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Someone reported my driving

Hi all,

Today i had a visit from the police officer, who has received a complaint about my driving yesterday. I remember the situation exactly. I was on the way to work when a guy pulled out in front of me who was driving far below the speed limit. i remained behind him along some B roads until a set of traffic lights. the road then split into two. after being stuck behind him for some time, i entered the left hand lane to pass him as he was travelling very slow. I noticed that he was a older guy accompanied by a child. he then speeds up to prevent me from returning to the lane. further down the road before the roundabout i managed to return in front of him after he had slowed down. i then entered the roundabout and then continued down the road. I noticed him them take out his mobile phone and while driving take pictures of my reg plate.

so today pc comes to my house and tells me a complaint has been giving that i was driving recklessly. also saying i cut him up and tried overtaking other vehicles on the roundabout which i did not do. the officer did not take any action as such apart from visiting me. He said you were probably late for work? i replied yes and which is why i tried passing him while he was going far below the speed limit (remember this is two lanes going the same way, so i was not on the wrong side of the road or anything).

So my question is, should i expect any further action? and will my number plate be logged on their system and if so for how long?

its really annoying because he was the one speeding up to prevent me passing to come back in which could cause accidents and then driving while taking pictures on his phone.

Where did this happen, USA? City?, Town, State? I suspect it is up to the “citizen” that took the pictures to press for further action. This is a new one on me, so I have no idea if you can expect more action or not? Apparently you were not given a citation (or ticket) by the police officer that visited you. If you got a ticket it would include either a court date or details on paying a fine.

Sounds a bit like two hotheads. Both ended up driving aggressively and likely both used poor judgment.

I was pulled over in a turnout on a twisty road in my MR2 once when a bunch of kids in hopped up sport-compacts flew past me. About 10 minutes later a cop came barreling up behind me, got out, and started yelling at me for racing on the road. It was all bluster - he hadn’t seen me doing anything (not only because he wasn’t there, but because I hadn’t, in fact, done anything) and he knew it. Had he charged me with anything, I’d have gone after him for malicious prosecution. You can do the same if this cop hassles you.

Now, that said, never talk to the police in situations like this. It can’t help you. Ever. The cop is hoping you will say something that will give him enough to charge you with something. If you say the wrong thing, even if you didn’t do anything, he can use it against you in court, and you can get into trouble. If he comes back, “I respectfully decline to answer questions without an attorney present. If I am not being charged with anything, I would ask you, also respectfully, to leave my property.”

Yes i agree, i shouldn’t have even said i was late for work because he could use that. Sometimes i can be a bit naive when it comes to situations like this.
He wasnt taking any notes or anything, and do you think he would have said anything if he was going to use anything i had said?
for the previous post this happened in the UK.

i am also slightly worried that my details will have been saved in their registration recognition systems and i will be pulled over frequently.

thanks for your responses!

I would bet that this is the end of it. The policeman may have had a legal obligation to inform you. However, the police and courts don’t want to mess with an issue like this. Unless the other driver has all kinds of witnesses, he has nothing. He can’t prove you cut him off without these witnesses.
We have an older member of the congregation at my church that has alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, he had his driving privileges removed about two weeks ago. Before his license was revoked, he would drive down busy streets about 15 miles per hour holding up traffic. When someone else would drive him to the doctor, he would tell the driver he/she was speeding when the speedometer hit 25 mph. You have encountered an older driver with dimentia. My guess is that the driver that reported you has or will report other drivers as well.

I think that the OP has to realize that, since his incident took place in the UK, and most of us in this forum are residents of The USA, we have little working knowledge of how the MV statutes and police procedures in the UK actually function.

Yes, I am a faithful viewer of Law & Order UK, but that has not given me any real insight into the OP’s situation. Perhaps a UK-based forum would provide more insight for him.

As long as you weren’t cited, and no points were put on your driving record, your insurance company will never know. It’s just one man’s word against another, and I expect you won’t hear anything else about it.

My advice is similar to shadowfax’s. Whenever a law enforcement officer starts asking you questions about a crime for which you are a suspect, the only answer I recommend is, “With all due respect, officer/deputy/sergeant/lieutenant/etc., I would like to exercise my 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment rights. If you would like to ask me any questions, I would like to have a lawyer present.” They prefer you address them by rank if you can, but sir/mam will work in a pinch. The point is to say, “I am not answering any of your questions” in the most polite and respectful way possible.

“With all due respect, officer/deputy/sergeant/lieutenant/etc., I would like to exercise my 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment rights…”

Ummm…I hope you know, Whitey, that none of that applies to citizens of The UK, like the OP.

Additionally–do you have working knowledge of “points” and reporting of same to insurance companies in The UK? Things like that tend to differ quite a bit from one nation to another.

Perfect example of my rant in another thread here about phoning in.
It is far too often that person doing the reporting should have been reported themselves, but isn’t, so the ''he said/she said ''remains lopsided.

…well, I missed that part of the original post. I thought the OP was in the USA.

I still wouldn’t answer the officer’s questions though.

“I still wouldn’t answer the officer’s questions though.”

You might be on solid legal ground with that approach in The UK, or perhaps not. I honestly do not know.

Personally, I would not presume to give legal advice to someone in another country without having a very good working knowledge of their system of laws, lest I wound up urging someone to do something that could put him in legal jeopardy.

I hope you are aware that The UK does not have a written Constitution in the same sense that The US does. Much of their legal heritage is…traditional…rather than written.

Thanks for your comments and advice I really do appreciate your responses.

I really don’t know either. Certainly in the US you always are able to meet your accuser in court if any action was taken. I would suspect though that the incident is logged in at least at the local level. They would not have sent someone out to talk to someone on a citizen complaint without it being recorded on the log with the resolution of “citizen denied any violation”. Whether something as lame as this would be on a driving record I don’t know. I can’t believe it would cause any problem but there may be a note. If you know someone that has access to the records like our insurance agents do, or even the local police, it might be worth just asking them saying you were wrongly accused and just want to set the record straight. No idea about the UK though except I was scared to death driving there.

I agree with ken. If the person reporting you actually took the time and attention away from the road long enough to take a picture of your plates then they need to be cited for reckless driving; or whatever the equivalent is in the UK since I’ve seen some of the anti-mobile adverts on youtube.

Yes it’s against the law to use the mobile phone in the uk while driving, it’s actually one of the more serious offences following some nasty accidents as a result.

@Whitey

You missed it because it wasn’t in the original post - he clarified later :wink:

Which means my advice is conditional on you verifying that you can, in fact, legally do what I suggested in the UK. Even if you’re compelled to talk to a cop if he talks to you, you do not have to divulge stuff like “I was late to work,” because the cop can use that as evidence that you were speeding.

I can’t imagine someone being able to accuse someone else without physical evidence. Didn’t we do away with that just after we started burning witches?
Just because someone recorded your tag and says you did something is enough for a cop to stop by your house? Don’t cops have better things to do? It sounds surreal.

What’s happening over there? The new Spanish Inquisition?
I hear nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition…

Personally I would ask the officer if he thought it was ok to drive a horse carriage on the highway. That this fellow would have been indeed driving a lame horse. The point is that very slow traffic causes many such problems. I have known an officer or two to complain that when they drive the marked cars everyone slows down below the limit making them crasy. LOL. As to the speeding up it depends. I do that some times when a driver is trying to pass on short straights on curvy roads(all marked for no passing and one lane each direction). My thought is that if they reach the turn ahead of me and there is a car coming then my momentum on the narrow road places me at high risk. There are no shoulders on these roads. I would rather the bugger just hang until there is a safe spot. I drive the ‘acceptable’ limit above the posted(here thats 5-8 mph above the posted)

I don’t know how they do things in the UK but my response to the cop would have been very, very brief.
If you’re going to cite me then do it now and bring the proof to court; otherwise, adios and get off of my property.

In NH an officer has to witness a violation in order to write a citation. An officier cannot write a traffic citation based on a citizen’s complaint.

I suspect most state have similar statutes.