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Near Miss of the Day 324: Driver changing lanes without looking, almost takes out cyclist

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

Occasionally on our Near Miss of the Day series, the video features an incident that happens not to the cyclist filming, but to another rider – and that’s what we have today, as an Edinburgh motorist driving a Vauxhall car switches lanes without looking and almost takes out a rider, who manages to take evasive action.

The footage was shot at around 8.30am last Friday morning outside the entrance to the Scottish Widows underground car park on Semple Street by reader Alan as he commuted from his home in Oxgangs in the south west of the city to work in Morrison Street in the Scottish capital’s West End.

Alan told us that he managed to speak to the cyclist afterwards: “I said, ‘You were lucky to avoid being knocked off!’. She replied, ‘Very lucky!’.

“I tried to attract the attention of the car driver by tapping on his door, when we were both stuck in traffic, but although he looked at me, he refused to either acknowledge me, roll down the window or speak to me.

“The cyclist then rode off through the green traffic lights whilst I and the cars were still stuck in the traffic queue.

“I shouted, ‘This will be reported to the police!’ then again, ‘Police!’ through the window, but received no reply. When the traffic started moving again, we all moved off.”

In the end, Alan did not report the incident to the police because he said he was “not aware of any mechanism to do so and also I believe that the police in Scotland are not usually willing to act even if someone has suffered an injury.”

He continued: “I see bad or dangerous driving about once per week on my commute, which is twice per day, five days per week.

“This was a typical careless pull-out by the car, towards the lesser end of the danger scale and this type of incident makes up about 80 per cent of the incidents which I see.”

Alan added: “I actually bought a head-camera after a hit and run accident by a motor vehicle in which I was significantly injured. In this case, the police refused to intervene or take any action.

“A solicitor then successfully claimed on my behalf against the driver and obtained compensation, part of which I used to buy the camera.

“I now use the camera for evidence-gathering, should there be a need for a civil claim against a third party.”

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

> 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.

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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