By Peter McLaren-Kennedy •
Updated: 15 Jun 2022 • 22:21
Cyclist - Image GoSafe
The driver, Wayne Humphreys 77, who was ordered to pay more than £1,800 (€2,095) in fines and costs has criticised the ruling calling it “appalling”. Humphreys who also has had four points added to his licence was cited after the cyclist recorded the incident on his GoPro and sent it to the road policing team.
The Pontyclun resident and warehouse boss was prosecuted after failing to pay a fixed penalty notice or to attend a course, and that resulted in a Cardiff Magistrate penalising him for driving without due care and attention. In total, he has had to cough up £1,887 (€2,199).
Claiming that the last time he was fined was more than 35 years ago, Humphreys, said: “The fine is absolutely appalling. I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago.
“Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years.”
He added that after he and his son revisited the spot along the B4280 Pant Hirwaun outside Heol-y-Cyw, near Bridgend in September 2021 that they measured the road and found that he had left enough space for the cyclist and that his passing was sufficient and safe.
He said: “Taking into account the cyclist and his bike, there would have still been at least 4ft (1.2m) space.
“I find it absolutely incredible this has happened. I don’t know whether to appeal it or not. It will probably just cost me more money.
“This has already cost me about £4,500 (€5,238) with the money for the court and the solicitor. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Humphreys had refused a driver awareness course and he had failed to comply with a fixed penalty notice according to road safety partnership GoSafe. As a result, he was fined £1,152 (€1,342) and ordered he pay £620 (€723) costs and a £115 (€134) victim surcharge.
Operation Close Pass was developed in consultation with all interested parties and was included in The Highway Code that came into force on January 29. That change requires motorists to give cyclists 1.5 metres of space when passing and pedestrians and horse riders 2 metres.
A spokesperson for GoSafe said: “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.”
The news that a Welsh driver was fined £1,100 for passing a cyclist too closely will be a warning to others who have not taken the change seriously or who disagree with its implementation.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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I cycle regularly on busy roads and if cars gave me a 4ft (1.2m) gap that is more than enough so I can understand why Mr Humphreys is furious. He clearly doesn’t need a patronising ‘driver awareness course’ if he has driven so long without incident until now. Fining him this much for being 30cm too close is daft. Did the cyclist get knocked over? No, it sounds as though he was just one of those anti-car people who was looking for an opportunity to get a motorist fined.
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