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Near Miss of the Day 818: No action taken as police say cyclist ‘put himself in danger’ by ‘barging to the front and moving into driver’s path’

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

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.

> Near Miss of the Day 817: “Both drivers gave me a wide pass – shame about the cyclist coming the other way”

“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’.”

> Near Miss of the Day 816: Driver surrenders licence after sideswiping cyclist at 50mph 

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.”

> 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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130 comments

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Ratfink replied to wycombewheeler | 1 year ago
2 likes

In real life it feels a lot narrower through there than it looks in that clip.Sitting in a car at the white line at the permanent lights you do feel a bit like you're going to lose a wing to oncoming traffic.

I'm pretty sure that last time i was there the bit outside the Waitrose after the left turn which was down to one lane actually had signs at the temporary lights saying no overtaking cyclists.

.

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joe9090 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Poor riding. Why taking up so much of the lane? Its not how i ride. Seems like looking for trouble that one. 

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Bucks Cycle Cammer replied to joe9090 | 1 year ago
15 likes

Remember this?

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NOtotheEU replied to Bucks Cycle Cammer | 1 year ago
7 likes

But, but but, they are holding up the car!!!

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tootsie323 | 1 year ago
3 likes

One might make the argument that the chap on the bike antagonised the drivers but (i) it's not an argument that holds a lot of weight and (ii) highlights a more general point I want to make:

Why is it that when someone apparently acts like a bit of a dick on the road, the person (or people) affected feel(s) the need to respond by being a bigger dick?

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panda replied to tootsie323 | 1 year ago
1 like

The same is also true of the internet.

If you have time to read, I'd recommend "Traffic" by Tom Vanderbilt which explores what it is about being behind the wheel of a car which makes people behave in ways they wouldn't with a shopping trolley in the supermarket.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to panda | 1 year ago
2 likes

I've been dinged by badly pushed trolleys in the past.....

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kinderje | 1 year ago
4 likes

I'm struggling with this one as I wouldn't have ridden to the front of a queue at temporary traffic lights and if I have ever found myself at the front I will usually wave cars waiting behind me to go through first. But I'm a social rider not a commuter so do not come across this every day.

However, the layout/width of the road and some of the comments indicate that these 'temporary' lights are a bit of a permanent fixture so filtering is recommended/allowed. Very confusing.

Having said all of that, the pass was crap and only delayed the Toyota seconds.

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JustTryingToGet... | 1 year ago
7 likes

I occasionally use this road. I wouldn't have filtered but absolutely take primary.

This is very much "little-englander" territory and you don't have to cycle far before you come across some terrible driving.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm sorry, but I think I'm siding with the police perspective here... well not the 'barging' comment. Its a fair assessment however, that the cyclist actively put themselves into a vulnerable position, and then generated a situation by taking primary and looking to control traffic. Looking at the space available, there was plenty of room for a safe overtake if the cyclist had not taken primary, and no reason, from my perspective, for the cyclist to need to be in primary. 

I can see how this can be perceived as deliberately antagonistic behaviour.   

But yeah, even presented with a seemingly antagonistic cyclist, the correct thing for the Toyota driver to do would still be to sit back and wait for a more accommodating opportunity to pass. 

However, I can appreciate that taking further police action in this instance would effectively reward the cyclist's conduct, which whilst strictly within the highway code guidelines, was in my opinion a very poor application of them.

I'd draw parallels here with a footballer diving.. it was a technical rather than blatant foul, and the refs letting play continue. 

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hawkinspeter replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
3 likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I'd draw parallels here with a footballer diving.. it was a technical rather than blatant foul, and the refs letting play continue. 

As I understand it (Mrs HawkinsPeter is more of a football fan than me), a player showing aggressive, unsportsmanlike behaviour would get an instant red card. (The analogy is weak though as football players are more or less the same size as each other)

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Sriracha replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
9 likes

On the other hand, it's a 20mph limit; exactly how many seconds of the driver's precious time is being weighed here against a human life?

As to the cyclist "putting themselves in a vulnerable position", how? There was no danger other than that the HiLux driver would choose to make. It is telling that we assume the driver has no agency, the vulnerability arises from being in front of them.

This is precisely a situation where the police should act, because the driver thinks he's allowed to enforce his right against a cyclist regardless of danger. And when the driver has finished explaing how the cyclist was a dickhead and should have moved over and shouldn't have been there anyway and didn't leave enough room ... yes sir, that's why you should not aim your car at him.

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hawkinspeter replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
11 likes

"Putting themselves in a vulnerable position" could be applied to any cyclist using a shared road with motor vehicles.

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Car Delenda Est replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
3 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

generated a situation by taking primary 

Nah the motorist 'generated the situation' when they started their car.

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panda | 1 year ago
6 likes

The Toyota driver has driven badly, and doesn't appear to respect the laws of the land more generally if the MOT data is reliable.  No excuses for that.

However, by way of pathological example, how would you expect the police to react if you walked into a pub in a former coal-mining town at 10pm after England have just been knocked out of a major football tournament with a go-pro and an "I [heart] Maggie" t-shirt on and ended up not getting the stimulating debate on 1980s industrial relations you were hoping for?  Or, equivalently, turning up to the road.cc readers' forum Christmas drinks with a "my other car's an Ineos Grenadier" t-shirt?  Or, I guess, driving round Alabama with "Hilary for President" painted on your car?

There is a spectrum of antagonistic behaviour.  Riding primary when a lane is narrow and asking drivers to wait a few seconds to pass is fair.  Some drivers don't like it, but they need to learn.  Weaving through a queue of traffic rather than just waiting at the back when there is no dedicated cycle lane at the other side of the lights then riding primary is adding time to those drivers' journeys and subtracting hardly any from yours, and it isn't making you safer because the drivers that just overtook you are going to have to overtake you again.  That is going to make people angry.  Maybe it shouldn't, but it will.  They won't listen to reason when they're angry.  It's not all that much different from trolling on a forum, which I hope you don't think I'm doing now.  I'm not excusing the Toyota driver; that's not the point of this post.

My point is this: be the change you want to see and maintain the moral high ground.  

Or, to put it another way for students of anger management.  Pause, count to 10,  ask yourself: what is the outcome you want, and what is the best way to get it?  Hint: it isn't needlessly obstructing motorists and waving the Highway Code in their face when they complain.   

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Hirsute replied to panda | 1 year ago
2 likes

There is a cycle lane as shown already with some images.

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panda replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
1 like

I do not see a safe cycling facility on those photographs.  I see some faded paint and a line too close to the edge of the road which drivers will drive to.

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Sriracha replied to panda | 1 year ago
6 likes

The paint does not "fade". So you'd have to wonder, what caused the paint to wear off the road?

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panda replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
1 like

1980s throwbacks riding 19mm tyres with 120psi in?

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Clem Fandango replied to panda | 1 year ago
3 likes

You are Nigel & I claim my five pounds

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panda replied to Clem Fandango | 1 year ago
1 like

Sorry, don't understand.  Relatively new here - is this an "in-joke" for the denizens of road.cc?

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Hirsute replied to panda | 1 year ago
4 likes

There was a poster called nigel garrage who changed his username about 6 times and came back under new usernames after being banned. He was a poor troll.

There's nothing I have read of your posts to suggest you could be nigel.

Unfortunately there have been a fair number of trolls this year the latest being NotBlindedByCyclistsBS (I've corrected name) only 4 posts and hasn't mentioned hi viz, so new folk do get extra attention.

The jury is still out on EnjoyTheRide.

 

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panda replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
2 likes

Ah OK.  I'm not Nigel.  

I'm basing this on one morning's experience on the forum - did he start out on your side and type something that wasn't in line with the approved stance?

Also, do I win five pounds?

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Hirsute replied to panda | 1 year ago
2 likes

There is no approved stance just a low tolerance for trolls.

I'll simply restate what I've said before which is if he behaved as he did on somewhere like AVforums, he would not last more than 2 days and after a week he'd get a perma.

Other places you get the option to flag posts as baiting and after a while, the mods would take action and warn the user. There isn't that option here, so there is a degree of poster moderation.

He is one specfic example of nigel.

Video from a high tech door bell. Dense estate with traffic calming - driver overtakes the cyclist in a careless way far too close. Cyclist then in surprise at the overtake shouts what the fuck was that.

Nigel then baits the cyclist by claiming he told the driver to fuck off.

Pure baiting as the sound was clear enough to all.

 

Minority views do get a bit more of a spotlight but if people argue their case reasonably then it should not be a problem and you can have a civil discussion.

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giff77 replied to panda | 1 year ago
8 likes

panda wrote:

Ah OK.  I'm not Nigel.  

I'm basing this on one morning's experience on the forum - did he start out on your side and type something that wasn't in line with the approved stance?

Also, do I win five pounds?

Nah. He prettty much showed his colours from the off. 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to panda | 1 year ago
5 likes

Hirsute was close but he mixed up a couple. 

The one with the Hi Tech Door bell, the driver actually drove directly into the cyclist from behind and knocked him flying. Without any sound, Boo* decided the cyclist had shouted at the driver and "deserved to be knocked down". The cyclist joined the site and showed his own footage which showed any swearing happened as the collision occurred (which is no suprise) and the driver had just angry at being denied passage due to the cyclists position through traffic calming. 

The other one was when a cyclist shouted "Woah" as he was close passed at by a speeding driver who then screeched to a halt, got out the car and attacked the cyclist. Yep cyclist deserved it again according to him

*Boo (shortened version of full first username) did start off quite "normal" but the posted about how TT Bikes were dangerous. When asked for his reasoning, it turned out he accidently bought one as he wanted to go fast and didn't like it at all. As people didn't fully agree with him, he started to troll then, deliberately blaming cyclists on NMOTD, cheering on injuries and deaths if TT rider involved. Then he started going into conspiracy theories and finally racism which got him banned. Several months later he came back as Nigel Garage. He was picked up as the returning Boo quite early on by regular posters, but mods seemed to not want to act. Denied ever knowing Boo before stated he was a close friend. Edited usernames to TT Danger and another more heinous username when a female TT rider died- which he blamed on some logon issue on the site at the time. Started to call riders in NMOTD fat and the cause of the close misses (they were not) then got banned again in the end for doxing and either sexist or racist views. He has been back at least one more time and then banned, which is why unfortunately any new user with differing opinions are jumped on heavily even if the opinion differences are minor and valid criticisms. I do personally believe he has another alt account again here as well as another PBU who used to troll in similar anti-cycling ways, just less straight obnoxious as Boo/Nigel. 

So welcome Panda, don't be scared off but do be aware that someone you might / might not agree with on here is ultimately a conspiracy racist nutjob. We tried telling Ashley Neal that, he didn't believe us either. 

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Hirsute replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
4 likes

Thanks. I forgot the rider was actually knocked off.

 

He has certainly left a legacy that new posters get more of a critique. Which is a shame but there have also been a lot of one thread trolls this year which doesn't help either.

You do have to do an awful lot to get banned so with light moderation, the discussion can be robust at times.

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chrisonabike replied to panda | 1 year ago
4 likes

Nigel = an alias of a particular former user known for reinstantiation under new aliases.  (A forum Grant Shapps [1] [2], if you will).  ICMFP is an old newspaper joke reference (learned that one here).

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Older and sadder replied to panda | 1 year ago
1 like

Hi Panda, welcome to the bear pit. I'm afraid to say you will find very little tolerance in this echo chamber for any view other than "two wheels good, four wheels bad" Any sugestion are ruthlessy quashed that there are such things as aggressive cyclists who strap on their Go-Pro and look for situations they can provoke into a near miss video, or the holy grail of a video used in a prosecution. I am also not Nigel but this post will probably get that slung at me. I try to treat everyone on the road with equal consideration and treat them as I would like to be treated. Unfortunately there are many road users out there, on two and four wheels, who feel consideration is ionly what other people owe to them!

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Hirsute replied to Older and sadder | 1 year ago
4 likes

Older and sadder wrote:

Hi Panda, welcome to the bear pit. I'm afraid to say you will find very little tolerance in this echo chamber for any view other than "two wheels good, four wheels bad"

Not how this thread has gone though.

And as steve k says. If you went on the crystal palace site just to have a go at palace, what reception do you think you'd get?

Quote:

Any sugestion are ruthlessy quashed that there are such things as aggressive cyclists who strap on their Go-Pro and look for situations they can provoke into a near miss video, or the holy grail of a video used in a prosecution.

That's just daft hyperbole.

Cyclists turn to cameras because of their experiences

See today's live bog with a post from brooksby (

Anyone seen this (rather depressing) story in the gRandiau?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/sep/01/i-will-never-ride-a... (link is external))

and a photo from me. Unless your are suggesting I somehow contrived the close pass?

Quote:

I am also not Nigel but this post will probably get that slung at me. I try to treat everyone on the road with equal consideration and treat them as I would like to be treated. Unfortunately there are many road users out there, on two and four wheels, who feel consideration is only what other people owe to them!

Rather a big difference between 10 and 1900 kg though and where the media push the line to revile cyclists as they are freeloaders on the roads.

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