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Near Miss of the Day 786: “They have been behind you for some time” – Police say close pass isn’t careless as cyclist didn’t change direction

Our regular series featuring close passes from around the country - today it’s Gloucestershire

Today’s class pass bears more than a passing resemble to last weekend’s now infamous Near Miss of the Day 783, as yet another driver attempts to overtake a cyclist on a single lane, mere metres before a gap opens in the line of parked cars.

Instead of a rather aggressive shouting match and a £2,460 fine for the motorist, today’s video features no swearing at all and resulted in no further action from Gloucestershire Police.

“Now I know where I am going wrong,” writes road.cc reader Richard.

Richard told us that he was “shaken” after the extremely close pass which, as he pointed out, “saved a couple of seconds at best and put a vulnerable road user at risk”.

After submitting the clip to Gloucestershire Constabulary, he received the following response: “I have watched the video and the driver doesn’t cause you to react and change direction or brake so their driving can’t be considered careless.

“They have been behind you for some time and not forced their way past.”

I’m not sure how relevant that last sentence is, but at least Richard received a more sympathetic reply from the firm in charge of the building site the driver was seen leaving:

“Apologies that you have had this experience. The vehicle involved was in fact not one belonging to this firm, however we do recognise the vehicle and will remind the owner accordingly. Once again, apologies.”

“A bit better, I feel,” Richard says.

> 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

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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21 comments

Avatar
yupiteru | 2 years ago
1 like

The problem is that in many Police forces this type of video reviewing desk bound job is seen as a punishment and is the sort of thing that is given to officers who have been a bit naughty or are shown to be incompetent when out on the beat.

An old school friend of mine left the local Police becaus he was continually getting miss conduct accusations thrown at him by his superiors and was given this type of activity to keep him out of trouble.

You need people who are preferably cyclists themselves and who have a genuine interest in the work to be engaged in the activity or it is pointless.

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wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

Pfff! You think Gloucestershire is bad?! I know for certain there will be no response from ******* Lancashire ****** Constabulary about this, and no action. This is Sainsbury's 44 tonner YN67 MVJ at 08:31 on 17th June. On the back of the vehicle there is a sign saying "CYCLISTS   Beware of passing this vehicle on the inside"

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Safety | 2 years ago
7 likes

Perhaps every cyclist in Gloucestershire with a camera would be advised to practice swerving to left while shouting loudly "oh my goodness that was close, gave me a real fright". They can then apply the technique and productively submit their videos. Alternatively the Police can get off their backside and enforce the law.

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BalladOfStruth | 2 years ago
3 likes

Another typical response from Glos. Police. As a Cheltenham resident myself, I regularly see incidents on NMODT from elsewhere in the country resulting in points/fine that are way less severe than what I experience on a daily basis, yet I know there's no point in reporting it.

I am a bit perplexed by their definition of careless driving seeming to depend on the level of "reaction" from the potential victim - apparently a dangerous manourve that puts another road user at high risk of injury or death apprently "doesn't count" unless that other road user swerves or brakes? This, at the very least, is at odds with the CPS' definition.

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IanGlasgow | 2 years ago
8 likes

“They have been behind you for some time and not forced their way past.”

About 11 seconds.
So there you have it; if you hold a driver up for more than 10 seconds it's unreasonable.

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Rendel Harris replied to IanGlasgow | 2 years ago
7 likes

IanGlasgow wrote:

“They have been behind you for some time and not forced their way past.”

"That chap was drinking in the bar for at least twenty minutes without glassing you, so you can hardly complain when he did..."

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espressodan | 2 years ago
13 likes

That reply is incompetent. It demonstrates a fundamental lack of proficiency in understanding road safety legislation and the context of vulnerable road users. Whoever sent it should not be in that job. More fundamentally, there is a point where Gloustershire Constabulary should consider their culpability in regards to negligent behaviour if they fill road safety posts with people who are not equipped with the skills required to do the job.

The cyclist was safely negotiating a large and complex range of road hazards using prime position on the road, as advised by the highway code and fundamental within their rights. Driver was reckless, cyclist did absolutely nothing wrong and couldn't have done anything better.

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Hywel | 2 years ago
0 likes

Predictable response from Glos Police, I'm afraid.  However, the driver in this clip would have been hindered by parked cars within 100m of where this happened, before being in a position to overtake safely within another 200m.

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HoarseMann | 2 years ago
8 likes

“They have been behind you for some time and not forced their way past.”

eh? They were in front! Then for some inexplicable reason (crap driver?) they decided to go around the island a weird way, which put them behind the cyclist. A situation purely of their own making. Then a handful of seconds later (some time?) forced their way past.

The police will lose what smidgen of credibility they have left if they continue to spout this nonsense. I guess this is the real reason some forces refuse to give feedback.

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
8 likes

If the HC says the pass is too close, and the company acknowledge that it was, why don't the police think it was?

I sincerely hope Richard will be taking this further with Gloucestershire Constabulary, if only because that's where I live.

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Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
11 likes

Quote:

 “I have watched the video and the driver doesn’t cause you to react and change direction or brake so their driving can’t be considered careless."

Yes, we've all read that bit in the new Highway Code which says you must leave cyclists 1.5m unless it doesn't cause them "to react and change direction or brake", in which case about 30cm, as here, is just fine.

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
4 likes

I agree with your tone of criticism but alas it is still "you should" and "as a guide" rather than "you must".

Self-serve loopholes for all!

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Mungecrundle | 2 years ago
16 likes

So many changes to the HC that I can't keep up. We've gone from "overtake leaving as much room as you would another vehicle" to a recommended 1.5m (up to 30mph) and now that appears to have been modified to "...unless you can squeeze past without making the cyclist shit themselves"

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Hirsute | 2 years ago
9 likes

“I have watched the video and the driver doesn’t cause you to react and change direction or brake so their driving can’t be considered careless."

Yet the cps say driving too close to another vehicle is careless driving.
Institutionally anti cyclist.

See also
https://mobile.twitter.com/rnirvine/status/1537379498827595776

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the little onion replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
8 likes

Fecking ridiculous - clearly rubbish and impatient driving (check out the tailgating in the rear view).

I guess this is the typically institutionally anti-cyclist thing of being guilty of the crime of being a cyclist on a public road, and therefore the driver is totally innocent.

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dodgy | 2 years ago
1 like

Has the wrong clip been uploaded?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to dodgy | 2 years ago
7 likes

Are you asking because it shows the total opposite of what the Police state they saw?
 

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NOtotheEU replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
3 likes

. . . . . or because the Police were hoping for a cute cat video?

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chrisonabike replied to NOtotheEU | 2 years ago
9 likes

A close puss?

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NOtotheEU replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
3 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

A close puss?

🤣🤣🤣🤣

Would cats close pass or hit cyclists?

Their eyesight and reactions would shame the average driver,

but they are evil!

Avatar
Steve K replied to NOtotheEU | 2 years ago
2 likes

How can you say that?

 

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