Elderly man blasts ‘appalling’ decision to fine him £4.5k for driving too close to cyclist

Jeremy Vine panelists criticise 'snitching busybody' cyclist

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Wayne Humphreys, 77, was prosecuted at Cardiff Magistrates court for driving without due care and attention after Go-pro footage of him passing a cyclist was uploaded to a police website which allows officers to review footage taken by the public.

The businessman ended up some £4,500 out of pocket together with four penalty points on his licence.

The incident happened while Mr Humphreys drove his white Audi Q8 in Wales last year, reported the Mail Online.

In the footage uploaded to the ‘Gosafe’ website by the unnamed cyclist, Mr Humphreys can be seen overtaking the rider, followed by several other cars which do the same thing.

The video was then sent to the ‘Operation Snap’ portal where it was reviewed and Mr Humphreys was contacted.

He subsequently refused he had done anything wrong and wasn’t issued with a penalty or asked to attend an awareness course.

Mr Humphreys said: ‘I think the fine is absolutely appalling.

“I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago for doing 34 miles per hour in a 30 zone.

“Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years.”

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After the UK Highway code was updated earlier this year, drivers legally have to give cyclists at least 1.5 metres of space when passing them.

The amount of incidents reported to police using uploaded footage is likely to rise due to the proliferation of cyclists using head-mounted cameras.

Meanwhile, Mr Humphreys said that he measured the road in question and estimated the gap he left for the cyclist was more than sufficient.

He said: “Taking into account the cyclist and his bike there would have still been at least four foot space.

“I find it absolutely incredible this has happened. I don’t know whether to appeal it or not. It will probably just cost me more money.

“This has already cost me about £4,500 with the money for the court and the solicitor.

“It doesn’t make sense to me.”

A GoSafe spokesman said: “GoSafe received footage of a white Audi overtaking a cyclist on Pant Hirwaun, Bridgend on Wednesday, 15th September 2021, without leaving enough space to perform the manoeuvre.

“The driver, Wayne Humphreys, from Pontyclun, was contacted and offered a course.

“The What’s Driving Us course is offered to drivers/riders as an alternative to prosecution for the offence of driving without due care and attention. Mr Humphreys failed to accept this course and later failed to comply with a fixed penalty notice.

“This resulted in him appearing in Cardiff Magistrates Court on 8th June 2022. He was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. He received 4 penalty points on his licence, given a £1152 fine, £620 costs, and a £115 victim surcharge.”

“GoSafe regularly receives similar submissions through Op Snap and has worked closely with drivers and cycling groups to develop Operation Close Pass, which looks to educate both drivers and cyclists on how to stay safe on our roads. This includes promoting one of the fundamental things to remember when overtaking a cyclist, to reduce your speed and always leave 1.5 metres between your vehicle and a cyclist, whenever safe to do so.

“Despite this, unfortunately, GoSafe continues to receive regular Op Snap submissions relating to close pass incidents. This outcome shows that these submissions are taken seriously and given the appropriate amount of attention, as we continue to work towards ensuring that our roads are safer for everyone.

“If you have information on close pass incident or other possible road traffic offence, you can submit the details, along with supporting footage, to GoSafe using Operation Snap.”

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