Elderly driver fined £1,152 for overtaking cyclist too closely – ‘Absolutely appalling!’

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Wayne Humphreys, 77, drove too close to a cyclist while overtaking in September last year. The incident was recorded on the cyclist’s GoPro camera and submitted to GoSafe, a Welsh road casualty reduction partnership.

The footage showed Mr Humphreys’ Audi Q8 overtaking the cyclist on Pant Hirwaun, Bridgend in September 2021 without leaving enough space to perform the manoeuvre, according to GoSafe.

As a result, the elderly driver was ordered to attend a ‘What’s Driving Us’ course and pay a fixed penalty notice.

However, Mr Humphreys failed to attend the course and refused to pay the notice.

He was then prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.

Consequently, he was fined £1,152 and ordered to pay a £735 cost and victim surcharge.

Mr Humphreys, who works as a director of Humphreys Warehousing and Storage and WA Humphreys International Transport, has since spoken out about his ordeal.

He said: “I think the fine is absolutely appalling. I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago for doing 34 miles per hour in a 30 zone.

“Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years.”

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Mr Humphreys added that his son was able to measure the gap that he had left between his Audi and the cyclist.

The motorists said: “Taking into account the cyclist and his bike, there would have still been at least 4ft (1.2m) space.”

However, that gap would still be insufficient as the Highway Code required drivers to leave a 5ft (1.5m) gap between a car and a cyclist.

Mr Humphreys even went on the BBC to talk about the costs of his case.

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He said: “This has already cost me about £4,500 with the money for the court and solicitor.

“It doesn’t make sense to me”.

A GoSafe spokesperson said: “GoSafe received footage of a white Audi overtaking a cyclist on Pant Hirwaun, Bridgend on Wednesday, 15th September 2021, without leaving enough space to perform the manoeuvre.

“The driver, Wayne Humphreys, from Pontyclun, was contacted and offered a course. The ‘What’s Driving Us’ course is offered to drivers/riders as an alternative to prosecution for the offence of driving without due care and attention.

“Mr Humphreys failed to accept this course and later failed to comply with a fixed penalty notice. This resulted in him appearing in Cardiff Magistrates Court on 8th June 2022. He was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. He received four penalty points on his license, given a £1,152 fine, £620 costs, and a £115 victim surcharge.

“GoSafe regularly receives similar submissions through Op Snap and has worked closely with drivers and cycling groups to develop Operation Close Pass, which looks to educate both drivers and cyclists on how to stay safe on our roads.

“This includes promoting one of the fundamental things to remember when overtaking a cyclist, to reduce your speed and always leave 1.5 metres between your vehicle and a cyclist, whenever safe to do so.

“Despite this, unfortunately, GoSafe continues to receive regular Op Snap submissions relating to close pass incidents. This outcome shows that these submissions are taken seriously and given the appropriate amount of attention, as we continue to work towards ensuring that our roads are safer for everyone.”

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