Notts cop backs cycle safety campaign after he was knocked off his bike

A Nottinghamshire police officer who suffered serious injuries after being knocked off his bike has been supporting this week's police action to highlight the risks of motorists driving dangerously near to cyclists.

By Tim Cunningham
Saturday, 17th April 2021, 10:10 am

Sergeant Craig Luckett was knocked to the ground after a vehicle turning right drove straight into him as he rode along the opposite side of the carriageway on the A6 Derby Road in Ambergate.

This week, Nottinghamshire’s roads policing unit has been conducting an operation to capture evidence of potentially serious incidents where cyclists have been put at risk and take the necessary action against the motorists involved.

Sergeant Luckett, said: "I'm a keen cyclist and I take great pleasure on heading out on our road network but I know how scary it can be and how vulnerable you can feel.

Sgt Luckett's mangled bike.

"Working in roads policing, we have seen incidents which have resulted in some really nasty injuries where there's been a complete lack of respect for cyclists and they've been powerless to prevent anything bad from happening to them.

"This is certainly how I felt when I experienced first-hand what it's like to be knocked off your bike by what is essentially a tin weapon on four wheels."

Finding himself on the ground and in extreme pain, Sergeant Luckett was rushed to the Derby Royal Hospital where he underwent examinations and x-rays. Despite suffering deep grazing and bruising, miraculously he got away without suffering any broken bones. His bike though was completely destroyed from the impact.

He returned to work two weeks after the incident which happened at around 11am, on March 22, last year.

Sgt Luckett straight after returning to work after the incident

Meanwhile, the driver of the car was found responsible for causing the incident and was offered an educational driving course which has now been completed.

This month, Nottinghamshire Police has been supporting the national two-wheel campaign in a bid to reduce deaths that happen on two-wheeled vehicles.

As part of this, on Wednesday, April 14, Constable Paul Matthews headed out on Nottinghamshire's roads under the guise of a cyclist during a day of action called Close Pass.

It resulted in a section 59 warning notice being issued to a driver after they passed to close to him, a vehicle being recovered for no tax, and fines being issued for a number of other offences.

Another motorist has been sent a notice of intended prosecution through the post for an offence in relation to due care and attention.

The operation was all about supporting cyclists who often report that motorists don't give them enough room to use the road safely.

Constable Matthews, also of the roads policing team and a keen cyclist, said: "It's really interesting how drivers act when you are not in uniform. Evidence is captured using a body worn video camera mounted to the bike. Images captured are sent to drivers so show how their driving appears to the cyclist."

"Lots of drivers give cyclists a bad press and claim that they're the once carrying out poor maneuvers or driving dangerously but this is certainly not always the case. The reality is that there are a number of road users, including pedestrians and horse riders as well, and we all need to share the highways and have respect for each other.

"This means thinking about those who might be more vulnerable than you and altering your speed accordingly."

The roads policing unit conducts activity on Nottinghamshire's highways every day and along with increased surveillance technology, they undertake numerous operations to catch motorists acting dangerously in the act.

The force also encourages drivers to submit dashcam footage or pedestrians who have captured incidents on mobile phones so they can investigate and bring offenders to justice.

Inspector Clare Gibson, who heads up the roads policing unit, said: "Our work is about making Nottinghamshire's roads as safe as we can, preventing tragic incidents and preventing criminality on our road network.

"Drivers need to be aware that we have a number of methods that can capture them committing an offence and, even if they don't get stopped by a police car, they could find themselves with a letter summoning them to court.

"The team has worked hard to undertake some really innovative campaigns and we'll continue our collaborative approach with our intelligence, response and neighbourhood teams as well as other forces to reduce the number of incident that happen on the highway."

Hugh McClintock from the Nottingham cycling campaign group, Pedals, said: "Ensuring that drivers give adequate space to cyclists is a vital part of promoting road safety and making cyclists, especially less confident and more vulnerable ones, feel safer and less intimidated by motor traffic.

"This is essential to help encouraging cycling and making the most of its extensive health benefits so Pedals very much welcomes any increased action to clamp down on close passing by drivers and encourage more respect for vulnerable road users.”

Editor’s message: In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Ashley Booker, editor.