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Near Miss of the Day 374: Driver at traffic lights Must Get In Front

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

The latest video in our Near Miss of the Day series shows a van driver engaging in what’s become known as MGIF behaviour – the letters stand for ‘Must Get In Front’ which seems to be a trait shared by many motorists when they find a cyclist ahead of them on the road.

This one was filmed by road.cc reader Lyndon on the A4 in Maidenhead, Berkshire at around 4pm on Friday afternoon.

He told us: “Had a close encounter today although at low speed. The rear facing video captures it well, and the incident has been reported to Hallmark Vending, to which the receptionist seemed quite helpful.

“Time will tell if the company takes any action and the driver apologises," he added.

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

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.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

Simon joined road.cc 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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17 comments

Avatar
Judge dreadful | 4 years ago
0 likes

The rider 'invited' that pass by moving left. Give drivers an inch, they'll tend to take a mile. In that situation, plonk yourself right in the middle of the ASL, and hold that position until you're past the lights / junction, then steadily move to primary. It's still the drivers problem / issue, but the cyclist could have positioned better, to ensure their safety.

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Jigzy99 | 4 years ago
0 likes

Not doing us any favours by reporting things like this. Can't moan at drivers for going over the ASL or into the bike box if we are doing it too - I have picked up club members for doing the same thing, one about 5 metres past the line.  Hope this wasn't sent to police as would be a waste of their time as it was mine (as it is typing this too I guess).  Too many tame passes and they will lose that little bit of sympathy they might have had.

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Sriracha | 4 years ago
4 likes

Maybe the video does not give an accurate feel for how close things were. To my eyes this looked like a bit of cooperation on both sides - the cyclist appears to use the extra inside width afforded by the junction to move over, in anticipation that the van driver will want to get by.

As a cyclist or a driver in the same situation I'd be looking for the same cooperation. Of course the cyclist would have been perfectly entitled to have taken the lane through the junction and held the traffic behind thereby, but it's not how I like to ride.

To be honest, I was expecting the problem was going to be the 4x4 next in line which I might have expected to try to follow through on the tail of the van just as the junction ends and the cyclist has to move back in to the lane proper.

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bikeman01 | 4 years ago
3 likes

If only that was all I had to complain about. Is it no news day?

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nicmason | 4 years ago
3 likes

I don't see a problem there at all. 

Driver used the width of the road and gave the cyclist a reasonabe space.

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hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
5 likes

I don't see any problem with the cyclist going over the stop line. It gives the cyclist a better view of the other traffic and also a better chance of getting through the junction before a vehicle can do a left hook. It certainly doesn't endanger other road users or pedestrians.

The van was possibly a bit close, but personally I wouldn't bother submitting that to the police - maybe I'm a bit jaded. You can anticipate that the van would want to overtake at the junction as there would be less room just after it so I would probably aim to get a fast start and clear the junction before the van could overtake.

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
1 like

I don't know about avon police, but Essex police would reject a submission as the video shows the cyclist not following the rules of the road.

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hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 4 years ago
0 likes

That seems a bit petty to me. It'd be like ignoring a murder if the victim was seen dropping litter beforehand.

Avon & Somerset have replied to me in the past where I'd submitted footage of a driver attempting to go the wrong way up a one-way road (until meeting me at which point they had to reverse). They pointed out that they view all of the submitted footage and that I'd performed a suspect left turn at a right-turn only junction. The outcome was that they gave an informal warning to the car driver and to me (which was fair enough in my opinion).

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cycle.london replied to Hirsute | 4 years ago
3 likes
hirsute wrote:

I don't know about avon police, but Essex police would reject a submission as the video shows the cyclist not following the rules of the road.

The Met would refuse it too, on the grounds that the cyclist was cycling whilst breathing.

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MattieKempy | 4 years ago
0 likes

Given what we often have to put up with it's relatively team, but that doesn't make it acceptable. Fair point about the cyclist ignoring the stop line, but who hasn't done it? It's often to make the cyclist feel more secure by creating artificial space around them and gives them slightly more time to pull away without being pressured by impatient drivers directly behind. Agreed, it still doesn't make it the right thing to do though. Something and nothing, I guess.

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Hirsute | 4 years ago
4 likes

I'm not sure what I was watching there. Why did the cyclist ignore the stop line?
Looked like the driver have themselves space to do a quick overtake and the front camera view looked ok.
I was expecting a video of a van pulling infront with only a few m to spare at a light that was already red.

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roubaixcobbles | 4 years ago
6 likes

Sorry, befuddled as to what the problem is here? Van pulls up behind cyclist at lights, lights change, van passes cyclist at what looks like a reasonable distance? I got skinned about ten times all closer than this in London yesterday, I simply can't see a close pass here, let alone a "near miss". Also the cyclist was way over the stop line with no ASZ in place...what am I missing?

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kevvjj replied to roubaixcobbles | 4 years ago
3 likes
Roubaixcobbles wrote:

Sorry, befuddled as to what the problem is here? Van pulls up behind cyclist at lights, lights change, van passes cyclist at what looks like a reasonable distance? I got skinned about ten times all closer than this in London yesterday, I simply can't see a close pass here, let alone a "near miss". Also the cyclist was way over the stop line with no ASZ in place...what am I missing?

I asked myself the same questions. Cyclist was in wrong by not stopping on or before the stop line. Van made a prefectly fine pass.

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ktache | 4 years ago
5 likes

I went on the NCN 4 on Thursday, rode to VeloLife and thought I would keep going, after mocha and carrot cake, unfortunately after knowle hill someone might have moved the signpost and I found myself on bridleways, fun and muddy and plenty of fallen tress from Caira, and then onto a B road towards Maidenhead to try and find the NCN 4 again, wound up on the A4 as I approached Maidenhead and as the rush hour hit.  Annoyed by the quantity of close passes and dangerous driving I attempted to use the cycle path, just pavement with blue signs, and then as the video shows, plenty of End of Route signs, with no warning and seemingly arbitrary changes of side of the road and give ways at side roads and stuff.

What with lamp and signposts and the rollercoaster of driveways I got off at the next End painted on the pavement.  If they built motoring infrastructure like that no one would ever use it.

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Toffee | 4 years ago
0 likes

That's the second one in Maidenhead on here in the last two weeks. That's reassuring for people like me who live there...

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RobSC replied to Toffee | 4 years ago
3 likes

Not sure I would worry, this one was hardly a big deal.  Maybe it was worse than it looked; I'm not sure I would have noticed it.

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Toffee replied to RobSC | 4 years ago
2 likes

Got to agree. The camera probably doesn't do it justice and it's still not great, but it doesn't look too horrendous.

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