Extra Eyes

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NOTE: This space to be populated with a monthly statistical return once we have established a reporting process

If you have submitted a video as part of the Extra Eyes scheme you will receive an email containing a case reference number. You can use the search box at the bottom of this page to look up the status of this case reference number. After your Extra Eyes submission has been reviewed by Essex Police, the case reference will show one of the following outcomes:

Evidential file submitted to court for prosecution
For the most serious cases, an evidential file will be prepared for the offence to be heard at a Magistrates’ Court. Magistrates have discretion on sentencing and fines.

Educational course offer
The National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) provides an educational outcome for many different motoring offences and replaces penalty points or fines. If the offender is offered a course and accepts this offer, they pay a fee to attend. They must actively participate to successfully complete the course. If the course offer is not accepted or the course is not completed, then an evidential file will be prepared to allow the offence to be heard at a Magistrates’ Court.

Conditional Offer
A conditional offer may be proposed in cases where a course offer is either unavailable – if the offender attended the same course within the last 3 years; or inappropriate – if the offence falls outside the guidance given for offering a course but is not sufficiently severe to warrant prosecution as the first option. If the offender accepts the conditional offer they will pay a fixed penalty fine and receive points on their driving licence. If they do not accept the conditional offer then an evidential file will be prepared to allow the offence to be heard at a Magistrates’ Court.

Warning Letter
In cases where the evidence offered would not be sufficient to secure a conviction in court, but the manner of driving/riding was still a cause for concern, a warning letter may be issued. This letter explains the incident to the recipient, showing what they did wrong, and gives constructive feedback on their driving to demonstrate the correct way to deal with similar situations in future.

No Further Action
In some cases, the complaint cannot be progressed. This may include reasons such as; the incident was not in Essex, the video image was not of sufficient quality, the vehicle could not be identified, there was insufficient time to notify the registered keeper within the legal deadline of 14 days from the offence date.

We receive approximately 450 Extra Eyes driving complaint submissions every month. Each submission is assessed to determine if there is evidence of an offence and, if there is, whether that evidence is strong enough to support a prosecution. Whichever of the options listed above is selected, the evidence must be to the standards required by the Crown Prosecution Service. Every alleged offender has the right to choose to be heard at court.

Essex Police Extra Eyes investigators adhere to the processes outlined, assessing both the evidence and the public interest test.

The following information relates to ‘Close Pass’ incidents:
Close pass incidents form a large proportion of the total submissions to Extra Eyes. However there is no specific offence in road traffic legislation defined as a ‘close pass’. The Highway Code is a guidance document rather than a legal one, therefore Police Investigators must rely on the offences of ‘careless’ or ‘inconsiderate’ driving  under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 when processing this type of incident.

Investigators’ decisions depend entirely on the video evidence supplied. Cameras of the type mounted on handlebars or cycle helmets typically have wide angle lenses that do not replicate exactly what the human eye sees. This can distort the view and does not always provide the context – what happened before or after the incident. This can make it difficult to estimate how closely a vehicle has passed a cyclist. Additionally, there are often no fixed reference points against which the exact distance between vehicles can be measured. It is impossible to capture the true experience and discomfort felt by a cyclist on a video and it is a subjective event – i.e. different people will interpret it in different ways. We acknowledge that this does not make the incident any less threatening to the rider but there must be sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a successful prosecution in a Magistrates’ Court. We will only take enforcement action where the evidential tests are met.

The assistance of a forensic collision investigator might be called upon to investigate fatal or very serious injury collisions by supplementing and taking measurements from video evidence. However this would not be considered a proportionate use of resources for near-miss cases.

The Extra Eyes team is passionate about improving the safety of our roads and reducing deaths and serious injuries to zero and thanks you for submitting your video. Please continue to help us make the roads safer by reporting risky driving.

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