As of the 29th January 2022, the Highway Code was updated and placed greater penalties on vehicle users when passing vulnerable road users.

Now cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians are placed higher up in the road users hierarchy, in an attempt to make vehicle users take their safety into higher consideration.

There was speculation as to whether this new change would be implemented and taken seriously, which Mr Wayne Humphreys, 77 had to find out the hard way. In response to the outcome, Mr Humphreys referred to it as “absolutely appalling. I am 77 years of age”. It goes to show close passes will no longer be tolerated and brushed off. The Court is now punishing those who continue this practice following the January change.

Mr Humphreys who received 4 penalty points on his licences and a hefty fine in the sum of £1,887.00 for failing to provide the required 1.5 metres when passing a cyclist. This caused the cyclist to not only record the incident (Video can be found on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-61815609), but also report the close pass to the road policing teams, resulting in the costly consequence.

The penalty fine was initially £1,152.00, however through Mr Humphreys failure to take the matter seriously and refuse to pay the fine or attend a driver’s awareness course, Cardiff Magistrate Court prosecuted him on 08 June 2022 for driving without due care and attention. His total bill included the £1,152.00 penalty fine, £620.00 cost of the prosecution and £115.00 victim surcharge.

It is no longer a small price to pay for the safety of the vulnerable road users. Therefore, driver’s must ensure that they do not pass cyclists unless they can guarantee a distance of 1.5 metres from the cyclist or 2 metres in the case of horse riders and pedestrians.

At Ringrose Law, this news comes as a breath of fresh air as many of our colleagues are keen cyclists and horse riders. We have always promoted the safety of all road users, especially cyclists and motorcyclists. Our active presence is demonstrated in the cycling community, such as our involvement in the annual Castle to Coast to Castle challenge (https://www.ringroselaw.co.uk/2021/07/27/c2c2c-bike-ride-success-for-2021/) and our support of Boston Bike Night (https://www.ringroselaw.co.uk/2015/06/29/boston-bike-night-2/).

If you would like to see more videos of the near misses to gain an insight into the daily struggle that cyclists face, you can visit https://road.cc/show/tags/near-miss-day/143145.

Hopefully the seriousness placed on the Highway Code changes can make the road a safer place for all road users, which is one of the many important objectives at Ringrose Law.

However, we have to be realistic and accept that there will always be incidents where cyclists are injured and come off much worse in a collision between car and bike. In those circumstances Ringrose Law’s expert Team have a proven track record of helping clients secure compensation for their injuries, where they are able.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss any such incident with us, and safe riding! Call 01522 561020 or email wecanhelp@ringroselaw.co.uk

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