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.
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.”
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.