IN the age of social media, it is hard to cover up bad driving.

Drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and even horse riders are using tiny cameras to keep an extra eye on the world around them.

Well-known faces like Jeremy Vine have shone a light on the issues faced on roads up and down the country, particularly for cyclists, but lots of disgruntled road users are taking to social media to share shocking footage.

Stuart Johnson, chairman of Colchester Cycling Campaign, is one of them.

A video he shared on the social media platform X just last week shows a car reversing towards him at speed as its driver parked up in Colchester city centre.

“They didn’t look behind them to notice there’s a cyclist behind them,” he says.

“The most scary incident I’ve experienced is being overtaken very closely by a van with a trailer behind it in Layer de la Haye just inches away from me. That left me very scared.”

Mr Johnson welcomes the Extra Eyes initiative, which he has used himself to report “a number of close passes”.

READ MORE: 'Extra eyes': How motorists in Essex 'held 2,000 bad drivers to account' last year

He explains: “Last year there were over 1,000 close passes reported to Essex Police by cyclists and about 60 per cent of those drivers received a notice of intended prosecution.

“We wish there wasn’t a need for Extra Eyes but unfortunately there is. It acts as a deterrent against dangerous and careless driving; driving which puts people in danger and can be reported by anyone.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Cyclist - Stuart Johnson from ColchesterCyclist - Stuart Johnson from Colchester (Image: Colchester Cycling Campaign)

The issue stretches far wider than Colchester, with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership sharing footage submitted through Extra Eyes on its own YouTube video.

One clip shows a car passing a cyclist with just inches to spare. The driver was reported for careless driving and driving without insurance and was slapped with a £649 fine and six points on their licence.

Another driver, who sped through a flooded road in a van, was fined £482 and received three points on their licence after being reported for careless driving.

Campaigner Mr Johnson feels a shift in the punishments for bad drivers will help drive down needless injuries and deaths.

“Essex Police used to send a lot of advice letters which they’ve now stopped,” he says. “They were ineffective.

“There’s a case for fines and points where it’s extreme, but where someone is just being a bit careless we think driver improvement courses are probably a good choice.”

'It's shocking'

A TIKTOKER from Essex has gained a following on the video sharing platform by posting clips of dodgy driving captured on his dashcam.

The driver, who goes by the screenname Dills Dashcam, spends hours behind the wheel every day and has picked up “shocking” moments across the county.

“Even if I didn’t drive from now for a whole month, I’ve got enough footage to upload three videos a day every day,” he says.

His camera has picked up everything from “middle lane hoggers” on major roads like the A12 and M25 to pedestrians jumping over railway crossings and even someone getting run over.

@dills_dashcam #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #dashcam #driving ♬ original sound - Dills DashCam

“I’m always out day to day and it’s shocking,” he explains. “There’s no point getting stressed about it but I just upload the videos to try and raise awareness.

“One person commented on one video to say ‘that’s my car’ and everyone slated them, saying they need to learn to drive properly.”

The user behind the TikTok account, who didn’t wish to be named, has welcomed the Extra Eyes initiative and has used it himself.

He adds: “It’s a good thing, it really is. I’ve had to do it once and if I see anything that’s very severe, harmful, or life-threatening, I have no issue sharing my footage.”