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Near Miss of the Day 276: Thames Valley Police launch operation targeting close passing drivers - but took no action on this shocking example

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

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 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.”

> 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

> What to do next if you’ve been involved in a road traffic collision

Simon has been news editor at 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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