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Near Miss of the Day 493: Aggressive close pass on cyclists riding two abreast

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

Today's video in our Near Miss of the Day series shows a cyclist riding side-by-side getting a close pass from a particularly aggressive driver who leans on the horn during the overtake. The incidents were filmed on Saturday by road.cc reader Rob, who said they struck him as particularly relevant given the recent focus by some parts of the media about cyclists riding two abreast.

> Fleet Street fury over campaigners' calls to clarify ‘two abreast’ cycling rule

"My first ride out with for a while with a friend and we were having a good ride on country lanes.  The first incident was a Volvo and they couldn’t wait 10 seconds for an oncoming cyclist to pass before they tried to overtake. 

"You can see they hesitated for a split second but then promptly drove through a tight gap giving little space to both us and the oncoming cyclist.  It must have been worse for them.  At least this pass wasn’t at speed and we weren’t riding two abreast.

"The second incident was very scary.  I had literally just cycled up next to my friend to chat; throughout the ride we often rode two abreast aware of cars coming from behind or up front; we would move back into single file quickly once aware of a car. 

"However, with this car there was no warning as they did not slow down at all and drove past at considerable speed (in excess of 40, probably 50 mph) and so close. 

"You can see from the video that the car passed at speed within 50cm of me., probably nearer 30cm.  To make matters worse they beeped the horn as if we were doing something wrong or to just intimidate us.

"I’ve had a quite a few bad experiences and this is probably one of the worst.  This idiot needs to know they can’t drive like this and put people’s lives in danger so I have submitted to Surrey Police in the hope that they take action…….this is my first submission so fingers crossed. 

"I’ve read the ’Near Miss of the Day’ reports on road cc for while and I thought this last miss was topical given the discussion around riding two abreast.  I’m pretty sure that had we been riding single file the driver would have probably given us more room, although unlikely that they would have slowed down. 

"The fact they beeped the horn makes it appear that they thought we were doing something wrong by riding two abreast which supports the fact that the Highway Code is not clear or that most drivers have their own version of what the Highway Code is/should be or they simply don’t care."

> 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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