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Near Miss of the Day 149: Cyclist almost doored by car passenger at roundabout

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

A cyclist who was almost knocked off his bike when a car passenger opened a door into his path was prompted to send the video in to us for our Near Miss of the Day feature after reading our coverage of the Sam Says campaign earlier this week, launched to try and prevent such incidents from happening.

The campaign, under which stickers warning taxi passengers to check for cyclists before opening the door, was launched by the family of Leicester cyclist Sam Boulton who died two years ago after a woman riding a cab opened the door as he approached, causing him to fall off his bike into the path of a van, sustaining fatal injuries.

> Family of cyclist killed when taxi passenger opened door launch safety campaign

The initiative, which also calls on the government to introduce the Dutch Reach technique into the driving test and the Highway Code, is supported by Cycling UK.

The charity has urged for tougher penalties to be introduced for the offence of opening or permitting a car door to be opened so as to cause injury or endanger someone, which is currently punishable by a maximum fine of £1,000.

In Bournemouth this week, road.cc reader David was forced to swerve sharply towards the car as a passenger opened the door in his path as he rode along a mandatory cycle lane.

It happened at the entrance to a roundabout with roadworks meaning that the exit to the left was blocked.

The driver had the hazard lights engaged, but it does seem to bear the hallmark of the kind of situation where a passenger makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to get out of the car, failing to check behind.

David acknowledges that the quality of the footage isn’t the best – partly due to the state of the town’s roads, plus the camera not being attached very well – though the danger the passenger put him in is all too clear to see.

“The passenger just kind of raised his hand slightly ... not a word ... the driver carried on driving.”

He continued: “I didn't want to make too much fuss as I'm safe and nothing happened but then later that day I saw your article about Sam Boulton's family launching a campaign regarding safety when opening passenger's doors.”

> 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

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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