Home
Our regular feature highlighting close passes caught on camera from around the country – today it’s Birmingam

This video in our Near Miss of the Day feature, like the others, highlights how vulnerable cyclists are on the road - all the more so because it happened to a cyclist on his way to a vigil to commemorate a 32-year-old doctor killed last week while riding her bike home from work in Birmingham. 

The footage was shot by road.cc reader Dick Jones, who was riding to Birmingham University for the start of the vigil for Birmingham Children’s Hospital doctor Suzanna Bull who was killed in a collision with a lorry at the junction of Edgbaston Road and Pershore Road at around 4pm on Monday 9 October.

As Dick rode to the vigil along Oakfield Road in Edgbaston, he encountered a situation that will be familiar to anyone who rides along a street with parked cars either side and supposed traffic-calming measures on the narrow carriageway - an impatient, speeding driver coming straight at him.

"I was riding fairly central as there were speed bumps and parked cars, but still clearly on my side of the road," he told road.cc.

"The driver goes the wrong side of the traffic island to overtake a couple of cyclists and then drives at me forcing me out of the way."

He continued: "After the vigil I turned left at the corner where the tragic collision happened (film still attached). That was a poignant moment. 

"I haven't reported my near miss as my camera failed to pick up the registration," Dick added.

Last night's vigil was accompanied by a go-slow ride as campaigners appealed to Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to provide infrastructure for people on bikes in the city and to follow-through on previously announced plans to build protected cycle routes, reports the Birmingham Mail.

Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

24 comments

Avatar
LarryDavidJr [372 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Got a download of the raw footage without the youtube compression Dick?  I reckon we can figure that one out if the footage is only slightly better with the aid of the DVLA VED database.

Avatar
scouser_andy [41 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

I've had this loads -- cars charging at me, even when taking the primary position. Rule 163 is pretty clear on this:

Rule 163

Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should... give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road

Also under rule 163 ...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.

An indirect point to this; the majority of people bleating about relatively small sections of road being given over to segregated cycle lanes seem blind to the fact huge swathes of public highway, paid for by you and I, is given over for no other reason than to store vehicles that aren't in use. And if you read local newspapers, they still want more of it, preferably next to the supermarket/betting shop/newsagent/whatever. Talk about double standards.

Avatar
alansmurphy [1051 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

It doesn't appear that close but the traffic island manouvere and general inpatience tells me that this driver is a KSI waiting to happen, should have a lifetime ban for this alone!

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [793 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
scouser_andy wrote:

I've had this loads -- cars charging at me, even when taking the primary position. Rule 163 is pretty clear on this:

Rule 163

Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should... give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road

Also under rule 163 ...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.

This to me highlights the problem. There is no clear cut instructions for car drivers.

Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should... give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road

Define safe? in objective terms? I can imagine that driver felt they were being perfectly safe... if the rider felt differently, it was because of their choice to position themselves more towards the central line

Should - my understanding is this indicates an advisory only. So best practice that a driver can review and then choose to apply as they see fit. They didn't see fit.

Also under rule 163 ...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.

Again, the drivers only obligation is to provide the same room as overtaking a car. So if he chooses to skim a car, than thats up to him, which then, in his eyes givs him carte blanche to skim cyclists too.

I'm not defending the driver here... aggressive prick choosing 2 seconds over someone elses lives, but I'm putting context into their potential thinking.

It shouldn't be 'should', it should be 'must' give way. 

It shouldn't be 'as much room' or 'safe' it should be 'a minimum of 1.5 metres' 

There needs to be something that says, when passing oncoming traffic in narrow conditions, should a gap of less than 1.5 metres be available, you must slow to under 20mph when passing.

As far as the law goes, the driver did nothing wrong. Thats what is wrong. 

We are not nice people (society we, not cyclists as a group we), and we need to apply road rules / direction that accepts that at least 50% of us are horrible, ignorant, impatient people. 

Avatar
Al__S [1268 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Pretty sure ignoring the "pass to the left" sign on the traffic island is a legal breach?

Avatar
onlinejones [10 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
LarryDavidJr wrote:

Got a download of the raw footage without the youtube compression Dick?  I reckon we can figure that one out if the footage is only slightly better with the aid of the DVLA VED database.

Here's a link to it on my Dropbox public folder:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wq986ax2jl9mh5q/vigil%20day.mp4?dl=0

Avatar
the nutcracker [20 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

i actually think its a pretty pragmatic and efficient use of the road space available when you consider the cyclists and parked cars and narrow space available and everyone wanting to get on there way. Maybe it was an off duty deliveroo cyclist?

Avatar
alansmurphy [1051 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

You're wrong. 

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1855 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
the nutcracker wrote:

i actually think its a pretty pragmatic and efficient use of the road space available when you consider the cyclists and parked cars and narrow space available and everyone wanting to get on there way. Maybe it was an off duty deliveroo cyclist?

Maybe you're a petrolhead justifying dangerous driving?

But good point about the way drivers want to be able to park on the same narrow roads they want to get through at speed. They need to be forced to pick one or the other.

Avatar
A V Lowe [617 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Return same time same place and very likely you'll see same car same driver - if not driving round the islands, they will be exceeding the speed limit. Maybe a place for Hodson and Hudson to look in and check out for close passes?

Clearly a popular commiting cycle route, with some drivers presing some cyclists to riide on the footway - at an inappropriate speed given the blind corners 

Avatar
ChrisB200SX [551 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

EX09LAN, no, something a bit like that... I'm working on it. https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/

I may have been slightly on the wrong track, on the assumption that it is a Birmingham registration, BA, BN, BV, BX, BY could be the first two letters https://www.newreg.co.uk/dvla-number-plate-identifiers/ I'm favouring A, V and X at the moment.

Avatar
jimbo2112 [87 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
the nutcracker wrote:

i actually think its a pretty pragmatic and efficient use of the road space available when you consider the cyclists and parked cars and narrow space available and everyone wanting to get on there way. Maybe it was an off duty deliveroo cyclist?

‘Pragmatic’? That’s not how you spell ‘Idiotic, arrogant, dangerous and illegal’, which I’m sure you meant to type?

Avatar
LarryDavidJr [372 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

It seems to be ?X?? LNN

Tried CX, LX and EX so far.  A few audis but not in that colour.

Avatar
Jitensha Oni [92 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
LarryDavidJr wrote:

It seems to be ?X?? LNN

Tried CX, LX and EX so far.  A few audis but not in that colour.

Excellent work Larry and ChrisB200SX

Wondering if it might be LV (orCV/EV) at the start.

Avatar
Sniffer [440 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
the nutcracker wrote:

i actually think its a pretty pragmatic and efficient use of the road space available when you consider the cyclists and parked cars and narrow space available and everyone wanting to get on there way. Maybe it was an off duty deliveroo cyclist?

I assume your comment is a piss take.
Going the wrong side of a traffic island cannot be justified.

Avatar
davel [1877 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Sniffer wrote:
the nutcracker wrote:

i actually think its a pretty pragmatic and efficient use of the road space available when you consider the cyclists and parked cars and narrow space available and everyone wanting to get on there way. Maybe it was an off duty deliveroo cyclist?

I assume your comment is a piss take.

Course it is - the wacky cunt has called this particular waste of cyberspace 'the nutcracker'.

Avatar
wycombewheeler [1234 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Al__S wrote:

Pretty sure ignoring the "pass to the left" sign on the traffic island is a legal breach?

True but as a cyclist I prefer dickhrad drivers to pass with a nice solid island between us than the more usual attempt to squeeze through the pinch point at the same time.
I don't see a near miss here, the driver does nothing surprising and the cyclist has time and space go keep safe.
Yes passing the island is illegal and maybe the cyclist has priority where they meet because he only needs his own side of the road, but there is no way any awake cyclist is hit by that car.

Personally I think they need to rationalise roads and parking, you can't allow parking to reduce the available space below what is required for cars to pass each other while still allowing two way flow.

Avatar
alansmurphy [1051 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I'd prefer them to wait and the driver does do something surprising, he goes the wrong way round an island. I agree, it doesn't feel like a close pass but it's certainly intimidating and scary...

Avatar
LarryDavidJr [372 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Jitensha Oni wrote:
LarryDavidJr wrote:

It seems to be ?X?? LNN

Tried CX, LX and EX so far.  A few audis but not in that colour.

Excellent work Larry and ChrisB200SX

Wondering if it might be LV (orCV/EV) at the start.

LV54 LNN?  Audi. I'm afraid being colour blind I can't quite confirm the colour properly!

https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ConfirmVehicle?Vrm=lv54lnn

EDIT: LV60 LNN Grey Audi?

https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ConfirmVehicle?Vrm=lv60lnn

Both untaxed and un-mot'd for a few years so now possibly not.

Avatar
onlinejones [10 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
the nutcracker wrote:

i actually think its a pretty pragmatic and efficient use of the road space available when you consider the cyclists and parked cars and narrow space available and everyone wanting to get on there way. Maybe it was an off duty deliveroo cyclist?

First time someone overtook me on the wrong side of the traffic isaland I also thought it was pragmatic, but check out this video and you'll see exactly why it's illegal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-4TYhkx1CU

Avatar
LastBoyScout [307 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Years ago, I nearly got run over coming off Marlow bridge by a BMW driver going the wrong side of the width restriction so as not to risk scraping his wheels!

Avatar
PRSboy [57 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
LastBoyScout wrote:

Years ago, I nearly got run over coming off Marlow bridge by a BMW driver going the wrong side of the width restriction so as not to risk scraping his wheels!

Not condoning these actions, but that width restriction is a nightmare.

I wonder sometimes if these traffic calming measures cause more problems than they solve; the chicane things which make drivers give way to oncoming ones for example.  I've seen many near misses on these locally, and they just cause congestion and extra noise/pollution with no benefit that I can see to vehicle speeds.

Avatar
Sniffer [440 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I had a similar experience this morning on my commute.

Riding primary on the road through traffic island.  Big acceleration from the car behind.  Car then nearly ran into traffic island, which then had to emergency stop.

I was doing 20 mph past a school at the time.

At least he didn't cut me up.

Avatar
LastBoyScout [307 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
PRSboy wrote:
LastBoyScout wrote:

Years ago, I nearly got run over coming off Marlow bridge by a BMW driver going the wrong side of the width restriction so as not to risk scraping his wheels!

Not condoning these actions, but that width restriction is a nightmare.

I wonder sometimes if these traffic calming measures cause more problems than they solve; the chicane things which make drivers give way to oncoming ones for example.  I've seen many near misses on these locally, and they just cause congestion and extra noise/pollution with no benefit that I can see to vehicle speeds.

It was actually twice as bad, because I had priority coming off the bridge, which he also ignored. Sometimes I wish I'd stood my ground and made him reverse back (there would have been a queue of cars behind me in a very short amount of time, giving him nowhere to go) but, at the time, I just didn't want to end up on his bonnet.

I'm not convinced about traffic calming, either - they don't make much difference to the traffic, at the expense of increasing pollution and work for the local garages through premature wear on brakes, tyres and so on.