Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is this site for?
Collideoscope invites you to report cycling collisions and near misses in the UK. It collects the reports together and makes the data available to planners, researchers and campaigners with the aim of making our roads safer for all.
Who is behind this site?
It’s a joint project from mySociety and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, and it’s powered by mySociety’s long-running FixMyStreet platform.

Making a report

What kind of reports can be made on Collideoscope?
You can report actual collisions between a bicycle and another vehicle, or near misses where an incident was averted. Additionally you may report incidents where no other vehicle was involved, such as collisions or near misses with pedestrians, street furniture... or anything else.
Please do not report incidents requiring immediate medical or police attention — or at least, not until you have requested help via the emergency services’ official channels.
Where do reports go?
Reports are sent to the local authority with responsibility for the area in which the incident occured. Additionally, the data is published on this site and is available to anyone who might like to use it, such as researchers, town planners, campaigners and local residents. Find out more.
Why should I make a report?
By contributing to the data on Collideoscope, you’re helping to build up a picture of how, why and where cyclists are at danger. This data can be analysed to help town planners make better decisions, and also provides an invaluable evidence base for those campaigning for safer cycling conditions.
What is the point of reporting near misses?
We all know areas that are ‘an accident waiting to happen’. Evidence of multiple near-misses can be a strong indication that conditions need to be improved in these hotspots. Equally, we should not discount the effects of a near miss on a cyclist’s sense of security — an issue is still worth addressing to avoid such incidents.
Do I need to be a cyclist to make a report?
No; anyone who has witnessed a collision or near miss involving a bicycle can submit a report.
Are reports anonymous?
We ask for your name and email address when you make your report. These are shared with the council, who may get back to you for further information. Your email address (and phone number if you’ve chosen to give it) are not published on the site; and you may choose whether or not your name is published. See full details in our Privacy Policy.
What does a good Collideoscope report include?
Give as much factual information as you can. This will be useful for researchers, planners and councils, who use data in aggregate to understand factors such as how the time, the location, or other traffic may affect the level of safety. The fields in the Collideoscope form guide you to provide the essential information here.
Try not to include personally-identifiable information (such as people’s names or addresses, or vehicle license plate numbers) in your report.
Why can’t my report include a photo or video?
We don’t provide this facility on Collideoscope, because if you are intending to also send a report to the police, putting video evidence of your incident online can compromise any subsequent court hearing. Additionally, where a vehicle’s numberplate is clearly shown, associating the photograph to public accusations of wrongdoing may constitute libel. Police say that they often find this type of evidence invaluable, but it should be relayed to them directly and not shared in a public arena where others can comment on it.
What happens next?
Once you have filed your report via Collideoscope, it will immediately appear on the website. At the same time, the details will be sent off to your local council, who may or may not wish to follow up with you.
Your report also becomes part of the anonymised data which is available for researchers and others to download.
If your incident involved a vehicle and injury, we’ll send an automated follow-up after a month, to ask whether you reported it to the police, and you heard back from them as a result.
Should I also make a report to the police?
Any incident resulting in injury must be reported by law.
In some cases, incidents resulting in damage to property (eg your bike, a car, a street barrier) must be reported, either in person at the nearest police station or online.
Where the incident involves a motorised vehicle (eg a car, motorbike, lorry, etc), the driver has responsibility for reporting, but we suggest that the cyclist also makes a report, in case the driver neglects to do so. Also note that if you are hoping to make a claim on your insurance, in most cases you will require a crime reference number, which is obtained when you make a police report.
Once you’ve added your report to Collideoscope, we’ll guide you to where you can make a police report if appropriate. For other incidents (eg dangerous driving or abusive behaviour) you may wish to report via the non-emergency 101 police line.
What does a good police report include?
Get in touch with the police as soon as possible after the incident, as any CCTV evidence may be wiped if you leave it too long — and besides, it will be easier to remember all the details.
The police will ask you the relevant questions so that they obtain all the facts they need for their standardised incident report. Ideally, you should be prepared with as much information as you can recall or gather about the exact time of day, the location, the factors which led up to the incident, and anyone else present.
If a motor vehicle was involved, the registration number or driver’s contact details will be invaluable — but if you did not manage to obtain these, then other identifying information such as the colour, make or other features (eg bus number, branding on commercial vehicles, etc) will help.
Any supporting evidence such as photographs or videos can be extremely useful to the police — but take care not to share these publicly on social media, as they may prejudice any court case that subsequently occurs. Just pass them directly to the police instead.

When things don’t go as planned

Collideoscope doesn’t recognise the postcode I’m trying to input
Our postcode data comes from Ordnance Survey. If you have a relatively new postcode, it may not yet be reflected on OS, and therefore on Collideoscope.
It’s ok though, you can still use the site: just enter a nearby place name, street name or let the site locate you automatically, instead. You can use the pan and zoom controls at the top right hand corner of the screen to zero in on the precise location.
My street isn’t on your map
Collideoscope’s default maps are from OpenStreetMap, so updates to our maps happen when they refresh their data. If you can’t see the street you want to make a report on, your best bet is to use the map to pinpoint the location as accurately as you can, then describe the problem location in as much detail as possible in the description box.
I haven’t received a confirmation email
Please check your spam folder – this is the most common reason that confirmation emails cannot be found.
Unfortunately, it is hard for us to avoid from our end, but by adding us to your email whitelist, you will prevent this happening in future.
You sent my report to the wrong council
Please check that you placed your pin correctly, as this is a very common reason for misdirected reports. If your problem is very near a council boundary, it is easy to place the pin on the wrong side of it by mistake.
If your pin is in the correct location, please drop us a line and we’ll try to get to the bottom of why your report has been misrouted. Please include the URL (web address) of your Collideoscope report.
I want to update my report
You can also leave an update on your Collideoscope report page, but note that updates are not forwarded to the council. They are intended as a place for you to update the public on anything arising from your incident.
So, if you’ve already submitted your report, but now you would like to send further information to your council, you should wait until they reply to you, and then respond to their communication directly.
I want to edit my report
You can edit your report directly from the Collideoscope report page, but note that updates are not forwarded to the council.
I do not wish to make a public report
All reports made through Collideoscope are published online. Reports can be submitted anonymously: just check the box when you fill in the form. Note that the body of your report will still appear on the Collideoscope website, but without your name attached to it, and that your name will still be sent to the council.
If your report contains potentially sensitive material, such as names or addresses, we suggest that you do not include these until the council has replied to you directly and you are in one-to-one contact.
If your report is not suitable for publication, you should contact your council directly, via the contact details given on their own website.
I’ve seen an inappropriate report/comment
There’s a ‘report abuse’ button at the foot of every Collideoscope report. Please click on this and we’ll take a look as soon as we can.
If the report or comment contravenes our rules, we’ll take it down.

What now

The council never replied; what do I do now?
Councils may not respond to reports, particularly where no action is required of them. If you’d like a reply and want to chase your council, try searching your email for an auto-response; you may be able to find further contact details there.
If you still have no joy, you could use another handy mySociety website, WriteToThem, to contact your local councillors.
You might also like to join your local cycling campaigning organisation and take action for better cycling provision in your area.
My report is old and outdated. Can I now delete it?
We have a policy of retaining all Collideoscope reports because they help create an evidence base of cycling incidents across the country. This data is useful for town planners and researchers who can use it as hard evidence to back up decisions and recommendations for safer road policies.
As new reports are made, older ones drop off the first page for any given area, and are less likely to be discovered by those visiting the site.
Can you delete my name from the site?
Yes. Please check our Privacy Policy for full details of your rights under the GDPR and information about how to request this.

Accounts

Do I need to register with Collideoscope to use it?
No – you can send a report without registering. When you submit your report, we’ll send you an email with a confirmation link.
If you use Collideoscope regularly, you can avoid this step by creating an account. Once you’ve signed in, your reports will be sent as soon as you click ‘submit’.
You’ll also be able to see all previous reports you’ve made on one page.
I’ve forgotten my password
Don’t worry! Visit www.collideoscope.org.uk/auth and choose ‘No, let me sign in by email’ – then put a new password in the box. You’ll receive an email to confirm the change.
I want to change my password or email address
You can do this from your account page.

Councils

I work for a council. How can we access data from Collideoscope?
If your council is within Great Britain, we are already sending reports to you as soon as they are submitted by our users. Please drop us a line if you’d like to check or change which email address we are using, or if you’d like an address added.
Can we get more or different data in reports?
Contact us to let us know what you need; it’s possible we’ll be able to add to or modify the report form for your area.
Can we modify the text you send to people who make reports?
Yes! If there’s something particular you’d like to include about, for example, your commitment to road safety, or plans for future improvements, just drop us a line and we can change our emails accordingly.
How do we reply to a Collideoscope report?
Collideoscope reports come by email. A response is not always expected, but if you wish to find out more from the person who made the report, or let them know of any action you’ll be taking as a result of their communication, just reply to the report email. Your response will go directly into the report-maker’s inbox. This and any subsequent correspondence is not published on the Collideoscope website.
Can we put Collideoscope on our own council website?
Yes. We offer branded, hosted versions of Collideoscope for local council websites, as we do for FixMyStreet. Get in touch for more details.

Collideoscope data

What kind of data can I find on this site?
Take a look for yourself, on the Statistics page. You can filter the charts and graphs on the page by multiple criteria, including location, date, and the bodies involved in the incident. You can also enter a council name to see a map of reports in that area. And finally, you can download an anonymised copy of the data as a CSV, perfect for analysing in Excel or Fusion Tables.
Does all the data come from reports made on this site?
No. By default, Collideoscope shows only reports made by Collideoscope users. But you can also choose to include all incidents involving bicycles from the Department for Transport’s yearly STATS19 dataset. Just look for the “STATS19” and “Department for Transport” options.
What is STATS19?
STATS19 is the name of the form on which police officers in Britain record incidents on the public highway involving human injury or death. This data is published annually by the Department for Transport. We aim to keep Collideoscope up to date with the latest available STATS19 data – right now that means cycling accidents that occured in 2012–2016. Accidents from 2017 should become available in late 2018.

Feedback and ideas

I’d like to make a Collideoscope for my own country
Collideoscope runs on open-source code, so that’s fine. It is a repurposing of the FixMyStreet codebase: read more here.
I want to suggest an improvement
Drop us a line, or open a ticket on GitHub (requires registration). We value your suggestions and we do act on the most requested or sensible ones, when resources allow.