Criminal and motoring lawyer Nick Freeman has called on motorists to fight back against “goading” cyclists who post videos of drivers on the internet.
Known as Mr Loophole, motoring lawyer Nick Freeman, has successfully defended dozens of celebrity offenders including David Beckham and Jeremy Clarkson.
He has called on motorists to fight back against “goading” cyclists who post videos of drivers on the internet. He made the comment after a cyclist last week made the headlines following an altercation in Reading, which ended with the driver pursuing the cyclist on foot and falling to the ground. (Video below)
He said: “The time has come for motorists to fight back and film cyclists breaking the law or riding irresponsibly.”
Freeman added “How often do we see cyclists at night without any lights, jumping red lights, cycling the wrong way down one way streets, undertaking, cycling on the pavement or simply cycling down the middle of the road etc? Plenty! And these illegal actions challenge road safety by becoming a danger to themselves, to other road users and to pedestrians.”
“I’m not against cyclists and motorcyclists using headcams, far from it. But what I am against is provocative and dangerous cycling, which is designed to goad motorists, knowing full well the responses will be captured on video and then uploaded on to the internet. Motorists can be easily identified by their registration plates, but cyclists are relatively anonymous.”
“The Government should consider introducing a raft of legislation which deals with identification, visibility, compliance with road traffic regulations, insurance, cycle excise licence and compulsory use of a helmet. This list is not exhaustive.
“The goal is to improve the quality of driving and cycling by both parties, thus increasing accountability and enhancing road safety.”
Carlton Reid, executive editor of BikeBiz.com, said:
“I’m surprised that a lawyer specialising in transport could be so ignorant about the various Road Traffic acts and the Highway Code. It is not illegal for cyclists to undertake and to ride in the middle of the road. In fact, the Department for Transport has produced posters telling cyclists to take up such a position on the road for their own safety. Previous story: Why do cyclists ride in the middle of the road?
“And safety is why some cyclists are now riding with helmet cams. Prior to such technology the police often didn’t believe people on bikes when they said they were hit or intimidated by people in motorcars – ample evidence is now available, leading to prosecutions.”
Reid added “I think many cyclists would welcome motorists fitting dashcams – should a motorist do something stupid the cyclist could ask the police to look at the motorist’s video footage. Many of the videos on YouTube showing motorists breaking the law are, in fact, uploaded from the dashcams from fellow motorists.
“Mr. Freeman should welcome anything that makes our roads safer for all road users.”
On the particular video in question (below), Reid said:
“It’s interesting that Mr. Freeman has chosen this video as an example of ‘cyclists goading motorists’ when the footage quite clearly shows a man with anger-management issues and who broke a number of laws – he was not driving with due care and attention, he was not driving with a seatbelt, he exited his vehicle and assaulted the cyclist. This, you’d think Mr. Freeman would recognise, is a motorist who should be banned from driving – he is a danger to all road users, not just cyclists.”
Reid added: “Mr. Freeman’s point about registration plates assumes that cyclists would be somehow more law abiding if they had them fitted. If registration plates were so effective Mr. Freeman would be out of a job because motorists wouldn’t dare to break the law for fear of being identified.”
Warning: Video contains extremely strong language throughout.
The video now has more than 3 million views on YouTube and after the incident, Thames Valley Police confirmed an investigation was carried out into the incident. A caution for a public order offence was handed to the driver on Saturday, August 1.