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Near Miss of the Day 128: Driver follows up close pass with a punch

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

Today’s near miss video features a particularly unpleasant denouement with the driver responsible seeing fit to exit his vehicle to launch a punch at the cyclist.

The incident took place on Portswood Road, Southampton on March 26.

Dan stopped at a pedestrian crossing and a driver overtook him as he pulled away, passing sufficiently closely that Dan first waved to warn him and then tapped his car when that had no effect.

“That's what upset him,” said Dan.

Some 30 seconds later, the driver pulled into a side road and got out, walked up to Dan and punched him as he passed.

Dan says Hampshire Police told him it was “not in the public interest” to do anything and his personal conclusion is that the force doesn’t have the resources to take action.

“My view is that the level of police resource ought to be provided by the government to be able to take action in a case like this. I wrote to my MP, Caroline Noakes, making that point and whilst I got an offer to take the matter up with the police, I received no response on the matter of resources.”

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

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.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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43 comments

Avatar
darrenleroy | 6 years ago
2 likes

Slightly different point but how about riding defensively and 'taking the lane' a bit more? That way motors cannot pass until the rider deems it safe for them to do so.

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danhopgood replied to darrenleroy | 6 years ago
1 like

darrenleroy wrote:

Slightly different point but how about riding defensively and 'taking the lane' a bit more? That way motors cannot pass until the rider deems it safe for them to do so.

I'll do that if the same situation happens again.  I had previously thought the road  was so narrow that no-one would try to overtake there.  I worked out that given the position of all the other cars, the space between the i40's mirror and the kerb was around 200mm more than the width of my handlebars.

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Fluffed | 6 years ago
2 likes

Well I best sell my Korean car, even though it's cheap to run, and reliable as anything, because I must be aprising to buy A BMW even if I don't know it.

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danhopgood | 6 years ago
4 likes

I reported it the day after the incident.  When I did report it they were supportive on the 'phone and said it was something they'd look to prosecute.  A higher up obiously quickly decided otherwise.  I made peace with myself not to pursue this further with the Police on the grounds that it would drain their inadequate resources further. 

My beef is that UK society seems happy with very low resources put into road policing.  I'm sure that's partly due to the selfish culture tht's built up of the "me" generation.

I visited the USA last summer and the level of enforcemnt on roads out there is way stricter.  On a 65 limit freeway you WILL get stopped and fined doing more than 70 for more than an hour.

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zero_trooper replied to danhopgood | 6 years ago
1 like

danhopgood wrote:

I reported it the day after the incident.  When I did report it they were supportive on the 'phone and said it was something they'd look to prosecute.  A higher up obiously quickly decided otherwise.  I made peace with myself not to pursue this further with the Police on the grounds that it would drain their inadequate resources further. 

My beef is that UK society seems happy with very low resources put into road policing.  I'm sure that's partly due to the selfish culture tht's built up of the "me" generation.

I visited the USA last summer and the level of enforcemnt on roads out there is way stricter.  On a 65 limit freeway you WILL get stopped and fined doing more than 70 for more than an hour.

Fair enough Dan, making peace with yourself is a really useful skill!  And quite possibly a necessity for commuters. For me, the hypocrisy just winds me up. 'Let's have a close pass initiative' 'Sorry mate, can't help'  2

As others have said, that assault in other circumstances WOULD have been investigated and I'm sure a successful outcome would have ensued.

Safe cycling 

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kil0ran | 6 years ago
1 like

Portswood, innit, mush?

Guarantee if you'd retaliated with (for example) a D-Lock they'd be taking action against you.

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... replied to kil0ran | 6 years ago
0 likes

kil0ran wrote:

Portswood, innit, mush?

Guarantee if you'd retaliated with (for example) a D-Lock they'd be taking action against you.

The trick is to not leave any DNA/witnesses/CCTV footage. 

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Dr_Lex | 6 years ago
3 likes

^Dan, please do this.

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Stueys | 6 years ago
3 likes

Unbelievable the police did nothing, definitely worth following up

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Yorkshire wallet | 6 years ago
0 likes

.

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Lancs_Phinny | 6 years ago
4 likes

As noted above the Corsa even seems to stop out of concern.

It's a difficult situation for the Police, with very little staff it's difficult to decide what to resource and what not.  However the fact of the matter here is that it's a poor decision in my view.

Resons being, that its a clear view of the offender, he's extremely easy to identify, the offence is made out and there is a witness that could be used.  What more could really be asked for.  The public interest side of things relates more to cost of prosecution, use of resources against the offence and level of time it would take to deal with.  This doesn't seem to fall into that category and is annoying on that level.

The main issue here for me is the offender.   He could be dealt with very easily but what checks have taken Place.  What's the decision based on.   Judging by his reaction I would suggest the he has a tendency to commit these offences and has likely done before.

Is he on licence from prison for stabbibng someone in the eye?   Is he a disqualified driver?  Did he knock out a cyclist last week?   It does not seem to have been made clear to Dan.  More importantly, this is now on social media, Dan could do with knowing what risk that guy is to him if he sees the video and post.  I hope he's not hiding behind a post box with a stick on the next commute.

Rant completed.

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zero_trooper replied to Lancs_Phinny | 6 years ago
0 likes

Lancs_Phinny wrote:

As noted above the Corsa even seems to stop out of concern.

It's a difficult situation for the Police, with very little staff it's difficult to decide what to resource and what not.  However the fact of the matter here is that it's a poor decision in my view.

Resons being, that its a clear view of the offender, he's extremely easy to identify, the offence is made out and there is a witness that could be used.  What more could really be asked for.  The public interest side of things relates more to cost of prosecution, use of resources against the offence and level of time it would take to deal with.  This doesn't seem to fall into that category and is annoying on that level.

The main issue here for me is the offender.   He could be dealt with very easily but what checks have taken Place.  What's the decision based on.   Judging by his reaction I would suggest the he has a tendency to commit these offences and has likely done before.

Is he on licence from prison for stabbibng someone in the eye?   Is he a disqualified driver?  Did he knock out a cyclist last week?   It does not seem to have been made clear to Dan.  More importantly, this is now on social media, Dan could do with knowing what risk that guy is to him if he sees the video and post.  I hope he's not hiding behind a post box with a stick on the next commute.

Rant completed.

Nice, balanced rant  laugh

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bikeman01 replied to Lancs_Phinny | 6 years ago
0 likes

[quote=Lancs_Phinny

It's a difficult situation for the Police, with very little staff...

[/quote]

 

Is that really true or just claimed by a public service whiging at the government wanting them to operate more efficiently?

I don't know , but what I do know is we pay more and more for less and less police presence.

Everytime there's an 'incident' they suddenly have hundreds of extra previously invisible cops available.

And there's never a sortage of coppers holding hands at sports events.

Perhaps the police forces policy of copers always being in pairs and retiring at 50 yrs needs a review.

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zero_trooper replied to bikeman01 | 6 years ago
0 likes

bikeman01 wrote:

[quote=Lancs_Phinny

It's a difficult situation for the Police, with very little staff...

 

Is that really true or just claimed by a public service whiging at the government wanting them to operate more efficiently?

I don't know , but what I do know is we pay more and more for less and less police presence.

Everytime there's an 'incident' they suddenly have hundreds of extra previously invisible cops available.

And there's never a sortage of coppers holding hands at sports events.

Perhaps the police forces policy of copers always being in pairs and retiring at 50 yrs needs a review.

[/quote]

The police have never been able to retire at 50 on a full pension, unless they joined when they were 20. Nowadays it's a lot later than that. Besides, a ridiculous arguement - if one retires, you just recruit a replacement.  One out, one in. Think you should be looking at Home Office policy on budgets and police numbers.

As regards being in pairs, probably basic Health and Safety. In Scotland it's done for evidential purposes.

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TedBarnes | 6 years ago
3 likes

The following black car appears to pull in and then pull out again afterwards.

I wonder whether they had anticipated some agro, but when the cyclist carried on riding they too carried on. 

I wonder if the police bothered to follow up on that possible witness... 

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zero_trooper replied to TedBarnes | 6 years ago
0 likes

gw42 wrote:

The following black car appears to pull in and then pull out again afterwards.

I wonder whether they had anticipated some agro, but when the cyclist carried on riding they too carried on. 

I wonder if the police bothered to follow up on that possible witness... 

Witness or witnesses? there seems to be 2 people in the black Corsa. Not clear when it's overtaking, but when it sets off at the end looks like there is. If they had a conversation about what happened, it will stick in their minds. Maybe. Hopefully.

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ChrisB200SX | 6 years ago
7 likes

So, Hampshire Police now take it upon themselves to decide that apprehending a clearly dangerous driver who then assaults a member of the public after threatening them with a moving vehicle, isn't in the public interest?!

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... | 6 years ago
5 likes

I am so glad the cyclist didn't retaliate.  'cos remember, folks : violence is never the answer! 

LOL!

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danhopgood | 6 years ago
9 likes

I thought Rule 165 of the Highway Code was pretty clear:

You MUST NOT overtake

the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross

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mike the bike replied to danhopgood | 6 years ago
0 likes

danhopgood wrote:

I thought Rule 165 of the Highway Code was pretty clear:

You MUST NOT overtake

the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross

 

Is a bicycle a vehicle?

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Yorkshire wallet replied to mike the bike | 6 years ago
1 like

mike the bike wrote:

danhopgood wrote:

I thought Rule 165 of the Highway Code was pretty clear:

You MUST NOT overtake

the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross

 

Is a bicycle a vehicle?

No, it's a nuisance. 

Avatar
Fifth Gear replied to mike the bike | 6 years ago
3 likes

mike the bike wrote:

danhopgood wrote:

I thought Rule 165 of the Highway Code was pretty clear:

You MUST NOT overtake

the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross

 

Is a bicycle a vehicle?

A bicycle is a vehicle but the law regarding overtaking on zig-zags refers to motor vehicles only. This is not made clear in the Highway Code.

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benborp replied to Fifth Gear | 6 years ago
1 like

Fifth Gear wrote:

A bicycle is a vehicle but the law regarding overtaking on zig-zags refers to motor vehicles only. This is not made clear in the Highway Code.

 

The legislation refers to 'vehicles' in some parts and 'motor vehicles' in others. Unsurprisingly it's a bit of a mess when it comes to distilling it all down to the highway code level and then arguing a reasonable driver's understanding and execution in front of the magistrates.

For what it's worth I remember the law with regards to the overtaking of the stationary first vehicle references 'vehicle' whereas the overtaking of moving vehicles within the designated approaches references 'motor vehicle'. 

Oh, and the primary vehicle is designated as a 'vehicle' or 'motor vehicle' in different sections as well. It gets really complicated quite quickly. I think you might even have to refer to a separate piece of legislation to work out under which section each designation applies.

I was involved in a case where a driver was successfully prosecuted for careless driving, the clinching evidence was that he overtook a moving cyclist on the approach to a pedestrian crossing. The deliberate collision and ensuing punch to the head he got away with (despite clear video evidence), but he was actually convicted for doing something that wasn't illegal. It was considered a good result.

 

p.s. this website really screws with my browser's predictive text and spell check. 

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Fifth Gear replied to benborp | 6 years ago
0 likes

benborp wrote:

Fifth Gear wrote:

A bicycle is a vehicle but the law regarding overtaking on zig-zags refers to motor vehicles only. This is not made clear in the Highway Code.

 

The legislation refers to 'vehicles' in some parts and 'motor vehicles' in others. Unsurprisingly it's a bit of a mess when it comes to distilling it all down to the highway code level and then arguing a reasonable driver's understanding and execution in front of the magistrates.

For what it's worth I remember the law with regards to the overtaking of the stationary first vehicle references 'vehicle' whereas the overtaking of moving vehicles within the designated approaches references 'motor vehicle'. 

Oh, and the primary vehicle is designated as a 'vehicle' or 'motor vehicle' in different sections as well. It gets really complicated quite quickly. I think you might even have to refer to a separate piece of legislation to work out under which section each designation applies.

I was involved in a case where a driver was successfully prosecuted for careless driving, the clinching evidence was that he overtook a moving cyclist on the approach to a pedestrian crossing. The deliberate collision and ensuing punch to the head he got away with (despite clear video evidence), but he was actually convicted for doing something that wasn't illegal. It was considered a good result.

 

 

I know how complicated it is as I read it a few years ago when a police officer claimed I had broken the law for cycling past stationary traffic on zig-zags. He had to admit he was wrong  but refused to take any action against the motorists who had endangered and harrassed me. It was clear to me that a cyclist passing motor vehicles was exempt from the law but not that a motorist passing a cyclist was exempt, although others say it works both ways and they are probably right.

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danhopgood | 6 years ago
8 likes

This was given an incident number, but I had to fight to even get the Police to receive the CCTV evidence - after initially saying they'd contact me about submitting the CCTV they just left a message on my mobile saying they were taking no action.  After I rang them, they reluctantly said they'd accept the evidence, but once they had it immediately said the assault was "not clear" and saw no reason to take action on the close overtake or that overtaking on a crossing was an issue.

This incident happened 4 days after a week of publicity by Hampshire Police on the dangers of close passes.

 

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Fifth Gear replied to danhopgood | 6 years ago
4 likes

danhopgood wrote:

This was given an incident number, but I had to fight to even get the Police to receive the CCTV evidence - after initially saying they'd contact me about submitting the CCTV they just left a message on my mobile saying they were taking no action.  After I rang them, they reluctantly said they'd accept the evidence, but once they had it immediately said the assault was "not clear" and saw no reason to take action on the close overtake or that overtaking on a crossing was an issue.

This incident happened 4 days after a week of publicity by Hampshire Police on the dangers of close passes.

 

This is par for the course with Hants Police. If no collision or injury occurred they are not interested in cycle cam footage because they automatically refuse to enforce the law when drivers endanger cyclists.  The publicity about close passes is a PR stunt by Hants Police to try to pretend they are operating to the professional standards of West Midlands Police, which they definitely are not. The problem with this case is the footage doesn't actually show the punch although you can hear it land. Plainly the driver is a thug and should at the very least have been interviewed and given a formal warning. No chance of that in Hampshire I am afraid.

Your only option is to complain to Professional Standards who will automatically claim the decision is correct. Then you have to take it to the IPCC.

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zero_trooper replied to danhopgood | 6 years ago
4 likes

danhopgood wrote:

This was given an incident number, but I had to fight to even get the Police to receive the CCTV evidence - after initially saying they'd contact me about submitting the CCTV they just left a message on my mobile saying they were taking no action.  After I rang them, they reluctantly said they'd accept the evidence, but once they had it immediately said the assault was "not clear" and saw no reason to take action on the close overtake or that overtaking on a crossing was an issue.

This incident happened 4 days after a week of publicity by Hampshire Police on the dangers of close passes.

 

The Assault

Dan, this is a crock of shit. If you have been assaulted, whether injured or not, the police should be recording a crime from you. You don't have to have video evidence. Only then can they decide if they are going to investigate it.  Read Lancs_Phinny's post, as he raises some good points.

If you have the fortitude, try ringing Hants again, quote the incident number and state that you were assaulted and want to make a complaint of assault and that you were not happy with the initial officer's response. Say that you have video evidence and a potential witness (thanks gw42 and Lancs_Phinny) At the very least, there is a public order offence here, but we won't get there if the police don't investigate.

 

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zero_trooper replied to danhopgood | 6 years ago
3 likes

danhopgood wrote:

This was given an incident number, but I had to fight to even get the Police to receive the CCTV evidence - after initially saying they'd contact me about submitting the CCTV they just left a message on my mobile saying they were taking no action.  After I rang them, they reluctantly said they'd accept the evidence, but once they had it immediately said the assault was "not clear" and saw no reason to take action on the close overtake or that overtaking on a crossing was an issue.

This incident happened 4 days after a week of publicity by Hampshire Police on the dangers of close passes.

 

The Close Pass

When did you report the incident? For careless driving the police need to issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution within 14 days of the incident, which has obviously now passed. This is the trouble, if the police had banged one out in the post when you reported it, they could still progress it even now. Instead, they were too quick to cuff the job.

I found the Hampshire Constabulary press release and the Inside Out South feature is really good and positive. They even got Dr. Ian WALKER - the hi-viz study guy - in on an interview.

https://www.hampshire.police.uk/news/general/cycle-safety-scheme-returns...

The point of contact for the Close Pass initiative (which ran for all of 4 days this spring) would appear to be Sgt. 1656 Rob HEARD of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit. He's the guy in the photos karate chopping cyclists and harassing kids on bikes for having no lights (an essential part of any Close Pass initiative) yes

I took it on myself to contact Hants and no surprises, they wouldn't give me any direct dial or email addresses for the good sgt. However, if you email postmaster [at] hampshire.pnn.police.uk then your complaint of being fobbed off over a close pass - make sure that you give the log number and the original officer's name - will apparently be forwarded to him 24/7. I would like to hear his response.

Good luck and don't forget you have alot of angry cyclists on your side  3

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ubercurmudgeon replied to danhopgood | 6 years ago
2 likes

danhopgood wrote:

This incident happened 4 days after a week of publicity by Hampshire Police on the dangers of close passes.

There's your answer. The police officer handling this probably figured that "your lot" had had your week of special attention and increased dedication of resources, that box has therefore been ticked, so nuts to you. This guy presumably isn't one of their known scrotes, so why create paperwork? Either that or they're a cyclist-hater themself.

DrG82 wrote:

The car's a Hyundai i40, Korean last time I checked.

TBF, those Korean cars are designed to look like BMWs and Audis, and thus provide an option for people whose aim in life is to own such premium German motors but have not made quite enough money (so, naturally, feel downtrodden by the liberal elites and want take it out on easy targets like cyclists.)

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BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
10 likes

So if billy big bollocks would strike a police officer they would equally do nothing at all, or are they insuinuating that applying the law only matters when it's one of their own. Well we already know this is true.

If the cyclist had punched the motorist this would be all over the news and police would investigate and take action. Public order offence, common assault, dangerous driving and overtaking on a zebra crossing too.

Not in the public interest, this crunt will really hurt someone in the very near future, it's very much in the public interest to do something about him.

Wankers.

 

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