- David Connett
- Wednesday 9 March 2016 23:12 GMT
Britain’s first private prosecution of a motorist accused of dangerous driving by overtaking a cyclist too close and too fast has failed.
Former driving instructor Aslan Kayardi was acquitted by a jury at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday.
Mr Kayardi, 33, who denied the charge, said he overtook the cyclist to ‘protect his life’ not endanger him, the court was told. Café owner Mr Kayardi, of Feltham, west London claimed cyclist Martin Porter was cycling in the middle of the lane holding up cars behind him. Drivers behind were becoming frustrated at the delay and were tailgaiting him. One driver sounded his horn, he claimed.
He feared one of the drivers might try and overtake him and the cyclist together and put other drivers at risk. Instead he carried out the overtaking manoeuvre himself when he judged it was safe to do so.
He denied he was travelling at more than 50 mph on the 30 mph stretch of the A315 Hounslow to Staines road in West London in February 2015.
He insisted he was a regular cyclist himself with two bikes as well as a motorcyclist and appreciated the difficulties of being on two wheels on the roads.
Mr Kayardi said he was very familiar with the road and had been along it ‘millions of times’ as it was close to his home. He described himself as a “careful and competent driver who overtook Mr Porter “in accordance with the Highway Code.”
The court heard Mr Kayardi, a cafe owner, was previously a qualified driving instructor who had passed a difficult instructors course first time and had gone on to teach nearly 100 people how to drive. He said he had never been convicted or cautioned by police and had a clean licence.
He denied passing so close that the cyclist “could have reached out and touched him” and described expert evidence that his car was travelling more than 50mph in a 30mph zone as “wrong” and based on “an estimate not what really happened.” The expert evidence was based on a video of the incident shot by a camera on the cycle handlebars.