Thames Valley Police and their colleagues from Hampshire Police, with whom the run a Joint Roads Policing Unit, are this week running a ‘Give Space, Be Safe’ campaign warning drivers of the dangers of overtaking cyclist too closely. By pure coincidence, the latest video in our Near Miss of the Day series took place on their patch – but despite it being reported to Thames Valley Police, no action has been taken.
It happened in Hartwell near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, to road.cc reader Gerry, who told is it happened several weeks ago and that he had followed it up to establish that no action had been taken as yet.
“The car actually brushes me as it drives through, trying to avoid the motorcycle on the other side,” he said. “The government need to get their act together and introduce the close pass law to make it an offence.
“The law cannot be correct if the police are not willing to take action as they probably see it as not resulting in any kind of conviction and there is nothing really to be done in preventing idiots continuing to drive like this.”
He added: “I think the police should contract this work out as they are not interested.”
According to this article published today on the Thames Valley Police website, however, they are interested – although as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
Sergeant Rob Heard, from the Joint Operations Roads Safety Team, said: “A close pass not only presents a danger to the cyclist, but it is also intimidating.
“The Highway Code states, overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so and that drivers should allow vulnerable road users as much room as they would when overtaking a car.
“A driver deemed to be driving dangerously close can be prosecuted and taken to court. Cyclists also found to be riding in a careless or dangerous manner will also be stopped and dealt with appropriately.
“Ultimately, we are about making the roads safer for all and making sure we all get to our destinations safely.”
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.