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Near Miss of the Day 876: Oncoming driver tells cyclist to “get off the f***ing road”, as rider blasts police inaction

“Do British police forces consider cyclists legitimate road kill?” asks the cyclist, who claims he’s “never had one follow up” after years of reporting close passes

While this latest instalment in our Near Miss of the Day series is far from the most dramatic incident we’ve had submitted to us over the years, the clip – thanks in so small part to the vitriol aimed in the cyclist’s direction by a motorist clearly unhappy at being forced to give way to someone on a bike – nonetheless highlights the often depressing reality of cycling on British roads.

Meanwhile, the cyclist’s experience of dealing with local police forces (spoiler – it’s not great) also emphasises the need for greater resources and will to tackle dangerous and careless driving around cyclists.

The incident, which took place on St Paul’s Hill in Winchester, Hampshire on Thursday evening, saw road.cc reader Nick approach a bin lorry as he made his way up the slope. After slowing to give way to a number of motorists, Nick eventually makes his way between the bin lorry and the row of parked cars on the other side of the road, just as another oncoming driver approaches.

Evidently irked by the need to brake to avoid hitting a person riding a bike, the driver leans out of his car window as Nick passes, telling the cyclist in no uncertain terms to “get off the f***ing road” – an unprompted diatribe that prompts the clearly startled rider to respond: “You’re on camera!”

> Near Miss of the Day 875: Red-light jumping driver almost hits cyclist, responds with denial and abuse

Nick, who described the encounter as “typical for many cyclists”, has reported the incident to Hampshire Constabulary, through the force’s Hants SNAP reporting portal.

However, he told road.cc that, based on his previous experience of reporting incidents to Hampshire Constabulary, the chances of a follow up are “approaching zero” – despite the county frequently featuring high in the list of UK areas when it comes to the number of road incidents involving cyclists (in 2019, for example, ten percent of the country’s cycling incidents occurred in Hampshire).

“In all the years of close passes, I’ve never had one follow up, and I’ve had several incidents on this stretch of road,” Nick says.

“I cycle into town – around 10 mins – in Winchester to shop or go to the sports centre, several times each week, and I reckon I have an average of one close pass-type incident every 10 minutes, so two a journey.

“Rural roads are dangerous too, and there’s been lots of horrendous footage I’ve submitted, but never acted upon. I cycled daily in London for my commute for about 25 years, before all the bike lanes, but as per many friends, I feel Winchester is far more dangerous.”

> Hampshire Police stop 20 drivers and 185 cyclists during close pass operation

He continued: “We have an under-funded local group of cops, who obviously don’t have the resources to deal with this, unless it results in injury of fatality. of which there have been some recently.

“I’ve previously requested close pass data from Hants Road Police, who refused this – under a Freedom of Information request – on the basis of time, cost, and resources. I suspect very little action is taken.

“Do British police forces consider cyclists as legitimate road kill?”

> 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 Twitter or 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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75 comments

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grOg | 9 months ago
0 likes

The video showed a cyclist fail to give way to an oncoming vehicle; the cyclist was clearly at fault here; the driver was rude to the cyclist, but that's what you get when you operate a vehicle on the wrong side of the ride, forcing an oncoming vehicle to stop to avoid a collision; the cyclist bleating 'you're on camera', when he was in the wrong and then posting his law-breaking on social media, is astonishing.

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brooksby replied to grOg | 9 months ago
3 likes

Australian law is different, isn't it? Or were you watching a different video?

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Rendel Harris replied to grOg | 9 months ago
5 likes

grOg wrote:

the cyclist bleating 'you're on camera', when he was in the wrong and then posting his law-breaking on social media, is astonishing.

The only thing that's astonishing is that you claim to have been a UK police officer; if this is true you were presumably, and thankfully, dismissed for your near-total ignorance of the law. There is nothing illegal in the slightest about the cyclist's behaviour.

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Fignon's ghost replied to grOg | 9 months ago
2 likes

BS.

The cyclist had almost completed the obstacle pass when the terwat appeared.
We all have brakes and must use them when we drive or ride.
The driver was in a perfect position for a right nostril load.

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Tom_77 | 10 months ago
2 likes

I've had 3 of my submissions to Hampshire Police go to court (2 from cycling, 1 from driving) and about 2 dozen more that I haven't been told the outcome of. This can be quite frustrating, I'm told some police forces are much better at giving feedback.

The process for video submissions to Hampshire Police is to upload it to YouTube and then wait to see if they ask you for the original files. If they don't ask then they're not going to do anything. If they do ask then they might be doing something with it, but you'll only find out if it goes to court.

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HoarseMann | 10 months ago
6 likes

This has just dropped in my inbox regarding a close pass incident reported in June. Sometimes action is taken, but this is quite rare. It's also just one driver out of the many bad ones I encounter daily and I can't report them all.

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HLaB replied to HoarseMann | 10 months ago
1 like

Is that suitable to the offence ?

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HoarseMann replied to HLaB | 10 months ago
2 likes

Yes, I think this is a good outcome. It didn't seem malicious, just completely oblivious, so a course is probably the best approach.

It might be NMOTD worthy, but what the police will take action over is a bit of a lottery. I've had what I would consider worse behaviour (excessive horn use and actually swerving to try and knock me off), dismissed as they were 'just notifying me of their presence' and were given 'words of advice'. So nothing can really be used as a benchmark.

As for Lancs, their misuse/misinterpretation of GDPR is a scandal.

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Bungle_52 replied to HoarseMann | 10 months ago
2 likes

Brilliant. Well done and thanks. I know how time consuming, energy sapping and demoralising making reports to the police can be. Hopefully the driver will learn from the course and spread the news to their family and friends.

Is there any chance of getting the video on NMOTD so we can see what the police (sorry, your particular police force) will take action over?

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quiff replied to Bungle_52 | 10 months ago
2 likes

I have thought of putting together a compilation of my handful of successful reports. Only one of them went to court - hooting at cyclist, using wrong lane to make progress, intimidating another cyclist (me) but then (and personally I think this was the clincher for prosecution) distractedly rolled through a zebra crossing while a ped was crossing.   

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HoarseMann replied to Bungle_52 | 9 months ago
0 likes

Bungle_52 wrote:

Brilliant. Well done and thanks. I know how time consuming, energy sapping and demoralising making reports to the police can be.

Well, I'd be quite up for reporting every single one, even given the time it takes. The reason I say 'I can't' do so, is because I just don't think the police could cope with the quantity of submissions.

I had a recent spate of bad passes, so I thought I'd report them too (about 4). Got a bit of a rebuttal letter back saying my evidence wasn't good enough and contradictory regarding the first one. Haven't heard anything about the others.

So, I'm now saving police reports for the absolute worst, butt clenching incidents. The rest I'm back to confronting the driver and shaming on social media. Not ideal, but doing nothing is not ideal either.

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wtjs replied to HoarseMann | 10 months ago
4 likes

This has just dropped in my inbox regarding a close pass incident reported in June. Sometimes action is taken, but this is quite rare

This is outrageous! According to Lancashire Constabulary and the Information Commissioner in a case at the Information Tribunal, it is illegal for [insert name of Localfilth here] to give out this information to you, as you know the vehicle registration of the offender and the outcome of the case is therefore Personal Information. I trust you will be reporting the Constabulary for prosecution by the Commissioner!

PS Please do us all a favour and put a still of the close-passer on here, with the registration clearly visible and the name of the offending force so that this lamentable breach of GDPR may be punished appropriately. As a reminder, this is the offence which Lancashire Constabulary promised would be punished, but later refused to disclose what the punishment was- probably because there wasn't any

https://upride.cc/incident/4148vz_travellerschoicecoach_closepass/

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quiff replied to HoarseMann | 10 months ago
0 likes

Why might you want to bring that to the attention of your insurers?

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HoarseMann replied to quiff | 10 months ago
1 like

quiff wrote:

Why might you want to bring that to the attention of your insurers?

Standard template reply, it said RE: your incident/collision further up the page, didn't apply in my case. I guess if it were a collision, it's so that your insurers can argue no fault with the 3rd party insurers.

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wtjs replied to HoarseMann | 9 months ago
1 like

May I repeat my request below?:

Please do us all a favour and put a still of the close-passer on here, with the registration clearly visible and the name of the offending force.

The idea is to use this, the registration and the email from your police force in my evidence to the Information Tribunal, along with all the declarations the Met. has made to Cycling Mikey about the actions taken against identifiable motorists following offences. The refusal from Lancashire Constabulary, to state which of the options they provided indicating the action they would take against the driver of the Travellers Choice coach, is very likely to cover up the embarrassing fact that they lied and did nothing at all. The support for the refusal from the Information Commissioner is simply his default position of trying to restrict the Freedom of Information

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HoarseMann replied to wtjs | 9 months ago
2 likes

wtjs wrote:

May I repeat my request below?:

Please do us all a favour and put a still of the close-passer on here, with the registration clearly visible and the name of the offending force.

The idea is to use this, the registration and the email from your police force in my evidence to the Information Tribunal, along with all the declarations the Met. has made to Cycling Mikey about the actions taken against identifiable motorists following offences. The refusal from Lancashire Constabulary, to state which of the options they provided indicating the action they would take against the driver of the Travellers Choice coach, is very likely to cover up the embarrassing fact that they lied and did nothing at all. The support for the refusal from the Information Commissioner is simply his default position of trying to restrict the Freedom of Information

I can do better than that. Here's Northants system - they make all data public regarding prosecution outcomes. If you look at the 'concluded offences' spreadsheets, you will see under the 'camera description' column the occasional 'dashcam' - which are the public submitted offences via OpSnap. The time, date and location can be correlated with the outcome.

https://www.northantspas.com/PAWeb/Public/Content/16

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wtjs replied to HoarseMann | 9 months ago
0 likes

Excellent HM- this is just the job, as it includes not only actual prosecutions, but people who went on courses etc. However, it would greatly help me if you could answer some short questions below! Thanks! Here is your special Bonus Content in return. Burning Desires is on the A6 about half a mile from Preston Police Station. F1 BDL has had no MOT since 14.4.23, and was first detected and reported in early August. However, Lancashire Constabulary is so busy fighting for the right to refuse to tell victims what they did about offences (=nothing, probably) to bother with unimportant matters like offences. I think we should all have the right to self-certify our MOTs, not just the habitual offenders.

Filtering on 'Dashcam' as you stated shows that 1-2% of listed offences arise from Dashcam reports. I note that Dashcam apparently only shows up on the 'Completed Offence' files. Is this correct? This suggests they're maintaining a separate spreadsheet for Dashcam (annoying term!) Reports, and only amalgamating them at the 'Completed Stage'. This interpretation is supported by the absence (as far as I can tell) of any 'Advice Letter' outcome, which suggests to me that anything which merits only an advice letter is not deemed to have been an offence. Is that how you see it? This is the sort of thing which might come up at court- LancsRozzer would say: look! Northants. doesn't say anything about advice letters either etc.

In Lancashire, for the Dashcam type, nearly all admitted outcomes would be advice letters- excepting the outcome 'we didn't have sufficient time/ staff/ resources to even look at these' which they would have to hide as something else. They wouldn't want people filtering the sheet and seeing swathes of 'out of time'., so they solve the problem by not telling anybody anything. Where do you think all the 'advice letters' are in Northamptonshire statistics?

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HoarseMann replied to wtjs | 9 months ago
0 likes

wtjs wrote:

Filtering on 'Dashcam' as you stated shows that 1-2% of listed offences arise from Dashcam reports. I note that Dashcam apparently only shows up on the 'Completed Offence' files. Is this correct? This suggests they're maintaining a separate spreadsheet for Dashcam (annoying term!) 

Where do you think all the 'advice letters' are in Northamptonshire statistics?

It's all under the OpSnap tab. There you will find the inital triage of reported incidents.

I have an incident reported in April and the report number I was given on submission can be seen in the list, along with date and vehicle type etc. I can see the recommended outcome is 'Prosecution', but will need to wait a few more months before the concluded offences for April 23  report is published to find out the actual end result.

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HoarseMann replied to wtjs | 9 months ago
0 likes

[duplicate]

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hutchdaddy | 10 months ago
3 likes

I would have put my hand up to protect myself from the oncoming wing mirror, and then invited the driver to call the police. Guaranteed to upset. 

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Owd Big 'Ead | 10 months ago
9 likes

I'd have blown him a kiss, properly tipped him over the edge.

Unfortunately, the country seems to be inundated with a plethora of these gammony, middle class twits.

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HarrogateSpa replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 10 months ago
4 likes

It seems to this middle class twit that the angry man is a working class twit.

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wtjs replied to HarrogateSpa | 10 months ago
3 likes

It seems to this middle class twit that the angry man is a working class twit

I agree- I suspect him of being a loadsamoney Tory of working class origin

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Owd Big 'Ead replied to wtjs | 10 months ago
3 likes

Pfft.....

Up 'ere in the Midlands, he'd definitely be middle class.

How on earth can you be working class, living in Winchester?

Isn't it even more expensive than Cambridge to get a mortgage based upon local income?

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wtjs replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 10 months ago
0 likes

Up 'ere in the Midlands, he'd definitely be middle class

Well, way down there in t' Midlands that may be true, depending on the definition of class, but the loadsamoney Tories in big cars have blurred that definition.

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Fignon's ghost replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 9 months ago
1 like

We all see plenty of angry men out on our rides. If only they realised cycling virtues. The endorphins. Scenery. Dopamine. They'd be right as rain.

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chrisonabike replied to Fignon's ghost | 9 months ago
0 likes

Fignon's ghost wrote:

We all see plenty of angry men out on our rides. If only they realised cycling virtues. The endorphins. Scenery. Dopamine. They'd be right as rain.

Hmm... sure we get in our big cars (or on streamlined bikes / into sleek threads) to feel better about ourselves;  but I think those raised on conflict also do so because they're seeking to recreate familiar situations.

Take an aggressive motorist with a short fuse and put them on a bike - hey presto, an aggressive cyclist with a short fuse.  While that's welcome as "harm reduction" (if only they didn't alternate with driving) it's a recipe for those "TdF wannabes" and "entitled cyclists" we keep reading about.

Psychotherapy would be more effective than cycle-therapy.  (Combining both of course would be ideal.)

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NOtotheEU replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
1 like

chrisonatrike wrote:

Take an aggressive motorist with a short fuse and put them on a bike - hey presto, an aggressive cyclist with a short fuse.

I'm not so sure. Something seems to turn perfectly reasonable humans into raving lunatics when they get behind the steering wheel.

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essexian replied to NOtotheEU | 9 months ago
1 like

I can only reply from my point for view, but for me, its the BMW badge I have in the middle of my steering wheel. 

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wtjs | 10 months ago
6 likes

This one is pretty simple: the cyclist was not at fault, the driver is a standard nutter, the police will do nothing at all because his report was directed straight into the bin. As far as the police are concerned, the only value of recorded swearing is when it's from the cyclist and they seize upon it as an excuse for doing nothing. If swearing as unjustified as this example issues from a motorist, it's rather like passing traffic lights at red, crossing unbroken white lines, or not having MOT- unimportant because 'everybody does it'.

The routine close-passing in North Lancashire has not lessened and is probably becoming more common and is at least as severe as ever. The campaigns against it are having no effect, and the main reason for that is hostility towards cyclists from the police at the same time as their determination that motorists must not be inconvenienced or penalised for offences. This is easily-traceable DX65 UCT with no MOT for 7 1/2 months. "You can be fined up to £1000 for driving without a valid MOT"! Ho! Ho! Not in Lancashire you can't- as long as you make the requisite arrangement with your friendly and obliging local force (vehicle first detected and reported by me on 19th April- you can't get more obliging than that)

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