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Near Miss of the Day 588: Aggressive driver tails cyclists through village, makes dangerous overtakes ... and gets offered place on awareness course by police

Cyclist says “prolonged and dangerous road rage attack put our lives and two oncoming motorists in danger”

It’s less a single Near Miss of the Day today but rather a catalogue of aggressive driving as a motorist harassed members of a cycling club out for a ride in Derbyshire – and then, when overtaking them put oncoming motorists at risk due to attempting to pass the riders when it was not safe to do so. Despite that, however, all he received from police was an invitation to attend an awareness course.

The incident happened in the village of Linton in Derbyshire, about 5km south of Burton-on-Trent, with the driver initially coming up behind the cyclists on the High Street – where, even if they had been riding in single file, there would not have been enough space to pass them safely – and eventually overtaking them on Hillside Road.

Phil, who has now posted footage of the incident to YouTube – he did not share it at the time, due to police investigating what happened – told road.cc: “I am part of Lichfield City Cycling Club and last year we were subjected to a prolonged and dangerous road rage attack that put our lives and two oncoming motorists in danger.

“I had a front a rear camera fitted which showed the whole incident, which I reported to Derbyshire Police, who took it and originally said they were looking at dangerous driving.

“The police described the footage as ‘I shouldn’t need statements from the other riders as the footage is good and shows the offences in their entirety’.

“I gave them the names of the other riders and the registration of the two oncoming cars that had to emergency stop to avoid head on collisions.”

Here’s Phil’s description of how the events he captured on video unfolded.

 We are travelling as a group through the village of Linton
The red car pulls out from a side road 5 seconds in (they had not even been caught behind us for long)
He catches us up then tries to force his way by (despite parked cars on both sides of the narrow lane) – see how close he is to my rear wheel at 33 seconds
We come to a T junction and turn right at 53 seconds
He immediately pulls out onto the opposite side of the road with his window down to shout abuse.
Video then swaps to front view starting from about the same point as above – you can hear his horn and see the road in front where he tried to force his way past (with the parked cars on both sides). Note front video is quieter
We reach the T junction at 1.56 where he pulls out and yells
At 2.06 he causes the first oncoming car the brake and stop and then swerved into the line of us to avoid the head on
He pulls out again and causes a second car to emergency stop at 2.17. Look at the expressions on the walkers’ faces on the other side of the road.

However, he told us: “Despite this and the existing case law they have now simply offered the driver an awareness course – no points and no fine.

“I complained and have the following statements from their professional standards team: 

In your case, witnesses were not contacted due to the footage being very good anyway and the incident being relatively minor in nature.

The driver was being a nuisance.

But as Phil said to us: “This was a prolonged and deliberate road rage attack, not a driver being a nuisance. I have lost my faith in Derbyshire Police over this.

“I had to chase to get an update and it also turns out they don’t treat us as victims unless we were physically harmed (and they don’t update witnesses).

“I am so frustrated with Derbyshire Police over this,” Phil added. “Their response above actually makes me feel worse.”

> 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

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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