A motorist who committed an extreme close pass on a cyclist, missing him by a matter of inches, before slamming on his brakes and appearing to deliberately reverse into the rider, escaped punishment after West Midlands Police deemed that the collision was not captured clearly enough in the video.
road.cc reader James was cycling on Willenhall Lane in Coventry last July when the driver of an Audi – who, as James notes, appears to be holding a joint in his mouth in the clip – dangerously overtook him.
After James vocalised his disgruntlement with the driver’s too-close-for-comfort pass, the motorist slammed on the brakes. A staring and muttering match then ensued, before the hooded motorist appeared to have had enough.
However, before driving away he then decided to leave James with a parting gift by reversing back towards the cyclist (and over the white line into the next lane), appearing to ram him.
“After the incident I called 999 because the driver has what appears to be a joint hanging out of his mouth, although it has gone out,” James tells road.cc. “Unfortunately I gave the 999 operator the wrong registration.”
That proved only the start of James’ troubles while reporting the incident.
“I reported it to West Midlands Police via their online ‘Non-Stop Self Reporting Collision Form’ and I was informed the video would be sent to the Traffic Investigation Unit,” he says.
“Several months later when I chased it up with TIU, they had no idea what incident I was referring to and asked me to send them the video via the Nextbase online reporting form.
“I did this and someone from TIU called me to say that the collision, which I thought was very clear, isn’t actually captured on video. They told me the bike shakes but there’s no clear video of the car actually hitting the bike so this isn't being treated as a collision.
“They thought that the suspect would claim that there was no collision and that I just shook the bike to make it look like there was.”
He continued: “The time limit for sending a NIP for the close pass had also expired, so the driver got away with no consequences.
“I suspected at the time that reporting via the ‘Non-Stop Self Reporting Collision Form’ was the wrong thing to do – it would take weeks or months for any action to be taken, by which time it would be too late.
“I should have reported via the Nextbase portal for the TIU to handle it. They might have just got back to me and told me to report via the ‘Non-Stop Self Reporting Collision Form’ or they might have just processed it as a close pass. Regardless they wouldn’t have sat on it for weeks or months.
“Due to the collision not being clear – though I think it is and I was there to witness it as well – and due to the delay, the decision was made not to refer to the Crown Prosecution Service.”
“I was surprised at outcome of this deliberate collision,” James concludes. “No action of any kind.”
West Midlands Police has been contacted by road.cc for comment.
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 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.