The Alliance of British Drivers said the decision was “stupid” “undermining the credibility of the courts and the police”.
“We all know there are fanatics out there who want drivers to stop and bow to every cyclist. If the police foolishly choose to side with them, it will damage the relationship with the public,” the group added.
However, the Sheffield Police team did not give in to online criticism and responded to defend their decision: “The driver not only endangered a cyclist, he was also too close to those following him. .
“He would have seen a group of bicycles lined up and would have chosen to accelerate at a speed increasing the danger for each of them and to deviate from the white lines towards them.
“If he had simply driven in the conditions at a less dangerous speed and stayed on his side of the road, he would not have been prosecuted.
“If people choose to endanger vulnerable road users by driving badly, they must remember that any pedestrian, rider, cyclist or vehicle can register. We will be happy to make sure there are consequences for putting others at risk. »
In a message on Twitter, the police team added that they had expected “whataboutery” in terms of online responses to the clip, but that it was important for people “to know what the police and the courts think of what kind of conduct the result shows”.
The incident happened in August 2021, before an update to the traffic laws was introduced in January which now advises drivers to “leave at least 1.5 meters when passing cyclists at speeds of up to 30 mph, and to give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds”. ”
Drivers are also asked to “wait behind them (the cyclists) and not to overtake if it is dangerous or impossible to respect these authorizations”.
Previous advice simply told drivers to “give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much space as you would when passing a car”.
A risk-based “road user hierarchy” was also introduced in the updated version of the Highway Code.
Vulnerable road users
The pyramid is based on the idea that those who can do the most harm have the greatest responsibility to avoid harming other more vulnerable road users.
Many cyclists expressed their support for the measures taken by the police. Ian Carey said: “A fitting condemnation. If the driver had slowed down and let the cyclists pass, there would have been no problem.
“The driver’s delay would have been a few seconds. »
The driver of the vehicle received a warning after the police were informed of the violation.
“If he is seen driving in a reckless and anti-social manner within a year of his deliverance, his vehicle will be seized,” the police team added.