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Near Miss of the Day 448: Transit van driver in very close pass

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

Today’s video in our Near Miss of the Day series shows a cyclist being subjected to a very close pass by an overtaking van driver, who then has to pull in sharply due to another driver approaching on a road where parked cars meant there was not enough space to make the manoeuvre safely.

It happened in Highbridge, near Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset and was filmed by reader Derrick, who reported the incident to Avon & Somerset Police the same day it happened.

“They emailed me back saying the driving of the van was appalling and they were seeking to prosecute the driver,” he said.

“Initially I had some feedback that they were doing something, then nothing. I have emailed numerous times with no reply, so I suspect they didn’t even follow it up.”

In a comment to the video on YouTube, he added: “Part of my journey home that day, the driver could have waited a few seconds but his time is obviously more precious than potentially someone’s life.”

> 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

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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Philh68 | 3 years ago

It's the same thing that happens every single day, a driver who only looks a car length in front instead of 12, sees a gap and then it's all about self preservation when faced with oncoming traffic. The cyclist no longer exists in their mind, it's discarded in the rush to avoid hitting another motorist. As long as we keep doing the same thing and not take primary where necessary for our own safety it will continue to happen.

wtjs | 3 years ago

 I have emailed numerous times with no reply, so I suspect they didn’t even follow it up

Yep! That''s the way they do it- must have been on the course in Lancashire.

OnYerBike replied to wtjs | 3 years ago

There was a good blog post that gets linked to here on a semi-regular basis (I can't find it at the moment but maybe another regular knows the one I'm talking about) on how to get the police to take things like this seriously.

It boils down to you (the victim) have a right to have the crime properly dealt with, and if justice has not been served you have the right to complain. It might not change anything in this particular case - if statuatory time limits have passed etc., but it might mean cases in future are taken more seriously. Part of the argument was that "near misses received by cyclists" is not a statistic that police are routinely measured on, but number of complaints is.

cm2white | 3 years ago

These posts are so boring and pointless. I hope that when your Subscriber feature is launched we'll have the option of removing this trash from our news feed on your main page. Thanks.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to cm2white | 3 years ago

Don't click on them then?

LetsBePartOfThe... replied to cm2white | 3 years ago

I have great interest in road safety and have learnt a lot from viewing NMOTD. 
It gives me a greater understanding of just exactly what depths some drivers will sink to. And an awareness of what I might do as a cyclist, if faced with similar circumstances.  I also like to show my solidarity to the cyclists affected by these acts.  Perhaps other people are expecting something else from it - but I value it

In terms of the incident - what was the driver thinking. A complete lack of foresight as they just ricocheted from one close call to the next, putting Derrick in danger totally unnecessarily. Van driver should take a few days off work, and let the gentlefolk of Somerset go about their business in safety

Sriracha replied to cm2white | 3 years ago
cm2white wrote:

These posts are so boring and pointless. I hope that when your Subscriber feature is launched we'll have the option of removing this trash from our news feed on your main page. Thanks.

Um, so don't post them. Thank you.

kevvjj replied to cm2white | 3 years ago

I hope that when the subscriber feature is launched we can block pointless posts from people like you

bikeman01 replied to cm2white | 3 years ago

Will someone with 9 posts actually subscribe? We'll see.

ktache | 3 years ago
1 like

What had Derrick done to the  transit driver that the rider in front didn't?


AlsoSomniloquism replied to ktache | 3 years ago

As far as I saw, the van close passed them both but was slower then the first. I suspect he came off the island with speed and saw a slow bike and slow van and wanted to get ahead. The oncoming cars and lack of a turn off for more room was the only reason he didn't squeeze past the second bike in the same manner. 

Or he realised how shit his driving had been initially and decided to not be as much as a dick. 

Awavey replied to ktache | 3 years ago

often encountered that scenario myself, Ill have been passed close enough that it feels like they are trying to shave the handle bars but the next cyclist along suddenly gets 2metres, my very unscientific assumption is Derrick just looks more like a sporty cyclist when on a bike vs the next cyclist along who is just a guy on a bike.

Whether its deliberate in that drivers treat you worse because you look/ride sportier, and its those cyclists they dont like because we ride faster,take prime more often etc etc, or they give you less room because they believe you are less likely to need the room,vs a slower cyclist who often looks like they might weave or fall off at any moment, I dont know Ive never caught up anyone who did it to have a chat about it. But I certainly feel looking sportier on a bike tends to lead to closer passes on the whole.

mdavidford replied to Awavey | 3 years ago

It still looked a pretty poor pass on the second cyclist - it just seemed relatively tame in comparison to the terrible first one. I don't think the driver was particularly giving either of them any consideration - they were coming past both come what may, and the road just happened to open up a bit as they reached the second pass (which obviously meant they should then floor it away down the road).

Awavey replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago

absolutely you wouldnt hold it up as an example of how to overtake a cyclist and yeah the van driver seems to be focussed purely on flooring it everywhere as quickly as they can, so maybe its unreasonable to believe theres any thought going into their driving at all.

its just noticeable that it happens like that quite alot for it to be more than coincidental IMO, if the driver truly gave no consideration to cyclists at all, both passes would have been equally poor & he'd have boxed the 2nd cyclist in behind the parked car as theres nothing then blocking them coming towards them, but instead moves across & nearer to the cars stuck going the other way which actually gives the 2nd cyclist some space.

bikeman01 replied to Awavey | 3 years ago

1st cyclist in lyrca - therefore not human?

Secret_squirrel replied to ktache | 3 years ago
1 like

I suspect a dozy van driver and the need to immediately brake after the first close pass perked up his awareness enough to make a vague effort for the second close pass.

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