A cyclist who raised a complaint with Kent Police after the force decided not to proceed against a van driver who cut across him at a junction has said he is “hugely disappointed” in their response which he believes sends the wrong message to vulnerable road users.
Kent Police contacted road.cc reader Adrian after we published details of the incident, including his video, on Tuesday.
In a statement sent to road.cc, the force said: “Kent Police received a report of an incident involving a cyclist and a van near Goodnestone, Canterbury on 16 June 2022. The report was reviewed and a decision was made that it would not be proportionate for any further action.
“The force endeavours to investigate proportionately and to take action where appropriate to do so. Decisions are based on the evidence available as well as the nature and severity of the potential offence. In instances when an allegation of this nature is not pursued the informant will not be contacted.
“We apologise for any confusion which may have arisen around the response to this particular incident and officers have since spoken to the informant to resolve the issue.”
Adrian told us: “I’m hugely disappointed that Kent Police have dismissed this incident despite clear video evidence of what I consider to be at best careless driving and at worst, dangerous driving.
“The van driver has attempted to overtake me going into a junction, close passing me within inches. If that doesn't constitute an offence, I don't know what does.
“The problem is the message this sends out to vulnerable road users,” he continued.
“The police should be doing everything they can to protect cyclists and pedestrians from the minority of drivers who see someone on a bike and have to get past them, regardless of the dangers.
“We need the police to protect us all, and uphold safety for everyone on our roads, if we're going to encourage more people to travel actively.”
Below is the text of our story as published on Tuesday.
Kent Police weren't interested in this Near Miss of the Day submission, according to the rider involved — who says he's not even had an acknowledgement of the complaint.
road.cc has contacted the force to see if there's a mystery excuse, but reader Adrian hasn't heard anything back about this incident with the driver of a van one month on.
Adrian called the driving on display "appalling" and recalled the incident to us — and Kent Police in his complaint — which happened at the junction of Whitstable Road and Head Hill, near Goodnestone, at around 5.30pm on June 16.
"The van driver saw me indicate left and attempted to overtake me going into the junction," he said.
"Fortunately, I am an experienced cyclist and was able to avoid a collision, although the vehicle passed me by a matter of a few inches.
"Despite assurances that any road traffic reports would be addressed within five days, a month has now passed and I have heard nothing. I can only assume this is because Kent Police has little regard for cyclists' safety."
The rider has made a formal complaint about the way the case has been handled "or more accurately, not handled by Kent Police".
"Specifically, I would like to know on what grounds, given I have provided video evidence of the incident, did the force decide not to investigate?"
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.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.