For example, dangerous driving itself is not a criminal offence, it's a motoring offence, although any particular individual act in this regard could be a criminal offence in its own right (eg, manslaughter). When you give legal advice you're liable for the consequences, so unless you're a solicitor you shouldn't give it. If you're a punter you shouldn't take legal advice from anyone not qualified and without sufficient liability cover.

And sweeping generalisations about what police officers may or may not care about does nothing to engender us as a user group to the prosecution authorities.

Another example... in court, the only evidence you should refer to is that presented by the prosecution and declared to the defence prior to the trial. You must ask the courts permission before referring to such material to refresh your memory, and they may decline that request (it does happen). Ask the prosecution lawyer to be permitted to read your statement on the morning of the trial to try and avoid the need to refer to it while giving your evidence. Every single piece of evidence you retain must be declared as "unused material" on the case file MG6. This is a legal requirement, and if you don't you will sink the case and bring great discredit on the officer in the case.

Factually incorrect on many points, and engendering unnecessary conflict on the other. Not a good start.
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