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Near Miss of the Day 465: NZ bus driver in punishment pass

Our regular series featuring close passes from around the country and beyond - today it's New Zealand...

Another day, another punishment pass – this one by a bus driver in New Zealand in one of our occasional forays outside the UK, although we are sure the footage will resonate with our readers here.

The video was sent in by road.cc reader Shane, who has been riding on the road for 40 years and is a member of a new cycling advocacy group, Bike Tauranga.

He said: “There is an unofficial war going on in our city of Tauranga between cyclists and our regional council bus service contractor, NZBus.

This video was taken a month ago, reported to police, but they will not investigate this incident and many other complaints being received

“When they do , the bus company deletes in bus CCTV footage to obstruct an investigation.

“The regional council (BOPRC) , refuse to get involve with safety issues, legal team respond with ‘privacy issues‘.”

Shane continued: “There is a bike lane exit before the roundabout, but this is really a shared footpath with bike symbols on it, provides access to the shopping centres on left and avoids use of roundabout on left.

“The roundabouts are designed in a way to block passing, by narrowing entry. The bus came up from behind and was forced to wait for me to cycle through.

They carried out a punishment pass by intentionally droving into the bike lane to have a go at me as detailed in the police report,” he added.

The normal line of exit is away from the bike lane. This driver swung left to me and then back out when finished his punishment pass.”

The NZ Cycle Safety Panel recommended the introduction of a safe passing law back in 2014, but it was only in  May this year that the government said it was planning to table legislation under the Accessible Streets Regulatory Package.

Campaign group Cycliung Action Network says: “The proposed rule is that, as a motorist, you will be required to give at least 1.5m clear space to a bike when passing them on a road with a 70km/h or higher speed limit, and a 1.0m minimum gap for speed limits 60km/h and below.

“In principle, that distance would be measured from the outer edge of the bike handlebars or rider’s body.”

> 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 has been news editor at road.cc 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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