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Near Miss of the Day 513: Taxi driver in “terrifying” undertake on cyclist

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

A reader who experienced a “terrifying” close pass by a taxi driver, which left him “sandwiched between their undertake and an oncoming car" submitted the footage to police, the first time he had ever done so - but five days later he has yet to hear back from the force.

PJ, who was commuting home from work when the incident happened, said: “If anyone recognises this taxi from around Oxford, longshot I know, then I hope Thames Valley Police would be interested in hearing about it!” 

When he subitted the video to the force last week, PJ said in his covering note: “There is a row of parked cars along this road which starts almost immediately after the turn from [the side] road, and it is not possible for drivers to overtake safely without moving out into the oncoming traffic lane.

“There was a car coming towards me (westwards, correctly in the opposite lane) I was in the centre of my lane (‘primary position’ as per national Bikeability recommendations) as I did not expect any overtaking attempts and it would be unsafe to me for anyone to attempt to do so here without crossing the centre line).


“Incredibly I then saw this taxi in my rearview coming at speed towards me on my LEFT and UNDERTAKING me just as the oncoming car was coming in the opposite lane to my right. The white taxi just got through before the row of parked cars on my left began.


“Unfortunately, my front facing camera wasn’t working at the time. I am fortunate that I ride with two rear battery lights and one rear dynamo light, and two front lights. I also have a rearview helmet-mounted mirror.

“Thanks to the mirror I saw this incredibly dangerous manoeuvre coming and was able to hold my line and not swerve left or right. If not for my mirror or if I was less experienced/confident riding my bike, I could have ended up under the wheels of either vehicle.

“This was an incredibly dangerous manoeuvre by a professional driver (taxi driver) … it falls FAR below the standard expected of a careful competent driver.

“It was a terrifying experience and I was very shaken/upset/trembling afterwards. I cycled slowly home.

“I have never reported one of these before but feel this one is impossible to ignore. I hope you can correlate with other reports of this negligent driver. I have video from my rear facing camera. The number plate isn’t clear enough to read but the dangerous driving is very clear.”

> 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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