A motorist has been issued with a hefty fine for careless driving after a cyclist fell off her bike after a car drove past her on a country lane.
Paul Nigel Miley, 52, was given a £1,008 fine for driving without due care or attention, even though his car did not touch the cyclist.
Video footage from a helmet camera shows the woman topping into a ditch after Mr Miley drove his Land Rover Defender past her in Ashby St Ledger, in Northamptonshire.
The footage was then submitted to Northamptonshire Police who said it “proved beyond doubt” that Mr Miley had shown no consideration for other road users.
‘Where’s the offence?’
The incident has divided opinion as to who was in the wrong after Mr Miley was slapped with a huge fine.
Web users were quick to leap to his defence, noting that he had left space for the cyclist to pass and pointing out that the woman on the bike appeared to have got her feet stuck in the pedals.
One person commented: “Can’t see what he did wrong. Looks like she just fell over cos her feet were attached to the pedals.
“Maybe she just needs to learn how to get off her bike!”
Another user said: “What a waste of everyone’s time. Where’s the offence? Honestly struggling to see what he could have done differently.”
One other wrote: “Honestly. If someone had been on foot, stepped to the side and fallen in a ditch, it most certainly wouldn’t have been the driver’s fault. He left plenty of room."
Someone else said they thought the driver could have slowed down more before passing the cyclist, but said he should not have been blamed for her falling off.
Another added: "Laughable she was on the bike when the Land Rover went past - drama queens. Shouldn’t be in control of a bike if you can’t stay on it."
Meanwhile others disagreed and took the side of the cyclist, 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 said: "Agree he should of 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."
Mr Miley, of Ashby St Ledger, was fined £1,008 for the incident, received five points on his driving licence and was ordered to pay £100 in costs, plus a £101 victim surcharge.
He had pleaded guilty to driving without due care or attention when he appeared before Northampton Magistrates Court on 18 March.
Following the case, Northamptonshire Police took to social media to share footage of what they described as the "reckless overtaking manoeuvre" on 11 June last year.
The video shows a group of three cyclists going along a single track lane, before Mr Miley drives past in his Land Rover, as one cyclist is heard shouting “slow down you ****”.
After the car has passed the camera pans back to the middle rider, who can then be seen falling off her bike, while the other woman continues to shout expletives.
PC Mo Allsopp-Clarke, of Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team, said: “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 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.
“His 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.
“Drivers should always try to give cyclists and other vulnerable road users at least 1.5m of space and pass slowly. In this instance, on this road, that would not be possible.
“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."