A video of a close pass in Cheshire last month that forced a cyclist to stop at the side of the road turned out not to be close enough for police to refer the matter for prosecution, leaving the rider frustrated at the lack of action against the van driver involved.
Róisín, the road.cc reader who sent in the clip, told us: “This pass actually had me pull off the road, as I could hear that the driver (white VW Transporter DC66 UAK) approaching from behind had absolutely no intention of waiting until it was safe to pass, and I was afraid the driver would simply pull over into me in order to avoid hitting the oncoming car.”
However, when she sent the footage to Cheshire Police, she was told that the driver would not be prosecuted because the incident did not meet the force’s minimum criteria for taking further action. The force said:
On this occasion we will not be proceeding with a formal prosecution against any parties involved.
This is because the incident in the footage you’ve supplied doesn’t demonstrate the minimum threshold of what we would be looking for in order to pursue any offences so on this occasion no action can be taken against another party but thanks for letting us know, I’ve logged the details in case it comes to our attention again.
Reason being from the footage I don’t see the overtake close to the mouth of the blind bend and I don’t see the close pass.
When the van passes the O/S wheels are over the hazard line of the opposing lane.
I accept the van could of caused the mini to slow / move position but it would not justify prosecution.
From the police data-base there are no other complaints regarding this incident.
“It strikes me as odd that, whenever the police do a 'Close Pass' operation, they always find plenty of drivers to educate/prosecute, and yet all too often when cyclists submit videos of frightening experiences such as this one, the police don't see anything wrong with it,” Róisín said.
“It takes a good two hours or more to make a submission, and it is frustrating when nothing is done about the dangerous drivers who are putting cyclists' lives at risk and putting people off cycling.
“I don't know how the police forces decide who to put in charge of assessing these submissions, but I get the impression they are not cyclists,” she added.
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.
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.