Some years ago when I was cycling with our friends back in Poland we had a very close call with a car. It passed us very fast, very close, forcing a car that rode the opposite direction to run to the side of the road to avoid a crush. In the result of this case being reported my friend who cycled with me that day was summoned to the court because apparently, he overtook me on the inside. In reality, I was dropping to the back of the peloton at that moment. The case was dismissed but we all lost faith in the law.
Years later I started to commute in London and very fast I noticed that guys who carry cameras are passed more carefully the drivers. So I started to cycle with GoPro on my helmet and behind my saddle. Then I noticed that many drivers use their phones when driving and often nearly hit cyclists and pedestrians even in slow traffic. I started to report it. It took some time to learn how to do it properly.
Here you can find a few basic findings:
- don't intervene - if you see someone using their phone observe as long as you can and try to remain invisible, that produces the best evidence
- don't intervene - for your own safety too
- every case reported, if the evidence is good enough will be prosecuted - if you see a young driver that learned their lesson think before you upload your video, they may lose their license
- the video has to show either moving images on the screen or driver actually interacting with the phone (i.e. tapping or scrolling). In some rare cases holding the phone in front of the face and talking to it will be accepted, but unlikely
- MET won't do anything about people without MOT as they need to catch them redhanded
- close pass will be judged by speed, weather and how you were affected by it
- left hooks will be judged by if you had to slow down or stop
- reflections on the window are your enemy
- if driver invades ASL, but leave space for cyclist no action will be taken
- cycle carefully to not be prosecuted your self, keep lane discipline and use primary position - if you are on the left side of turn right lane you can be chased for "inconsiderable cycling"