Land Rover driver fined £1,000 after passing cyclist on country lane

The driver of a Land Rover vehicle has been £1,000 after passing by a cyclist on a country lane.

The footage was captured on a helmet camera and showcases one of a group of cyclists toppling over into a ditch after a Land Rover Defender drove past.

Paul Nigel Miley, 52, was driving the car when he tried to overtake a group of cyclists on a single track road, injuring one of them, The Express reports.

The footage was then sent on to Northamptonshire Police’s Operation Snap and Miley was charged with driving without due care and attention on June 11, 2021.

The footage shows one of a group of cyclists toppling into the ditch

The driver, of Ashby St Ledger, pleaded guilty to Northampton Magistrates’ Court this month. He was also handed out a fine of £1,008.

Police explained Miley should have come to a stop to let the cyclists pass by his vehicle.

Following the case, the force took to social media to share footage of what they described as the “reckless overtaking manoeuvre” on June 11 last year.

It showed the group of three riders going along the single-track lane before Miley drives by as one cyclist and shouts “slow down you ****”.

After the car has passed, the camera pans back to the middle rider, who falls off her bike, while the other woman continues to shout expletives.

However, many people have leapt to the driver’s defence, arguing he had left adequate space for the cyclists to pass safely.

Social media users added that the woman appeared to have caught her feet in her bike’s pedals.

One person commented: “Can’t see what he did wrong. Looks like she just fell over cos her feet were attached to her pedals. Maybe she just needs to learn how to get off her bike!”

While another put: “Where’s the offence? Honestly struggling to see what he could have done differently.”

Another said: “Honestly. If someone had been on foot, stepped to the side and failed in a ditch, it most certainly wouldn’t have been the driver’s fault.”

Others disagreed and sided with the cyclists, with one web user commenting: “A bit of consideration and appreciation of the vulnerability of cyclists would obviously have been better than driving close and fast.

“The woman could have fallen to the right and into the path of oncoming traffic on a different day.”

Another put: “Agree he should have slowed down or stopped, however no contact and as others say she only appeared to come off as others stopped and she couldn’t remove her feet from the foot holders on the pedals.”

Miley, of Ashby St Ledger, also received five points on his driving license and was ordered to pay £100 in costs and a £101 victim surcharge.

He had pleaded guilty to driving without due care or attention when he appeared before Northampton Magistrates Court on March 18.

PC Mo Allsopp-Clarke of Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team said the video evidence “clearly showed that Miley had no consideration for the cyclists on that day, and when he appeared at Magistrates’ Court, he changed his plea to guilty.

“Miley initially pleaded not guilty to the offence, claiming he had driven extremely slowly past the group and was unable to move further across.”

The PC added that Miley’s driving “fell below the standard of a competent and careful driver, which could have very easily ended in tragic consequences, and I’m pleased the courts have dealt with the driver positively”.

He added that drivers should always try to give cyclists and other vulnerable road users at least 1.5m of space and pass slowly, but he admitted that “in this instance, on this road, that would not be possible”.

PC Allsopp-Clarke said: “On this occasion, the correct thing to do would have been to come to a stop to allow the cyclists to pass safely.

“It takes a couple of seconds and then everyone can continue their journey in safety.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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