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Near Miss of the Day 7: Cyclist almost crushed between lorry and wall

"Probably the worst incident I have endured in well over 100,000 miles on the roads over the years," says Nik Heathman...

Today's submission to our Near Miss of the Day feature is from a few years back, but is described by the rider involved, who comes close to being crushed between a lorry and a wall, as "probably the worst incident I have endured in well over 100,000 miles on the roads over the years."

Nik Heathman of the Bike Shed in Crediton, Devon, told road.cc that he had been trying out a helmet camera when he captured the footage, shot in 2009.

Besides the sheer lack of space the driver gives the cyclist, who could have been seriously injured or killed, the lorry driver also breaks the law by crossing the solid white lines as he attempts to complete the manoeuvre, with oncoming traffic approaching.

The Highway Code says drivers  "may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph or less" - although here, the cyclist's speed is greater and the road was not clear.

Drivers are also told to be especially careful around vulnerable road users including cyclists, who should be given the same space as when overtaking a car, which the driver could not have done here given those solid lines.

The Highway Code also says: "Give them [cyclists and motorcyclists] plenty of room, especially if you are driving a long vehicle or towing a trailer."

Niek told us: "I did report it to the Police via email who surprised me with a home visit and viewed the footage.

"I don't think they are allowed to click on links sent to them for fear of viruses etc."

He added: "They did 'have a word' with the company/driver responsible, but that was as far as it went."

Eight years on, many police forces are less reluctant to view online content, and some have developed specific tools to enable members of the public to upload footage for consideration.

Devon & Cornwall Police, meanwhile, have confirmed that they are undertaking a close pass operation similar to that launched by West Midlands Police last year.

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 ">info [at] road.ccinfo [at] road.cc "> or contact us via the road.cc Facebook page.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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