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Near Miss of the Day 839: Pickup driver screeches to a halt and chases cyclist on foot after rider slapped vehicle during close pass

UPDATE: Following initial criticism for a lack of action Sussex Police has since contacted the driver who accepted a Community Resolution

This story was updated on Monday 12 December 2022 after the cyclist involved released a statement explaining how the incident had been resolved via a Community Resolution, something he described as "the best option for me and the other individual involved".

The original video had been deleted from social media and another uploaded in its place with the driver's number plate blurred following people "harassing another individual associated with this vehicle". However, the cyclist told us due to the unsavoury nature of the replies he has chosen to delete it off social media for good, hence the lack of video below.

Jay McSerk took to Twitter to say: "The police have been in contact with the driver who voluntarily admitted to being behind the wheel.

"They are apologetic about the incident and the case will be closed via a Community Resolution. This is the best option for both me and the other individual involved.

"Unfortunately, a few people have gone out of their way to harass another individual associated with this vehicle. Because of this I've deleted the original tweet/video and now posting this one with the registration blurred out.

"If you have shared information derived from the original post, please remove it."

A Community Resolution is a fairly unsevere punishment often used by police to resolve low-level ofending. If a person accepts a Community Resolution they are not prosecuted so are not required to attend court, but accept they committed the offence and may have to engage in reparation, ranging from an apology to attending a course.

Orginial story:

Sussex Police have come in for criticism after a motorist, who close passed a cyclist through a busy town, before reacting to the rider’s retaliatory slap to his vehicle by slamming on his brakes and chasing him on foot, escaped punishment for the dangerous overtake.

Cyclist Jay uploaded the footage of the terrifying incident to Sussex Police’s Operation Crackdown portal, but was told that the pass failed to warrant a prosecution or even a warning letter.

In the clip, the motorist, driving a white pickup truck, squeezes between the cyclist and a queue of traffic in the opposite lane. After Jay hits the rear of his vehicle – the universal signal that a driver is too close – the motorist then comes to a screeching halt right on a pedestrian crossing, before getting out of his car to confront the cyclist. Realising what is about to happen, Jay turns and flees, as the drivers shouts forlornly behind (ironically holding up traffic in the process).

Posting the video to Twitter, Jay wrote: “This driver is clearly a danger to everyone using the roads, using their vehicle like a weapon.”

The driver’s manoeuvre and reaction – and Sussex Police’s subsequent inaction – has been widely condemned on social media.

Guardian journalist and active travel advocate Peter Walker wrote: “Amongst everything else, bringing their pick-up to a tyre-screeching halt *on a pedestrian crossing*, seemingly to start a fight. And no action? Baffling.”

Time trial specialist and cycling author Michael Hutchinson also noted that Jay’s encounter with the angry pickup driver is certainly not an uncommon occurrence for cyclists across the country.

“So apparently driving like this is fine,” he said. “Rider lucky he could escape. I’ve lost count of the number of times I've had to take refuge in gardens, shops, etc.”

> Near Miss of the Day 838: "Tell me again about hi-vis and lights!" — Cyclist narrowly avoids collision at mini roundabout

Much of the online ire has also been reserved for the attitude of Sussex Police, who contacted the cyclist on social media to tell him that he should simply re-report the incident. Responding to Jay’s tweet, the force told the cyclist that “if you do not believe the decision by Op Crackdown was correct you can contact them again and appeal this” – a reply described by one Twitter user as “mealy-mouthed”.

After Jay queried how best to appeal the original decision, Sussex Police again replied: “Although we have no say in the outcome they give so cannot comment on this, I would still suggest you re-report this as if it were a new report and express your further concerns. You may get a response.”

The police, however, later phoned Jay to inform him that they were looking into the case again, which sounds somewhat more promising.

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

Over the years 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] or send us a message via the 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 as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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