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Near Miss of the Day 901: Taxi driver gets police warning letter over close pass that cyclist "nearly felt the wing mirror"

The cyclist said incidents like this are "pretty common on my commute" so he tries to stick to off-road routes...

A close pass by a taxi driver, that the cyclist on the receiving end says felt like the vehicle's wing mirror barely missed him, was dealt with by Derbyshire Police issuing the professional driver a warning letter.

road.cc reader Kev was cycling to work in Derby on the A609 High Lane, in West Hallam, when the close pass happened, the taxi driver overtaking over the top of the brow of a hill, despite oncoming traffic and the road's markings, the professional driver's overtake the manoeuvre we are going to focus on in the clip.

As per the Highway Code, when there are double white lines where the nearest to you is broken, "This means you may cross the lines to overtake if it is safe, provided you can complete the manoeuvre before reaching a solid white line on your side."

Backed up by the Road Traffic Act 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 26, for double white lines where the line nearest you is solid, "This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less."

In this case it appears the driver began the overtake on the section with the solid line nearest, the road not clear due to the oncoming drivers in the opposite direction.

> Near Miss of the Day 900: Police offer "suitable advice" to driver who squeezed between cyclist and oncoming campervan in dangerous close pass

"I nearly felt the wing mirror," Kev told us, before explaining he deliberated over sending the footage to the police due to having submitted videos in the past and heard nothing back.

"It is pretty common on my commute, to be fair," he explained. "I cycle to work on a mountain bike so I can go off road as much as possible, but there is only one small section which is purely off road. There are no cycle lanes from Ilkeston to Derby that I am aware of. I try to go via the 'Great Northern Greenway' but this only covers about a third of my commute, the rest is on roads."

A week after the report was made to Derbyshire Police, the force replied to Kev explaining that they would be sending a warning letter to the driver involved.

> 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

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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60 comments

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David9694 | 1 month ago
3 likes

Complaint to the taxi licensing authority? 

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wtjs replied to David9694 | 1 month ago
1 like

Complaint to the taxi licensing authority? 

This inevitably results in a claim that they're taking it seriously 'but we're not going to tell you what we did about it'. That means they did nothing. Pseudo-punishment without 'points' is worthless.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 1 month ago
3 likes

Bro needs to be in primary position. 

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qwerty360 | 1 month ago
16 likes

Half expecting an eventual response on twitter from drivers about how the cyclist should be closer to the kerb (despite 1/3 the handle bar being over the kerb - i.e. they should be easily 1m further out... (note - while riding further out may be best practice, it IS NOT a defence for the driver; IMHO if anything it is an aggravating factor - drivers should be expecting the rider to correct this and so allowing for a safety margin after they do!))

 

Bluntly put van behind was too close and should be getting a warning. Taxi should be getting prosecuted >:(

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EK Spinner | 1 month ago
8 likes

moving on from the obvious condemnation of the driving and the 'puishment' of said driver. I would always advise riding in primary whenever there is a solid white line on the riders side of the road

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anagallis_arvensis replied to EK Spinner | 1 month ago
3 likes

I disagree, it's not up to the cyclist to police the road, had no car been coming the other way there's room to overtake safely if they cross the white line, that's the drivers choice, two cars before overtook safely even if they crossed the white line (there choice). Cyclists can only do so much. Now obviously you could argue that if a solid white line is in place it is not safe to overtake, and that has merit, however the bottom line is the taxi should have given more space or waited, no amount of road positioning can stop an idiot from being an idiot. Should cyclists take up primary whenever a car is oncoming? No.

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Velo-drone replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
13 likes

They shouldn't have to, but self preservation means it is often best to.

Out of interest - in what other situations do you equate "not facilitating dangerous law-breaking" with "policing the road"?

Is maintaining the speed limit in a car while someone is tailgating you "policing the road"?

Is not moving over when someone honks you for stopping at an amber light "policing the road"?

On a bicycle your primary concern is keeping yourself safe from harm. Then keeping others safe from harm.

After that it's good manners to help maintain flow of traffic, but it's definitely not a priority over they first two

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anagallis_arvensis replied to Velo-drone | 1 month ago
1 like

It didn't need to be dangerous to the cyclist as the two previous cars proved when they over took.
It is not up to the cyclist to prevent overtakes, it is incumbent on the driver to not cross the white line or overtake safely. The fact that the solid white line is present means the cyclist shouldn't need to take primary. Your criticism of the rider is unfounded.
Your other examples of whatever point you are trying to make are weird. If a car is tailgating, let them past, if a car honks for stopping at traffic lights, ignore them...any other questions?

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polainm replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
1 like

You are missing a key point of comment; yes, it shouldn't be the cyclists' roles to police the roads, but with almost total indifference from police on protecting people outside drivers' weapons of choice, there is no option. Hence the rise in bike cams. 

Wrong it may be, but it is still a reality of #brokenbritain and political policing. 

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Velo-drone replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
1 like

Who said anything about "preventing" overtakes?

Unless it's a particularly narrow road (not the case here) it's practically impossible to "prevent" an overtake

However you can very effectively deter unsafe overtakes, and the question is why on earth would you not?

I made no criticism of the rider so I'm not sure what you're on about there.

The tail-gating car can pass anywhere it's safe to do so - just like the driver behind a cyclist in primary position - that's the whole point. It is not my obligation in front of the tailgater to pull aside to facilitate an easier pass, any more than it is the obligation of a cyclist in primary to move to the kerb to to do the same

As a matter of fact, I do have another question for you - which is why do you happily accept that if I'm in a car I have no obligation to facilitate lawbreakers, and indeed should "ignore them" if necessary - but if I'm on a bike then I should help them to do so even if it puts me at personal risk?

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Velo-drone replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
4 likes
anagallis_arvensis wrote:

The fact that the solid white line is present means the cyclist shouldn't need to take primary

I wonder if perhaps you have a better standard of drivers where you live ...where I am there are several places with solid white lines where it is undoubtedly crucial to take primary.

No you shouldn't "need to" ... but sometimes you do. If the line was a kerb it might be different, but since it isn't many drivers treat it as only applicable for overtaking other cars.

And in fact, a meaningful minority will make a concerted effort to not put a wheel over it to pass, even if it means clipping your handlebar.

Literally the only thing that will give them pause is if they would have to put their own life/paintwork on the line in order to pass you.

In that context, the only plausible thing to do to keep yourself safe is to take primary

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TheBillder replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
10 likes

Primary also gives you room to trend left if a car does pass too closely, and keeping out of the gutter, with all it's debris, is also a good idea.

Nothing I say here though excuses that idiot driver, and as a "professional driver" they should be held to a high standard.

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bensynnock replied to TheBillder | 1 month ago
1 like

Taxis are the worst.

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AidanR replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
9 likes

It's not about "policing" the road. Riding in primary doesn't give you powers of arrest.

Road positioning takes the choice away from the driver in certain situations, such as when there is oncoming traffic. Sure, a driver could still be an idiot, but in this case it would mean either ploughing into the cyclist or into the oncoming car and so is vanishingly unlikely. So I completely disagree that "no amount of road positioning can stop an idiot from being an idiot."

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NotNigel replied to AidanR | 1 month ago
10 likes

I've found riding primary into upcoming blind bends certainly seems to discourage drivers from overtaking as they would have no choice but to cross onto the other side of the road wheras some would try to squeeze past keeping to our side of the road if riding nearer the curb.

added:  motorists are a lot more cautious about colliding with other motorists than they are with cyclists.  How many times have you committed to ride down the centre of a road with parked cars either side for someone try to squeeze through from the opposite way.  It very rarely happens if it's motorist on motorist.  Subconsciously, not damaging their car is of higher priority than injuring other road users but I'm presuming/hoping that changes for most people who have actually being in a collision with a vulnerable road user.

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Backladder replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
4 likes

Nobody is asking the rider to police the road, but for their own safety they should ride in a position appropriate to the conditions, in the clip above they are riding "in the gutter" and thus "inviting" a close pass, even in secondary position they would have been sufficiently far from the kerb to discourage this pass and would have had more space for emergency manoeuvering and in primary position they would have been controlling the lane to prevent the dangerous close pass. https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/road-positioning-cycling-explained

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anagallis_arvensis replied to Backladder | 1 month ago
2 likes
Backladder wrote:

Nobody is asking the rider to police the road, but for their own safety they should ride in a position appropriate to the conditions, in the clip above they are riding "in the gutter" and thus "inviting" a close pass, even in secondary position they would have been sufficiently far from the kerb to discourage this pass and would have had more space for emergency manoeuvering and in primary position they would have been controlling the lane to prevent the dangerous close pass. https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/road-positioning-cycling-explained

so we agree riding in primary wasnt needed? Yes the cyclist was pretty slow and pretty far to the left, however that's his choice and we should not excuse dangerous, frightening poor driving like that because the cyclist lacks confidence and is a bit slow. It is incumbent on the driver's to pass safely whether overtaking a fast roadie, an old granny or a child all will be able and confident to ride in different ways. It's not hard, just drive round them. Trying to suggest riding in primary in that situation is madness, secondary would have done. It's just another way to take blame away from those actually at fault.

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OnYerBike replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
5 likes

I think we all agree that the drivers are very much the ones at fault - everyone in these comments seems to think that the Police should be taking action against the taxi driver; no-one has said the cyclist has committed any offences.

I also think we all agree that it would be lovely if we lived in some utopia where we could expect all drivers to drive safely at all times, and therefore cyclists would not suffer close passes whatever their road position happened to be.

However, that utopia is not reality. The reality is that drivers are varying degrees of fallible and imperfect. It is also clear that a cyclist's road position does effect how other road users interact with the cyclist. So, until such a time that all drivers are perfect (or maybe we have got rid of drivers and travel everywhere on flying pigs), I think it is reasonable to suggest that cyclists take sensible measures to improve their own safety, including moving further away from the kerb to discourage close passes. I don't think that is victim blaming nor detracting from the fault of the drivers; it's just pragmatic advice. The Highway Code explicitly advises cyclists to ride "at least 0.5 metres away, and further where it is safer, from the kerb edge" - which is essentially all we are advising too.  

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Backladder replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
2 likes

anagallis_arvensis wrote:

so we agree riding in primary wasnt needed? Yes the cyclist was pretty slow and pretty far to the left, however that's his choice and we should not excuse dangerous, frightening poor driving like that because the cyclist lacks confidence and is a bit slow. It is incumbent on the driver's to pass safely whether overtaking a fast roadie, an old granny or a child all will be able and confident to ride in different ways. It's not hard, just drive round them. Trying to suggest riding in primary in that situation is madness, secondary would have done. It's just another way to take blame away from those actually at fault.

No we don't agree, personally I would take primary, even if only for a short period although I can understand why some riders might not want to appear to be weaving around on the road.

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stonojnr replied to Backladder | 1 month ago
1 like

I think appropriate to the conditions is spot on, because it doesn't mean you must ride in prime just because.

There are some really sketch roads with solid no overtaking lines that drivers have died in crashes on let alone cyclists, that I'll ride in a way that's about ensuring I'm not inviting passes, but I'm not blocking either.

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brooksby replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
4 likes

Riding in primary wouldn't stop a motorist crossing the white line to overtake: arguably, it would encourage them to cross the white line giving plenty of space (as is stated in law).

What it would do, is discourage or stop them illegally overtaking *without crossing the white line*.

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polainm replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
2 likes

It is up to the cyclist to ride according to the HWC and in this sense, is policing the road for non-motorised users. 

This is needed because there isn't any policing on the roads until after the RTI, unless it involves a car chase drama. 

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EK Spinner replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
4 likes

It isn't about policing the roads, it is about reducing the likely hood of a dangerous overtake, in this case the taxi driver choose not to expose themselves to danger bu crossing the white line, however the didn't give a shit about the riders safety.

If the rider had been in primary the taxi driver would have most likely slowed and waited as they didn't want to endanger themself nor were they likely to deliberatly drive into the rider (the homicdal lunatics are actually really rare). The selfish driver only took that option because it was available to them, the rider need to remove the option and thus manage the situation better

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anagallis_arvensis replied to EK Spinner | 1 month ago
0 likes

Look at the still Picture at the top of this article, had the driver been in secondary, roughly in line with the left most part of the lighter bit of tarmac, the taxi would have either hit the cyclist or the oncoming car or held back...who knows which. He wouldn't need and I would argue, shouldn't be in primary, roughly the right most but of the lighter area. The car should not have crossed the white line, should not have overtaken into on coming traffic and should not have close passed the cyclist irrespective of any of this. In addition if you look at the still pic at the point of overtake the solid line has become broken, should the cyclist have stayed in primary simply due to an oncoming car? Parroting back some rubbish about the cyclist should have been in primary is both patently rubbish and just reinforcing the pro car culture where blame is always shifted away from the motor vehicle drivers. You all talk about the lack of enforcement by the police which is obviously an issue highlighted by this case and 240 000 others each week but this isn't helped by cyclists criticising other cyclists and suggesting the should do x,y or z to prevent these issues.
Indeed the highway code rule 72 does not mention primary.

Rule 72
Road positioning. When riding on the roads, there are two basic road positions you should adopt, depending on the situation.

1) Ride in the centre of your lane, to make yourself as clearly visible as possible, in the following situations

on quiet roads or streets – if a faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely
in slower-moving traffic - when the traffic around you starts to flow more freely, move over to the left if you can do so safely so that faster vehicles behind you can overtake
at the approach to junctions or road narrowings where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake you
2) When riding on busy roads, with vehicles moving faster than you, allow them to overtake where it is safe to do so whilst keeping at least 0.5 metres away, and further where it is safer, from the kerb edge. Remember that traffic on most dual carriageways moves quickly. Take extra care crossing slip roads.

It also doesn't mention pulling out to prevent overtakes over solid white lines

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EK Spinner replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
5 likes

anagallis_arvensis wrote:

 When riding on busy roads, with vehicles moving faster than you, allow them to overtake where it is safe to do so whilst keeping at least 0.5 metres away

The key is in your text, allowing them to overtake when it is safe to do so, it was not possible to execute a safe overtake here

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anagallis_arvensis replied to EK Spinner | 1 month ago
0 likes
EK Spinner wrote:

anagallis_arvensis wrote:

 When riding on busy roads, with vehicles moving faster than you, allow them to overtake where it is safe to do so whilst keeping at least 0.5 metres away

The key is in your text, allowing them to overtake when it is safe to do so, it was not possible to execute a safe overtake here

It was, two cars did so, the solid line was ending, the road fairly straight the view clear. Are you seriously suggesting cyclists should alter road position depending on if a car is approaching. This vacuous arguement you are making could be made about almost every close pass. It's just victim blaming tripe.

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brooksby replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
9 likes

anagallis_arvensis wrote:

Are you seriously suggesting cyclists should alter road position depending on if a car is approaching.

Actually, I do (sometimes), and I can't believe I'm the only one.

If someone is behind me and I can see a queue of oncoming traffic, if the road is clearly not wide enough then I will ease out to my right to make sure that the person behind me doesn't try to >>squeeze<< through between me and those oncoming vehicles.

It's the same principle as if you approach a pinch point.

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HoarseMann replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
6 likes

brooksby wrote:

anagallis_arvensis wrote:

Are you seriously suggesting cyclists should alter road position depending on if a car is approaching.

Actually, I do (sometimes), and I can't believe I'm the only one.

If someone is behind me and I can see a queue of oncoming traffic, if the road is clearly not wide enough then I will ease out to my right to make sure that the person behind me doesn't try to >>squeeze<< through between me and those oncoming vehicles.

It's the same principle as if you approach a pinch point.

I do this too: https://youtu.be/Yd5qBwVkxro

Some drivers can get a bit upset about it, but it's far better than being close passed at speed.

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anagallis_arvensis replied to HoarseMann | 1 month ago
0 likes

What you dive from secondary into the kerb when someone Beebs at you...I am not sure you understand what primary is

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HoarseMann replied to anagallis_arvensis | 1 month ago
4 likes

anagallis_arvensis wrote:

What you dive from secondary into the kerb when someone Beebs at you...I am not sure you understand what primary is

Watch it again, I was already in primary as they approached. They beeped as I blocked the close pass, then beeped again as they swerved towards me when passing. As I was in primary, I was able to move left and away from them, plus the speed was much lower.

It's about as much control as you can get in that situation, using road position to reduce vehicle speed and create an escape route.

If you can be bothered to watch the following dull 4 mins of footage (evidential, it was reported), you'll see me move between secondary and primary when there's a potential conflict between an overtaking vehicle and an oncoming vehicle.

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