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Next entry: He never wants to stop at all!

Previous entry: Boating on the River Avon

Sunday, 11 May 2014
Do you really want to kill me?

On a blustery afternoon this week, the driver of this van almost took me out. 

I went back to the scene yesterday afternoon and took this photograph from a different angle to show the width of the road.


I also took some measurements.  I was cycling about 75 cm from the pavement. There is a metal drain in the road there which extends approximately 60 cm into the road. My bicycle handlebars are about 70 cm wide, which means that my right handlebar was about 110 cm from the pavement.  Using a still from the video, I can establish that the van was less than 150 cm from the pavement. The van was also coming closer to me as it overtook, so it would have passed me with less than 40 cm to spare. As I have stated above this was a blustery afternoon and I was struggling into a headwind.  I believe that the driver of van registration LG57WNJ was reckless and was driving dangerously.

Please see also the following video, a personal message from Quentin Field-Boden:

Update: (12/05/2014)
The original incident occurred at approximately 16:30, last Friday 9/05/2014.  I emailed Kent Police the following day, requesting an “allegation of bad driving” form. They replied that they don’t have such a thing, and requested me to call Kent police on 01622690690 quoting the assigned reference number 10-0913. This morning I did call them, and had a brief discussion. I gave her the details of the incident, the registration number of the vehicle (which she seemed to validate). I mentioned that I had not been injured, and that I had good video footage of the incident. She seemed interested and said she would pass on the details to the responsible unit, who would evaluate it and who may or may not get back to me. It looks like I will have to wait a few days and then follow up with them again.

Update (28/05/2014)
Last week I again phoned Kent Police to get an update on the case. When they phoned me back, the case officer said there was a note that I had “CCTV footage” of the incident. I confirmed this, and she asked me to send her the video files, which I did.

Today I have received a letter, dated 27/05/2014, with reference WD/070/14LAB as follows:

Dear xx

I write to provide you with an update on the allegation of poor driving standards that you recently reported.

Following a review of the CCTV footage it has been decided that there is not sufficient evidence which is likely to result in a successful prosecution. Accordingly no further action is being taken.

We have however written to the keeper of the vehicle to make them aware of the allegation, and to remind them of the increased risk to road safety when such offences are committed.

Thank you for taking the trouble to contact us.

Your sincerely
Case Review Officer

It seems that contravention of Highway Code #163 is not a serious issue for Kent Police.

Update (08/06/2014)
I was not satisfied with the above response, as I felt that Kent Police were shrugging me off.  I sent them the following email on 29/05/2014:

Dear xx

Thank-you for your letter dated 27 May 2014 and received today.

I note that in your letter you have referred to my allegation of “poor driving standards”, but I would like to clarify that I have actually alleged that the driver was driving dangerously, and illegally (in contravention of Highway Code 163). I believe my allegation was a more definite (and less ambiguous) allegation than the one you have ascribed to me.

In any event, at this stage could you please advise me of your appeals procedure so that I could appeal this decision. In case there is not option of an appeal at this stage, could you please send me your complaints procedure?

Kind regards,

I received the following reply later the same day:

Dear xx

Thank you for your email requesting to appeal the decision of ‘no further action’, i have forwarded your email on to the Case Review Team along with the file. The file will be reallocated to an officer for a second review, and they will contact you in due course with their decision.

Kind regards,
Traffic Caseworker
Traffic Summons Team
Central Process Unit
Strategic Criminal Justice Department
Central Investigation Command
Kent Police

Then on Friday 6 June 2014 I received the following letter from Kent Police.  It was dated 27 May 2014, which is clearly a mistake, as it was a response to my email on 29 May. The fact that they made this mistake doesn’t give me confidence that they treated my appeal with due care and attention.

Dear xx

I write in response to your request to appeal the decision of ‘no further action’ for the report of Allegation of bad driving, case file WD/070/14.

The file has been reopened and viewed by the Case Review Team, however it has been decided that on examination of the CCTV footage, that there is insufficient evidence which is likely to result in a successful prosecution. Therefore the decision of ‘no further action’ remains.

Regarding our complaints procedure you will need to write to the Traffic Summons Team at the address shown at the bottom of this letter outlining your concerns.

Thank you for taking the trouble to contact us.

Yours sincerely,
Case Review Officer

The letter is signed pp (per procurationem) by the same Caseworker who corresponded with me previously, and the Case Review Officer is not identified, nor are any contact details for her/him provided.

Posted by bigblue on 11/05/2014 at 09:01 AM
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