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

The latest video in our Near Miss of the Day feature happened in September last year, with road.cc reader James Muehnickel sharing it with us to highlight the dangerous driving to which he had been subject.

It took place on Burnetts Lane in Horton Heath, near Eastleigh,  Hampshire, with the lorry belonging to local firm Riva South.

The driver performs a dangerous overtake of the type that will be very  familiar to many cyclists as the gap between the trailer and the rider becomes more and more narrow as he pulls in.

Shortly after the overtake, the driver turns left into the company's yard - begging the question of whether it was worth putting someone's life at risk to save a few seconds?

James contacted the company, but did not receive a reply, and the police via 101 but said they "didn't seem too interested" and he'd heard nothing back since.

Another thing the video brings to mind is the number of haulage yards that are found in rural or semi-rural locations, often with unsuitably narrow access roads - as is the case here.

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.

23 comments

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kil0ran [699 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

There's a large recycling centre near Godshill in the New Forest. Constant stream of hi cab tippers hammering along (quite legally) at 40mph. Even if they don't close pass the slipstream buffeting is huge

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thx1138 [68 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

"and the police via 101 but said they "didn't seem too interested" and he'd heard nothing back since." That'll be Hampshire "hey look at our close pass initiative, aren't we good" Police then.....

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Daveyraveygravey [563 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

That was a shocker!  Even if the bike wasn't there, was that a safe speed for that road, and the narrow bridge he went over?!

And to then turn into the yard a few yards after the overtake.  I'd have been yelling my head off.

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kil0ran [699 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes
Daveyraveygravey wrote:

That was a shocker!  Even if the bike wasn't there, was that a safe speed for that road, and the narrow bridge he went over?!

And to then turn into the yard a few yards after the overtake.  I'd have been yelling my head off.

I'd have been into the yard to have a word with the transport manager.

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harman_mogul [302 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Yes, that really is a shocker

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Bluebug [310 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
kil0ran wrote:
Daveyraveygravey wrote:

That was a shocker!  Even if the bike wasn't there, was that a safe speed for that road, and the narrow bridge he went over?!

And to then turn into the yard a few yards after the overtake.  I'd have been yelling my head off.

I'd have been into the yard to have a word with the transport manager.

Who wouldn't listen until you point out the financial cost of killing you especially as you  are decked out like a Christmas tree.

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fenix [931 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Was it that bad ? The truck was pretty much all over the other side of the road there.

I agree it was a bit pointless but how many times have we all seen that kind of thing before.

If I was the cyclist I would have stopped pedalling when the truck came alongside. You want to minimise the time spent in close proximity to a killer like that. Let him go ahead.

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alansmurphy [1650 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

Front end was fine Fenix, back end fair nearly clips him!

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Zjtm231 [100 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes
fenix wrote:

Was it that bad ? The truck was pretty much all over the other side of the road there. I agree it was a bit pointless but how many times have we all seen that kind of thing before. If I was the cyclist I would have stopped pedalling when the truck came alongside. You want to minimise the time spent in close proximity to a killer like that. Let him go ahead.

 

...yes it was

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dassie [151 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

Front end was fine Fenix, back end fair nearly clips him!

Yes.  He shouldn't have overtaken with the bend/narrow bridge approaching, and then completely failed to clear the cyclist safely before moving back.   Poor and dangerous driving.

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fenix [931 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Yeah fair enough it's very close at the end of the pass. 

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Rider X [14 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
dassie wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Front end was fine Fenix, back end fair nearly clips him!

Yes.  He shouldn't have overtaken with the bend/narrow bridge approaching, and then completely failed to clear the cyclist safely before moving back.   Poor and dangerous driving.

I agree that the driver should not have put the cyclist in that position. Period.

That said, as cyclists the truth is that drivers pull these maneuvers all of the time and we need to be prepared to react as soon as we see it start to happen.  In the past  I used to hold my position (as was done in the video) as a refusal to be bullied by other road users, but after a few close calls with the tail end of the vehicles (in my case an additional trailer being towed) I now hit the brakes to get out of that position as quickly as possible.

It sucks to have to mitigate for others mistakes, but it is a poor stategic position. This is not to blame the cyclis tin the video, as the maneuver was forced on them, but the best thing to do  is assume the driver is not attentive and will cut you off and therefore you need to anticipate and get out of there as quickly as possible by braking.

I came to this conclusion after having close calls and numerous conversations with drivers on this tactic. Most seem to be of the opinion that if they get a wheel on you they own you and you need to get the @#%$ out of their way.  This happened even on stretches of road where I was at or exceeding the speed limit. It is obviously a power trip on the behalf of the driver, but we still need ways to control the situation when thrust upon us.

Don't fight a losing battle, asume the drivers are asshats and get the %$& out of there.

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alansmurphy [1650 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

I find it the same with 'soccer-moms' in people carriers, as soon as they physically (as in sitting in the driver's seat) pass you they forget the other 8 feet of vehicle!

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gmac101 [195 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

 

I cycle down a dead end with Thames water depot at the end of it.  Theres a short shared use  path at the end of dead end that means cyclists and pedestrians can use it as a through road.  I was heading out of the dead end having just past the Thames water depot when I saw about 100 yards away just behind a cyclist to my surprise he pulled out to overtake ( his final destination was about 130 yds away) as the road is narrow I stopped and got off the road because if he gave the cyclist enough room I wouldn't have enough space.  I flicked him the finger - he braked and shouted he could overtake anywhere he wanted.  These people call themselves professional drivers? 

The other cyclist took the opportunity to sprint for the shared use path

The driver then pulled into the depot oblivious to his complete lack of judgement

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Critchio [240 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

At risk of inviting criticism, we've all seen and experienced worse, where in that clip the lorry in its entirety passes the cyclist as close as the end of the trailer does. I agree with other sentiments that we also have a duty to protect ourselves in situations where there could be danger.

Coming to my point, holding your position out of protest and legal rights when there could be danger to one's self is daft and foolish. A cyclist can not win versus any vehicle let alone a 44 ton truck 18 metres in length. I'm not saying the cyclist in this clip held his line and speed for definite but it looks like it. And it happens.

That is why I always stop pedalling and brake when a big vehicle begins to pass me, even when they do so safely. I'm not giving up my rights or surrendering to the drivers assumption of priority over me. It's self preservation. I want that vehicle gone and away from asap and killing my speed for up to 5 seconds or so achieves that in fastest possible way. I feel a hundred times more safer on my motorbike as I do on my road bike. It's dangerous out there and has got to use one's noddle and stay as safe as possible.

And at further risk of more criticism, *some* of those wearing helmet cams (I wear one myself) seem to me to leave themselves in positions of danger so they can capture the moment of bad driving on video.

With all that, that was a bad pass. The lorry driver had no consideration for the cyclist's safety and treated him as a nuisance. If that cyclist had been recognised as a relative or loved one by the lorry driver they would not have passed. Of that I am convinced.

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WillRod [254 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Yes the driver should have waited for the cyclist, but surely if you can sense it’s going to happen, you ease the brakes on to avoid becoming a statistic.

 

Its annoying to have to brake and slow down for these dippidiots, but hopefully it stops them squishing you.

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Awavey [367 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
fenix wrote:

Yeah fair enough it's very close at the end of the pass. 

tbf my reaction was similar at first, but I dont think that is because its not a bad pass, it still is a bad pass.Its that its all too familiar a situation to find yourself in on a bike with longer vehicles like that overtaking,and that weve just grown accustomed to thats how 90% of lorries overtake all the time on every ride we go on, the really scary ones are when the cab starts off at the passing distance the trailer ends up in, so it doesnt feel exceptional or out of the ordinary anymore, which is wrong because it really should.

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don simon [1763 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
dassie wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Front end was fine Fenix, back end fair nearly clips him!

Yes.  He shouldn't have overtaken with the bend/narrow bridge approaching, and then completely failed to clear the cyclist safely before moving back.   Poor and dangerous driving.

That narrowing of the road must have been one hell of a shock for the driver, what with the haulage company entrance being 100m up the road, and that.

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nbrus [559 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I wonder if that cyclist was shouting at animals during that manouver. 

He probably arrived home smelling like a farmyard.

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IanW1968 [357 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

If there was any sense we would all(not just people on bikes) be asking why vehicles of that size are on UK roads. 

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don simon [1763 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
IanW1968 wrote:

If there was any sense we would all(not just people on bikes) be asking why vehicles of that size are on UK roads. 

There's absolutely no need for them to be in cities. There are cities that manage perfectly well without trucks like this or the horrendous tipper trucks that seem adept a killing people.

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davel [2110 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
IanW1968 wrote:

If there was any sense we would all(not just people on bikes) be asking why vehicles of that size are on UK roads. 

UK infrastructure is a fragmented mess. You'd think much of this could be nudged onto rail, but its management is pretty shit too.

About a year ago I had a spell of getting the train home from work via Manchester Piccadilly. At 17.15ish, daily, passenger trains in and out of by far the north-west's busiest station were held up for a few minutes while a freight train about 400m long rumbled through the city centre main through line, from East to West.

Made me want to dig Ernest Marples up from nearby and show him what his idiocy and dodginess had caused.

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handlebarcam [1082 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

In a rational society, such massive vehicles would not be allowed on such narrow roads at all. Except maybe, if an absolutely essential special case can be made for some one-off reason, doing 10mph behind a safety car with flashing lights.