Cyclist who reported Range Rover driver for using his mobile phone at the wheel accused of breaking the law

A cyclist who reported a driver for using his mobile phone at the wheel has found himself being accused of breaking the law.

Dave Clifton, 56, spotted a Range Rover driver holding a phone handset while he was cycling through Belgravia, and he captured the incident on his helmet camera.

But after submitting the video clip to police, they claimed the cyclist had been riding on the wrong side of the road, and suggested that he “could pose a danger to other road users”.

Mr Clifton, from south-west London, has been charged with riding a cycle on a road without due care and attention. He intends to fight the claim at a trial next month.

“It is ludicrous. I don’t know if it is malicious or incompetence,” he told the Standard, branding the case against him “petty”.

The only evidence in the case is Mr Clifton’s own video footage, and he insists it shows he was not on the wrong side of the road.

In the video, Mr Clifton is riding along Pont Street in Belgravia at just after 1.30pm on August 22 last year when he spots the Range Rover driving in the opposite direction. The cyclist then turns around to capture the driver using his mobile phone while at the wheel.

Mr Clifton was cycling through Belgravia when he noticed the driver (Dave Clifton)
Mr Clifton was cycling through Belgravia when he noticed the driver (Dave Clifton)

Natasha Springford, a Met police staff member in the traffic division, claims the cyclist is “in the middle of the road” and is then “very close to the Range Rover on the opposite side of the road whilst a motorcyclist is oncoming with a passenger”.

She continues: “You can see the cyclist cycling towards the oncoming motorbike that is filtering between traffic,” and then suggests the motorbike has to “ride in between the cyclist that is very close and the Range Rover”.

Mr Clifton said the road does not have any markings, adding: “The ‘other side of the road’ doesn’t begin wherever my accuser wants it to begin. This is a ludicrous allegation. The police have ignored the filtering motorcyclist and the driver using a mobile phone, and have chosen to prosecute me. This seems to be malicious.”

Mr Clifton is due to face trial next month at Lavender Hill magistrates court. The driver of the Range Rover received a police “advisory letter” but faced no criminal case.