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Near Miss of the Day 630: Police say “not enough evidence” to prosecute punishment pass driver

Our regular series featuring close passes from around the country - today it's Gloucestershire...

A lament we often hear from readers who submit clips to our Near Miss of the Day series is that when they sent it through to the police, they received little-to-no feedback, including which action if any might have been taken against the motorist.

That varies between police forces, of course – and today’s video elicited a detailed response from Gloucestershire Constabulary explaining why the driver behind what road.cc reader Richard described as a “punishment pass” in Cheltenham, complete with tooting the horn at him, would not be referred for prosecution.

“I have been riding well out from the kerb recently and when this close pass occurred, I had plenty of space to move into,” Richard told us.

“I didn't mention punishment pass in my submission but the officer concerned must have picked up my feelings from the title I gave my video: ‘210821 OE08 TKU black vw punishment pass evesham road’.”

He was told: “I have reviewed the footage and there is not enough there for me to prosecute the driver for careless driving.

“The driver could have given you more room but you have not had to take any avoiding action. We can speculate about why the driver beeped their horn at you but they have made you aware of their presence and waited until the incoming traffic had cleared before they overtook.”

On that final point, Richard told us: “I wonder whether the driver would have waited for a gap in the oncoming traffic if I had been closer to the kerb.”

If you’re a regular reader of this feature, you’ll be aware that many of the videos we publish show the opposite of that – a motorist overtaking a cyclist despite oncoming traffic, putting the rider, the occupants of other vehicles and, of course, themselves at risk, and the implication of the officer’s comment is that had that been the case here, action would have been taken.

The lack of action by police on the overtake didn’t come as a surprise to Richard, but there was another reason he decided to upload it.

“I wasn't expecting any outcome from the close pass aspect but I submitted it because when I checked on the gov web site it said that the car did not have a valid MOT,” he explained.

In response, Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “The MOT issue is highlighted on the computer and hopefully an officer will be able to stop the driver prior to them renewing their MOT.”

> 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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