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Near Miss of the Day 251: White van man makes close pass on cyclists then goes ballistic (includes swearing)

Our regular series featuring close passes from around the country - today it's the West Midlands...

Today's video in our Near Miss of the Day series shows a white van driver making a close pass on a group of cyclists whom he believed - erroneously - were breaking the law in riding side by side, and who then stopped a little further up the road to get out of his van and give them a torrent of abuse.

The clip was submitted by reader David, who told us: "This happened on a Boldmere Bullets club ride on Saturday February 9th on Spencer’s Lane near Tile Hill, Coventry.

"A very unsafe overtake by an angry man fortunately well calmed down by one of our riders Andrew."

Many motorists believe that cyclists who do not ride in single file. However, Rule 66 of the Highway Code says, among other things, that they "should not ride more than two abreast" and that they " should ride single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends."

It's worth noting the language used, too. "Should" in the Highway Code means the rule is advisory; where not to comply would be breaking the law, the word "must" is used instead.

Rule 163 of the Highway Code, meanwhile, tells motorists to "Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so" and, among other things, that they  "should give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car."

In the video here, the driver of an oncoming car has to slow down to avoid a head-on collision with the van, the driver of which certainly hasn't given the cyclists anything like the minimum 1.5 metres police forces - led by officers in the West Midlands, whose patch he is on - now stipulate cyclists must be given.

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

Over the years 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] or send us a message via the 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 joined 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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