JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors Banner Image

Useful Information

News and Events

Caught by a traffic vigilante?

  • Posted

The fact that many police forces allow road users to upload footage and complaint details online has led to a rise in so-called traffic ‘vigilantes’.

One notable traffic vigilante, known as Cycling Mikey, is said to have reported over 1,000 drivers for indiscretions in the past three years, with an estimated 80% of those going on to face prosecution.

So, what happens if you are caught by a traffic vigilante? And what legal defences might you have? We discuss those issues below.

While we hope this information is useful, please note that it should not be taken as legal advice. If you are concerned about the prospect of facing prosecution after being caught by a traffic vigilante, then please get in touch and our team can advise you.

What are traffic vigilantes?

A traffic vigilante is someone who undertakes any form of traffic law enforcement without official legal authority (i.e. a police officer). The most common tactic of a traffic vigilante is to film other road users and send reports to the police if they believe an offence has been committed.

Is vigilantism legal in the UK?

The act of vigilantism is illegal in the UK. This is where there can be some confusion, as it is important to determine what acts would actually amount to vigilantism in the eyes of the law.

Taking Cycling Mickey as an example, simply filming other road users using a GoPro camera and then passing this footage on to the police is unlikely to be considered vigilantism, especially if no attempt is made to take the law into their own hands or to ‘police’ someone else’s actions.

What are the legal defences against traffic vigilantes?

Exactly what legal defences may be available if you are a road user who has been caught by a traffic vigilante will depend on the circumstances of the case and the offence you have allegedly committed. Video footage can be compelling evidence, but with the support an expert motoring offence solicitor, you will stand the best possible chance of avoiding charges or having a punishment reduced as far as possible.

What should you do if you have been caught by a traffic vigilante?

Being caught by a traffic vigilante can be extremely distressing, especially as there is a risk that you could face prosecution further down the line. If you are concerned that you will be investigated for a driving offence, having expert legal advice on your side is essential.

At JD Spicer Zeb, our criminal defence offence solicitors have over 45 years of experience in supporting individuals accused of a wide variety of offences, including driving offences. Our experience and specialist expertise ensure that we understand exactly what is required to build the strongest possible defence against the allegations you are facing and what steps will be required to secure a positive outcome. This could mean having charges dropped, or a punishment significantly reduced.

We are highly skilled at collecting and presenting the various types of evidence that will be relied on these types of cases. Notably, we can also carefully scrutinise any evidence which is being used by the prosecution, identifying any flaws in the case against you.

As a firm, we have been accredited by the Law Society for Criminal Litigation. We have a strong track record of success and have been able to build strong relationships with many of the country’s leading criminal defence barristers.

If you are facing a charge after being caught by a traffic vigilante, we are here to provide you with the support you need.

Related matters:

Our related cases

Fees and funding

We understand the importance of providing clear information regarding fees.

If you need to attend court for a driving offence, legal aid public funding may become available. Whether or not this is the case will depend on whether the grant of public funding is justified.

Where you do not qualify for legal aid public funding, the alternative option is to fund the case on a private basis.

To find out more about the way we handle fees (both legal aid public funding and private fees) for driving without due care and attention, please use the links provided below:

Contact our criminal defence lawyers today

If you are due to attend the police station, require any urgent specialist advice, or immediate representation for a motoring offence that has been reported by a traffic vigilante please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact our dedicated criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you quickly.

24/7 legal representation

We are available to represent clients all over England and Wales at any time, so please contact our Emergency Number at 07836 577 556.

Bespoke Private Fee Service

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future and you have the means to pay for this service

Read More

Do we offer free consultations? 

Read More

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?


"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.