How to: report dangerous driving

Fortunately it's very unlikely you'll ever be involved in a serious collision in London, even if you cycle here all your life. But that doesn't mean you won't see plenty of idiots driving badly. It's worth reporting dangerous driving even if no one gets hurt, as doing so raises awareness of cycling with the Police and any companies involved, and can see drivers prosecuted, disciplined or at the least logged against any future behaviour.

At the scene

Check yourself over. And if you have been hit, take a deep breath, count to ten and try and focus through the adrenaline. You may be more hurt than you realise immediately. Slow yourself down by checking over yourself and the bike, consciously breathing slowly. Ideally get and write down all the details you can immediately - licence plates, driver descriptions, bus numbers or taxi driver numbers, names of any professional company. Get photos and take video. And grab any witnesses before they wander off. Ideally don't just ask for a mobile number, but then tell them you'll ring it straight away (and do so). And if anyone is behaving aggressively, don't be afraid to ring 999. Or 101 if it's not an emergency.

If you have been in any way injured, or if any vehicle, including your cycle is in any way damaged, then everyone is legally expected to exchange details. So if the driver attempts to leave the scene without showing you ID and your bicycle is clearly damaged etc. then you can remind them that's illegal.

After the incident...

Just want to log it?

Even at the most basic level, you need the licence plate of any vehicle you want to report - otherwise the police can't identify the vehicle.

Using the Met Police's RoadSafe website doesn't result in investigation or enforcement action, but does mean that the number plate, car description and your statement on what happened are logged in case the same vehicle is involved in a criminal investigation later on. There are also many websites springing up where you can publicly log the licence plates of drivers with a description of their behaviour - allowing others to search on number plate.

Want police action?

The Met's RoadSafe site also has a link to the Met's new online reporting tool. Although for some crimes, you'll still need to attend a police station. You should contact police as soon as possibly after any incident, certainly within 48 hours.

Any helmetcam etc footage must be submitted within 48 hours, you'll need to attend a police station and make a statement also, and the footage needs to be unedited and show two minutes either side of any incident.

Buses and taxis

Report complaints against bus drivers via TfL on their site or by phone (0343 222 1234). Ideally you'll want licence plate, time, date and location  of incident, number of the bus and a description of the driver. Photos and video are handy too. TfL assure us they take complaints against bus drivers and companies very seriously, but because they are dealt with internally we never find out the results.

With taxi drivers their licence plate again, and ideally driver number are what you need, plus time, date, location, incident description, driver description etc. If the incident counts as criminal behaviour, go straight to the Met Police and report it. For anything less, report it to the cab company. But again, don't expect to find out the results of action taken.

Professional drivers

As above, report any criminal behaviour with as much detail as you can manage, but it's well worth also emailing the company involved - this can often have far more immediate effects and at the least sends a message to that company that their drivers aren't behaving well enough on the roads, and there might be consequences for them. The HR department and CEO or company boss are the best places to go.