Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Near Miss of the Day 606: Driver makes close pass ... then stops to check how cyclist is and apologises

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

We have a bit of an unusual one in our Near Miss of the Day series today – for a start, there’s no video, but when road.cc reader Clifford wrote to us about his experience of the exchange that he had with a driver who had just made a close pass on him in south Oxfordshire, we agreed it was definitely worth sharing.

“I had left the B480, busyish road, and was heading along the minor road which becomes High Street Chalgrove,” said Clifford (you can see that minor road on the right in the picture above.

“I was aware from my Garmin RTL510 of a vehicle approaching. It was a van. I thought, ‘Wow, that was too close for comfort!’

“But worse, it was towing a trailer with construction machinery; this heavy duty trailer was only a few centimetres away from removing my right arm and leg.

“About 200-300 metres along the road I saw the vehicle – Clancy – stopped with the driver walking towards me,” Clifford continued.

“I really hoped he was not going to berate me for not paying ‘road tax’, etc but he asked if I was OK and said he realised that he had passed too close.

“He again asked if I was OK and apologised. I could be cynical and think that he did this only because he was afraid that I would report him.

“However, I think that he genuinely realised that he had made a bad mistake which could have had serious consequences for us both.

“I hope, trust, that he has learned from it,” he added.

We hope so too – apologies from Clifford that there’s no video to go with his tale, but we hope you agree it was one worth sharing.

> 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 joined road.cc 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.

Add new comment

7 comments

Avatar
Stef Marazzi | 2 years ago
3 likes

My wife experienced a weird one like this a few years ago. One of the cyclists in our cycle group had caught on a go-pro camera an early morning close pass coming out of our village. I seem to recall it was a Vauxhall Astra. He submitted the footage to the police that day and put the footage on our small groups Facebook group for us to see.

Next morning my wife was cycling to work, early, and this Astra was parked at the side of the road. He flagged her down.

He asked if she was the cyclist he had close passed the day before.
"No, it wasn't me, but I know who it was" she said.

The guy explained that he'd had a phone call from the police and basically been given a harsh bollocking for his poor driving, and wanted to apologise for the close pass. He asked if she could pass on his apologies!

Believe it or not, but it's true!

Avatar
Bungle_52 replied to Stef Marazzi | 2 years ago
1 like

Looks like a call from the police does have an effect on some drivers then. I wish it happened more often.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Stef Marazzi | 2 years ago
1 like
Stef Marazzi wrote:

My wife experienced a weird one like this a few years ago. One of the cyclists in our cycle group had caught on a go-pro camera an early morning close pass coming out of our village. I seem to recall it was a Vauxhall Astra. He submitted the footage to the police that day and put the footage on our small groups Facebook group for us to see. Next morning my wife was cycling to work, early, and this Astra was parked at the side of the road. He flagged her down. He asked if she was the cyclist he had close passed the day before. "No, it wasn't me, but I know who it was" she said. The guy explained that he'd had a phone call from the police and basically been given a harsh bollocking for his poor driving, and wanted to apologise for the close pass. He asked if she could pass on his apologies! Believe it or not, but it's true!

Swift action is much more likely to succeed in changing behaviour than justice delayed for months and years.

Avatar
wtjs replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
1 like

Swift action is much more likely to succeed in changing behaviour than justice delayed for months and years

Justice delayed is still better than no justice at all, which is the cyclist's lot in Lancashire. There will be no response at all to the report I have just submitted. The total distance between this Qashqai's nearside front wheel and the kerb is 135 cms, and the mirror must come in 10 cms from the tyre on the tarmac. Now, in the mind of the Lancashire traffic officer, such as it is, 125 cms is 1.25 metres which is near enough the 1.5 m figure they vaguely remember- they then look at the gap and decide they could easily ride a bike through that. Job done! This is the next complaint- it will take at least 5 months to 'investigate' and the conclusion will be that 'we're very busy'. They think they can wear people down. The worm has turned!

Avatar
HoarseMann | 2 years ago
2 likes

I'm always very wary of cars/vans towing trailers - I'm sure some drivers just forget that it's behind them and pull in too early.

Avatar
the little onion | 2 years ago
6 likes

Had something similar - got left hooked, let out an involuntary swearword, only to have the car then pursue me and the driver apologise sincerely and profusely. In fairness, the incident happened very close to a crematorium, and he explained he was on his way to a funeral of a close friend, so I was very sympathetic to his situation.

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 years ago
9 likes

Well, if nothing else, this proves that the message is getting out, and some drivers are realising that they have to give cyclists room; maybe not do it first next time though.

Had something similar about twenty years ago.  On a dual carriageway section of a main road and a car followed me (ok, I was a bit faster then) and didn't overtake when there was plenty of room, but just as the dual section finished and the road narrowed, he decided to overtake.  The few choice words I directed at him made him realise he'd done something wrong, he stopped and asked what he'd done, so I told him.  Not sure if it made any difference, but it might have made him think about his driving.

Latest Comments