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Near Miss of the Day 30: VW Beetle driver almost left-hooks cyclist

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

When we launched our Near Miss of the Day feature earlier this year, we were aware that it might not sit easily with some road.cc readers. By highlighting instances of poor driving around people on bikes, we were making cycling look more dangerous than it is in reality and discouraging people from taking to two wheels was the most common complaint we received.

The fact is, though, that many cyclists who equip themselves with cameras do regularly capture footage of motorists who put them in danger - and it's largely thanks to such videos that traffic officers, following the lead of West Midlands Police and its Close Pass operation launched last year, have tackled the problem head-on and sought to educate motorists about how to drive safely around bike riders.

The latest video in the series serves to reinforce the risks to which drivers regularly expose cyclists - not least since we featured a video by the same rider, who posts to YouTube under the name Westcliff Go Pro, just last week.

That video showed a driver who simply did not see the cyclist as he turned right across his path, braking just in time.

> Near Miss of the Day 29: "Sorry mate, I didn't see you ... "

His latest scare came yesterday morning at 11.30am yesterday morning on Kenilworth Gardens in Westcliff on Sea, Essex.

"After attempting to left hook me and apologising she then almost wipes out my rear wheel," he said.

"This is the second near miss in a week, I just wish drivers would be more observant and judge the speeds of others better."

And that sentiment gets to the heart of why we decided to start this series in the first place - we could pretend these things don't happen, or we can highlight the threat that many motorists pose to cyclists, whether through inattention or something else, and hope it prompts the authorities to take action.

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.

 

 

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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33 comments

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Projectcyclingf... | 6 years ago
1 like

A bit of education...its not problem for drivers to speed and overtake a vulnerable road user if their intension is to go straight and road conditions allow you to do it safely. But if their intension is to turn left, they do not have an automatic right to change direction into the path ocucupied by another road user. What is the need to speed and overtake when they will have to slow down anyway in order to negotiate the turn. Speeding up and then having brake heavier is only going to mean less mpg. It's about time fuel prices go up as fast as drivers speed and hopefully they might change their habits about revving their engines. Better still, they may leave their cars at home and use a greener form of travel as all cyclists do and help cut down on toxic exaust fumes. Clearly this VW driver intended to cut you up thinking in his mind all cyclists are insignificant and irrelevant. You need to educate drivers that do this and so command your space on the road confidently and safely being helped by wearing bright outfits etc. Get yourself a loud horn too.

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spen | 6 years ago
2 likes

And what you fail to notice is that the standard of riding fell far below the standards you appear to expect of drivers.

 

If you want to be taken seriously then drop the acceptance of lower standards just because someones on a bike.

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TriTaxMan replied to spen | 6 years ago
0 likes
spen wrote:

And what you fail to notice is that the standard of riding fell far below the standards you appear to expect of drivers.

 

If you want to be taken seriously then drop the acceptance of lower standards just because someones on a bike.

Couldn't agree more Spen.

Too many people focus solely on the deficiency of the driver (which was clear to see) but ignored the deficiency of the cyclists actions.  

Someone once told me that if you use a camera whilst driving or cycling your actions must be above reproach as the camera never lies.  And this is a prime example...showing that both parties involved could have acted better.

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belugabob | 6 years ago
2 likes

When visiting relatives in Southend, we have to drive down a wide section of dual carriageway like that. The increase in car ownership in recent years means that the left hand lane has large amount of parked vehicles, leaving you with a choice between weaving in and out of the parked cars (and having to constantly merge back out to the right hand lane) or just be a right lane hog. It's far from ideal and, whilst not a deliberate design, as such, it does need to be addressed.
The situation in the video results from a combination of well-intentioned traffic calming, that has the exact opposite result, as the lack of flow causes people to become frustrated, then make bad decisions.

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dmack | 6 years ago
2 likes

Looking at this video it seems to be to just fall into the imperfect world category.  Neither cyclist nor driver made the best decisions but, given no one is perfect, that's going to happen.  What we need is for a Car driving website to be sharing these videos too.  Then drivers would get more of a feel for what is a danger for cyclists.  And for us cyclists, maybe watching videos like this will help us make the right decision in situations like this.

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Guanajuato | 6 years ago
3 likes

That's bad driving, not great cycling. But the man contibutor is the awful road design which encourages ppl in to go in the outside lane to turn left.  I wonder how many near misses & minor collisions there are there between motorists. I reckon there'd be quite a haul of bumper bits and wheel trims.

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ChrisB200SX | 6 years ago
4 likes

The cyclist is in the single lane, well ahead of the car while the car is still in the right lane of two. The driver dangerously puts their car alongside the cyclist who is in the same lane, or prior to that, ahead of the car in the single lane.

Those of you defending the driver and berating the cyclist need to review your driving before you injure or kill a cyclist.

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Grumpy17 replied to ChrisB200SX | 6 years ago
3 likes
ChrisB200SX wrote:

The cyclist is in the single lane, well ahead of the car while the car is still in the right lane of two. The driver dangerously puts their car alongside the cyclist who is in the same lane, or prior to that, ahead of the car in the single lane.

Those of you defending the driver and berating the cyclist need to review your driving before you injure or kill a cyclist.

 

Surely those same posters defending the driver would have acted so blamelessly in this situation that they would have given way to the other road user, irrespective of whether they were driving the car or riding the bike.

Let's hope two of  these likeminded twerps never encounter each other in a similar  situation to this video or they are going to cause a lengthy hold up somewhere on our roads.

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TriTaxMan replied to ChrisB200SX | 6 years ago
0 likes
ChrisB200SX wrote:

The cyclist is in the single lane, well ahead of the car while the car is still in the right lane of two. The driver dangerously puts their car alongside the cyclist who is in the same lane, or prior to that, ahead of the car in the single lane.

Those of you defending the driver and berating the cyclist need to review your driving before you injure or kill a cyclist.

Chris, firstly being critical of the cyclists actions is not necessarily defending the driver.  

As I said right from the start the driver should have slowed down because they knew they were turning left at the junction but that does not excuse the cyclists poor cyclecraft.

The cyclist left it to the very end of their lane to merge in front of a car, which in they eyes of the law puts them at fault.  And then when it is clear that a vehicle has virtually overtaken you why would you decide to then continue to cycle up beside the car as they slow down to turn.

The cyclist should have either merged earlier when it was safe to do so, or to allow the car to complete its maneuver irrespective of how badly judged that maneuver was.  Because in an argument between 70 odd kg of cyclist and 1000+kg of car there can be only one victor.  Proving a point that the car drivers maneuver was ill conceived is of little comfort from a hospital bed.

In the ideal world the car should have slowed down, and been indicating so that the cyclist could see they were turning.  The cyclist should have been reading the road better and merge into the other lane about 20m sooner than they did, taking primary position at the pinch point to prevent such a reckless maneuver then we would all have been happy

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Rich_cb | 6 years ago
2 likes

By the letter of the law the car driver was in the right and the cyclist was in the wrong.

The cyclist's lane was coming to an end and he was required by law to give way to the traffic in the other lane before merging.

The car driver could have been courteous and allowed the cyclist to merge in front.

He didn't allow the merge which means either he's a bit of a dick or he hadn't noticed the cyclist.

For the cyclist to then pass the car on the left when it's signalling left and there is a possibility that the driver doesn't know that you're there is nothing short of suicidal.

Repeat that manoeuvre enough times and you'll end up dead.

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Grumpy17 | 6 years ago
7 likes

Any competent driver with an ounce of common sense and a rudimentary ability to judge another road user's speed would have held back there. 

Sh*t judgement, sh*t driving.

 

And am sure the cyclist 'read the situation' perfectly well- he probably just realised here was another left -hooking tw*t with the IQ of a carrot.

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spen replied to Grumpy17 | 6 years ago
2 likes
Grumpy17 wrote:

Any competent driver with an ounce of common sense and a rudimentary ability to judge another road user's speed would have held back there. 

Sh*t judgement, sh*t driving.

 

And am sure the cyclist 'read the situation' perfectly well- he probably just realised here was another left -hooking tw*t with the IQ of a carrot.

 

Hmmm...... you obviously failed to notice the arrow on the road surface telling traffic to move to the right then , at around 7 seconds.  The rider should then have checked for traffic approaching from behind and, if necessary, and it was, gave way to traffic already in that lane before moving over to the right.  It appears that this rider didn't check for approaching traffic and appears to be unaware of the car until it's level with them.  Do that on a driving test and you'd probably fail.  

 

In this case the rider shows little understanding of how British roads work and was entirely responsible for the situation they found themselves in!

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STiG911 replied to spen | 6 years ago
3 likes
spen wrote:
Grumpy17 wrote:

Any competent driver with an ounce of common sense and a rudimentary ability to judge another road user's speed would have held back there. 

Sh*t judgement, sh*t driving.

 

And am sure the cyclist 'read the situation' perfectly well- he probably just realised here was another left -hooking tw*t with the IQ of a carrot.

 

Hmmm...... you obviously failed to notice the arrow on the road surface telling traffic to move to the right then , at around 7 seconds.  The rider should then have checked for traffic approaching from behind and, if necessary, and it was, gave way to traffic already in that lane before moving over to the right.  It appears that this rider didn't check for approaching traffic and appears to be unaware of the car until it's level with them.  Do that on a driving test and you'd probably fail.  

 

In this case the rider shows little understanding of how British roads work and was entirely responsible for the situation they found themselves in!

The cyclist gets to the merge arrow far sooner than the car, so the car should extend priority to the cyclist in the first place. A car in the same position would've moved across,  not just sat back and wait for other cars to pass first...

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Grumpy17 replied to spen | 6 years ago
2 likes
spen wrote:
Grumpy17 wrote:

Any competent driver with an ounce of common sense and a rudimentary ability to judge another road user's speed would have held back there. 

Sh*t judgement, sh*t driving.

 

And am sure the cyclist 'read the situation' perfectly well- he probably just realised here was another left -hooking tw*t with the IQ of a carrot.

 

Hmmm...... you obviously failed to notice the arrow on the road surface telling traffic to move to the right then , at around 7 seconds.  The rider should then have checked for traffic approaching from behind and, if necessary, and it was, gave way to traffic already in that lane before moving over to the right.  It appears that this rider didn't check for approaching traffic and appears to be unaware of the car until it's level with them.  Do that on a driving test and you'd probably fail.  

 

In this case the rider shows little understanding of how British roads work and was entirely responsible for the situation they found themselves in!

You obviously failed to notice you are talking utter bollox. Driving test? Wtf has that got to do with the price of fish? He's a cyclist holding his own in the urban jungle.He doesn't have to submit to a driving test, either a real one or an imaginary one conjured up by your pompous ego.

If you want to ride like some elderly spinster on a shopping bike feel free. But it's clear you are not a regular urban cyclist so don't give out advice on riding when you are clearly so inept at riding a bike yourself.

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TriTaxMan replied to Grumpy17 | 6 years ago
1 like
Grumpy17 wrote:

You obviously failed to notice you are talking utter bollox. Driving test? Wtf has that got to do with the price of fish? He's a cyclist holding his own in the urban jungle.He doesn't have to submit to a driving test, either a real one or an imaginary one conjured up by your pompous ego.

If you want to ride like some elderly spinster on a shopping bike feel free. But it's clear you are not a regular urban cyclist so don't give out advice on riding when you are clearly so inept at riding a bike yourself.

Living up to your name there Grumpy....

Just because you don't require to sit a driving test doesn't mean the rules of the road don't apply to you.

You would be the first to complain if the positions had been reversed, and the car merged in front of a cyclist who had priority you would have been berating the motorist for doing a dickish move.  And this is coming from someone who is a regular and adept urban cyclist.  

The drivel about "He's a cyclist holding his own in the urban jungle" with that you are just emphasising the "them and us" mentality shown by some cycilsts.  Share the road and live by the rules of the road.

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Grumpy17 replied to TriTaxMan | 6 years ago
2 likes
craigstitt wrote:
Grumpy17 wrote:

You obviously failed to notice you are talking utter bollox. Driving test? Wtf has that got to do with the price of fish? He's a cyclist holding his own in the urban jungle.He doesn't have to submit to a driving test, either a real one or an imaginary one conjured up by your pompous ego.

If you want to ride like some elderly spinster on a shopping bike feel free. But it's clear you are not a regular urban cyclist so don't give out advice on riding when you are clearly so inept at riding a bike yourself.

Living up to your name there Grumpy....

Just because you don't require to sit a driving test doesn't mean the rules of the road don't apply to you.

You would be the first to complain if the positions had been reversed, and the car merged in front of a cyclist who had priority you would have been berating the motorist for doing a dickish move.  And this is coming from someone who is a regular and adept urban cyclist.  

The drivel about "He's a cyclist holding his own in the urban jungle" with that you are just emphasising the "them and us" mentality shown by some cycilsts.  Share the road and live by the rules of the road.

 

Lots of wrong assumptions  in your post. And too many posters on here trying to police the way other cyclists ride.Posters who are clearly less experienced at actually riding a bike than the people who they think they are qualified to  'educate'.

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TriTaxMan replied to Grumpy17 | 6 years ago
2 likes
Grumpy17 wrote:
craigstitt wrote:
Grumpy17 wrote:

You obviously failed to notice you are talking utter bollox. Driving test? Wtf has that got to do with the price of fish? He's a cyclist holding his own in the urban jungle.He doesn't have to submit to a driving test, either a real one or an imaginary one conjured up by your pompous ego.

If you want to ride like some elderly spinster on a shopping bike feel free. But it's clear you are not a regular urban cyclist so don't give out advice on riding when you are clearly so inept at riding a bike yourself.

Living up to your name there Grumpy....

Just because you don't require to sit a driving test doesn't mean the rules of the road don't apply to you.

You would be the first to complain if the positions had been reversed, and the car merged in front of a cyclist who had priority you would have been berating the motorist for doing a dickish move.  And this is coming from someone who is a regular and adept urban cyclist.  

The drivel about "He's a cyclist holding his own in the urban jungle" with that you are just emphasising the "them and us" mentality shown by some cycilsts.  Share the road and live by the rules of the road.

 

Lots of wrong assumptions  in your post. And too many posters on here trying to police the way other cyclists ride.Posters who are clearly less experienced at actually riding a bike than the people who they think they are qualified to  'educate'.

Looks like I'm not the only one making assumptions as you are now berating people for being "clearly less experienced at actually riding a bike".  All of this based on a few typed words, when you can have no idea on how much experience those people have on riding bikes.

And seeing as the only assumptions I have made are about you...the rest were statements of fact, I could make the same rash assumption that you are clearly less experienced at actually riding a bike..........

And how do you know what the IQ of a carrot is? sad

 

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fenix | 6 years ago
1 like

Crap driving by the VW. I think he's indicating- you can see the flash but why would the cyclist then go past on the inside ? Better to back off than get taken out by a crap driver.

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burtthebike | 6 years ago
6 likes

I've just come back from what was mostly a very enjoyable, and almost unique, a sunny bank holiday Monday! ride.  The only thing spoiling it was two dangerously close overtakes, and a driver who thought that overtaking the parked car on the opposite side of the narrow road was a sensible thing to do as I passed it on the other side.

Keep these coming road.cc, some of us understand why you're doing it, and see the only problem as the petrolheads won't see them.  Actually, there is another problem: far too many people, even cyclists, seem to think that dangerous driving is acceptable and it doesn't matter how bad the driving is, it's still the cyclist's fault.

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davel replied to burtthebike | 6 years ago
3 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Keep these coming road.cc, some of us understand why you're doing it, and see the only problem as the petrolheads won't see them.  Actually, there is another problem: far too many people, even cyclists, seem to think that dangerous driving is acceptable and it doesn't matter how bad the driving is, it's still the cyclist's fault.

Agree, except the 'petrolhead' bit. Petrolheads I know (and I'm a bit of one myself) understand and respect cars and get their kicks on the track, not from driving like a twat near vulnerable road users.

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ChrisB200SX replied to davel | 6 years ago
1 like
davel wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Keep these coming road.cc, some of us understand why you're doing it, and see the only problem as the petrolheads won't see them.  Actually, there is another problem: far too many people, even cyclists, seem to think that dangerous driving is acceptable and it doesn't matter how bad the driving is, it's still the cyclist's fault.

Agree, except the 'petrolhead' bit. Petrolheads I know (and I'm a bit of one myself) understand and respect cars and get their kicks on the track, not from driving like a twat near vulnerable road users.

Seconded, but there are also some dickhead boy/girl-racers who use the roads as a racetrack and treat cyclists as mobile chicanes.

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TriTaxMan | 6 years ago
2 likes

Looking at that I think there is blame on both parts but IMHO the majority of the blame lies with the cyclist. Some of the blame lies with the car, because they committed to an overtake that they could not finish before they then had to slow down to then turn into the junction. 

But from the cyclists point of view they merged into the lane that the car was already travelling in, and secondly they continued at the same speed despite the fact that the car was virtually by them.

Any sensible cyclist when they saw a car pass by them and then slow down would be thinking the car is going to turn.... what should I do.... slow down and be the curteous cyclist (that's what I would have done) or be a bell end and cycle into a potential blind spot just to prove that the overtake was a rubbish maneuver by the car, and risk being run over.

 

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burtthebike replied to TriTaxMan | 6 years ago
4 likes
craigstitt wrote:

Looking at that I think there is blame on both parts but IMHO the majority of the blame lies with the cyclist. Some of the blame lies with the car, because they committed to an overtake that they could not finish before they then had to slow down to then turn into the junction.

You're going to have to explain how the cyclist has any responsibility for that incident.  The driver, not the car, attempted to overtake and turn left at the same time.  They are a cretin and should be spit roast on a traffic island somewhere as a warning to others.

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TriTaxMan replied to burtthebike | 6 years ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:
craigstitt wrote:

Looking at that I think there is blame on both parts but IMHO the majority of the blame lies with the cyclist. Some of the blame lies with the car, because they committed to an overtake that they could not finish before they then had to slow down to then turn into the junction.

You're going to have to explain how the cyclist has any responsibility for that incident.  The driver, not the car, attempted to overtake and turn left at the same time.  They are a cretin and should be spit roast on a traffic island somewhere as a warning to others.

last time I checked burtthebike if you are merging into a lane where there is other traffic you have to check to make sure that it is safe to merge before you begin your maneuver.  The cyclist was in a lane which ended, then proceeded to try and merge when it was not safe to do so.  

Try rule 133 of the highway code.....

If you need to change lane, first use your mirrors and if necessary take a quick sideways glance to make sure you will not force another road user to change course or speed. When it is safe to do so, signal to indicate your intentions to other road users and when clear, move over.

That sufficient explanation for you burt?

If the cyclist was to be blameless they should have read the road better and merged into the lane sooner.... e.g. taking primary position at a pinch point, or they should have slowed down and let the car pass.

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brooksby replied to TriTaxMan | 6 years ago
3 likes
craigstitt wrote:

If the cyclist was to be blameless they should have read the road better and merged into the lane sooner.... e.g. taking primary position at a pinch point, or they should have slowed down and let the car pass.

Fair enough: I'm sure that it would have been far better to have moved over to take primary and then have that VW sitting a foot behind your rear wheel hooting its horn (as I suspect would have happened had the cyclist moved over as soon as there was the 'merge' arrow).

OTOH, just where did the VW think that the cyclist was going to go?  The VW had come up behind the cyclist on the dualled section of road, then had literally just passed them at the pinch-point, so they were (presumably?) fully aware that they were there, so why did they then try to left-hook them?  Why didn't the VW hold back before the pinch point and then safely turn left? (I know I would have, in that situation).

As so many people say on this site: the HC and the RTA may say one thing - and I concede that the cyclist could have handled the situation better - but sometimes we all just need to get along and that VW was not getting along, but MGIFing instead.  With great power (kinetic energy, mass, etc) comes great responsibility, and that VW driver really didn't demonstrate any of that.

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Mungecrundle | 6 years ago
6 likes

Can't say I'd do any different to the cyclist there, except to give the car a quick boot on the way past.

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fenix replied to Mungecrundle | 6 years ago
2 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

Can't say I'd do any different to the cyclist there, except to give the car a quick boot on the way past.

Oh yes. One thing we know is that a pile of. Flesh on a bike is invulnerable against a tonne of metal. Awesome attitude. You'll live long.

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burtthebike replied to Mungecrundle | 6 years ago
1 like
Mungecrundle wrote:

Can't say I'd do any different to the cyclist there, except to give the car a quick boot on the way past.

I'm considering getting my design for steel-toe-capped cycle shoes crowdfunded.  There's got to be a market.  Possibly with luxury additions like extendable spikes.

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spen | 6 years ago
0 likes

Why pass the car when it was obviously slowing and indicating to turn left?  Shake your head and let them pass, it's much healthier

 

Any one know how to delete a duplicate comment?

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spen | 6 years ago
4 likes

Why pass the car when it was obviously slowing and indicating to turn left?  Shake your head and let them pass, it's much healthier

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