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Near Miss of the Day 434: Cyclist starts using camera after driver forces him off road – and captures three close passes in a week

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

A reader who fell off his bike after a motorist cut him up decided not to venture out again without being able to record his rides on film – and captured footage of three close passes within the first week of doing so in mid-June, all on Surrey roads.

“I recently experienced several cut offs, near misses and close passes involving reckless and irresponsible drivers,” reader Jack told us.

“After one of the Audi drivers cut me off three weeks ago and I fell on to the pavement (The driver did not stop) I decided not to move from home without a camera on my bike.

“Here is what I captured within a week of cycling only and I would like to share it with you and the community.”

First, in the video above shot on the B376 in Staines, we have a Ford Fiesta driver who is overtaking the rider but there is a van ahead waiting to turn right, so the motorist holds back until it is safe to pass the rider, yes? Well, no. They squeeze into the gap between the cyclist and the van, of course.

That incident wasn’t reported to Surrey Police, but the other two were. Next up, we’re on the A320 heading towards Chertsey, and it’s one of those close passes we see all too often as the overtaking driver cuts back in because there is a car approaching from the opposite direction.

And finally, on the A380 as Jack was riding towards Windsor, there’s another close overtake, this time on a road with double white lines.

Under Rule 129 of the Highway Code, where the carriageway has “double white lines where the line nearest you is solid,” drivers “MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road.”

It adds that they “may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.”

Clearly Jack is riding above 10mph but few would have a problem with the first driver overtaking him; the road is clear, and they give the cyclist plenty of space.

The second motorist however is a different case altogether, squeezing past the rider with traffic coming the other way, and going over the double white lines in the process.

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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