“You were in my blind spot!” is the excuse a motorist gave a cyclist after she pulled out on him in Bristol as he passed a row of parked cars – although as the Highway Code makes clear, that’s no excuse for failing to spot the rider.
Rule 159 of the Highway Code says:
Before moving off you should
- use all mirrors to check the road is clear
- look round to check the blind spots (the areas you are unable to see in the mirrors)
- signal if necessary before moving out
- look round for a final check.
Move off only when it is safe to do so.
Rule 211 adds:
It is often difficult to see motorcyclists and cyclists, especially when they are coming up from behind, coming out of junctions, at roundabouts, overtaking you or filtering through traffic. Always look out for them before you emerge from a junction; they could be approaching faster than you think. When turning right across a line of slow-moving or stationary traffic, look out for cyclists or motorcyclists on the inside of the traffic you are crossing. Be especially careful when turning, and when changing direction or lane. Be sure to check mirrors and blind spots carefully.
Jon, the road.cc reader who submitted the clip to us and plans to send it to the police, told us: “It happened in Bristol on Durdham Downs as I had reached the end of Lady’s Mile and had just turned left onto Stoke Road.
“I took my foot off the gas (so to speak) as cars came the other way in single file between parked cars before proceeding, but then had to brake as this car pulled out in front of me.
”When I caught up a traffic lights, her response was ‘You were in my blind spot, what could I do?’ to which my response was ‘Look more, then’.
“The mitigating factor for her is that she did apologise and you would not expect a car to appear so quickly from my direction given the two cars which had passed. B
“ut that completely ignores that there are loads of cyclists in Bristol who have just as much right to use the roads as cars and not be cut up.
“So my full response should have been ‘Look more then, including for cyclists!’”
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.
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.