Many of the motorists featured on Near Miss of the Day get away with a slap on the wrist. Today’s one, however, only had to suffer a slap on the side of their car.
That’s because Thames Valley Police decided, rather swifty, to take no action against the driver for this bank holiday close pass – because, they argue, the cyclist “put himself in danger” by “barging his way to the front” of a line of cars and moving into the motorist’s path when there “was plenty of room for him to overtake”.
The incident occurred after the cyclist filtered to the front of a queue of traffic at a set of temporary traffic lights in Wallingford on Bank Holiday Monday.
“I’d just stopped on Wallingford bridge to take a couple of photos and encountered a small queue waiting at temporary lights on the other side,” the reader who sent us the footage, BucksCycleCammer, told road.cc.
“Judging afterwards from the Mini who’d overtaken me whilst stopped, they’d already been there for at least 90 seconds, which may explain some frustration.
“So, I filtered to the front and, after more than another minute, the lights changed,” he continued.
“Since the road narrowed significantly, I moved towards primary which did nothing to deter the driver of the Toyota who passed so closely that I was able to slap the side of his vehicle without extending my arm.”
The cyclist then submitted the footage to Thames Valley Police, who “responded very quickly to tell me they will not take any action because I ‘put myself in danger’ – first by ‘barging my way to the front’, getting really close to the Toyota in the process, and then by moving into his path when there was ‘plenty of room for him to overtake’.”
Responding to the police’s decision to take no action, the cyclist pointed out that filtering is legal and “recommended to increase visibility”, while the usual existence of three-way permanent lights at the junction – “due to the narrow carriageway on two approaches” – highlighted that there “isn’t plenty of room” to overtake and justified his decision to ride in primary position.
According to the cyclist, his reply “only aggravated the matter; I was left in no doubt that this wasn't a discussion, but a lecture.”
He concluded: “Whilst there has been some positive movement from TVP this year, there are certainly still those who retain the old attitudes towards cycling.”
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.
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.