Guy Ritchie has been banned from driving after he was caught texting behind the wheel by a cyclist.
The director behind films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch has been taken off the roads for six months and has been given six points on his licence – taking his total points to 15.
Ritchie was caught by West London cyclist Mike van Erp, who captured the filmmaker on camera using his GoPro.
Mr Van Erp is a dedicated road safety campaigner, who says he has helped catch 358 drivers committing offences, The Daily Mail reports. (opens in new tab)
The rider caught Ritchie in Hyde Park, London when the director was texting while stationary in a queue.
On Tuesday (July 22), the 51-year-old was banned from driving for six months after he admitted the offence at Bromley Magistrates Court,
Ritchie was banned because the additional six points were added to his existing nine penalty points, taking him over the maximum limit of 12.
Mr van Erp said: “I definitely think what I am doing is keeping the roads safe. The points system is designed to get people to drive better. I have had quite a lot of anonymous death threats through what I do.
"But I am just one of many camera cyclists. I think there are thousands of them in London. Some of them are even more active than me.”
He added that he is motivated to help keep the roads safe after his father was killed by a drink driver when Mr Van Erp was 19.
A one-minute-long video is available online showing Mr Van Erp approaching Ritchie’s Range Rover in a queue of traffic and the pair share a brief conversation before Ritchie rolls up his window.
Using a hand-held phone while behind the wheel is illegal and from March 1, 2017 the penalty is six points and a £200 fine.
The law still applies when your vehicle is stopped at lights or in traffic – if your engine is running, you cannot use your phone.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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