A CYCLING charity is calling on Police Scotland not to scrap its plans for a dashcam safety portal.

Cycling UK Scotland have expressed fears that the portal – which would give the public an effective means of submitting video evidence of dangerous behaviour on the roads – will be scrapped as Police Scotland reviews its services in an effort to cope with a straitened budget.

Jim Densham, campaigns and policy manager for Cycling UK Scotland, said the portal was necessary to ensure that crimes on the road face the appropriate consequences.

“Before coronavirus, I used to commute into Glasgow by bike quite frequently,” he said.

“One morning I pulled away from traffic lights on my route and was overtaken by a car with just millimetres of space between us.

“It was a terrifying, mindboggling experience – the closest of close passes.

“I have no idea what possessed the driver to put me in such danger, but I do know that it was careless or dangerous driving and a breach of Highway Code rule 163.

“In my shock, I didn’t think to take a note of the car’s number plate.

“If I’d been using a camera – like a GoPro – fitted to my handlebars I would have used that evidence to report the driver to the police.

“However, Scotland currently lacks a consistent system for dealing with road crimes caught on camera, and based on the experiences of others, I know that seeking a just outcome in these cases can be time-consuming and uncertain.”

In 2020, cyclist David Brennan attempted to use video footage to prove to police that he was assaulted while riding his bike in Glasgow.

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However, despite the clear evidence the driver was not prosecuted and Brennan himself received a warning from police for swearing in the video.

The Crown Office later overturned the warning but Cycling UK said the case highlighted the need for a system that allowed road users to upload camera footage directly to the police while reporting an incident.

In March, Police Scotland agreed to develop a National Dashcam Safety Portal that would do just that.

But with the force warning that road policing services are under review in an attempt to meet budget constraints, Cycling UK is calling on Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone to prevent the scrapping of the portal.

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Currently those reporting a crime on the road are able to show police dashcam footage after filling out a form and being visited by an officer.

But the charity said this is “a slower and nationally less consistent process than what’s planned for the Dashcam Safety Portal”.

Between 2015 and 2019 an average of six cyclists were killed in Scotland annually.

But the Department of Transport estimates that a “considerable” portion of non-fatal incidents do not get reported to the police.

Police Scotland was contacted for comment.