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Near Miss of the Day 718: Driver almost hits cyclist on roundabout

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

A driver almost hitting a cyclist on a roundabout in Newbury features in today’s video in our Near Miss of the Day series – but the registered keeper of the vehicle received nothing more than a warning letter from Thames Valley Police.

It’s impossible to tell whether the driver simply did not see the cyclist, possibly through distraction, or whether they did spot the rider and decided to plough through the roundabout regardless – we suspect the latter, and it’s a gamble that clearly could had had horrific consequences.

As for the decision taken by the police to only send a warning letter, Andy, the road.cc reader who filmed the clip, said that to him it “sums up why roads are so dangerous,  inattention is just accepted.”

> 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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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28 comments

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Jem PT | 2 years ago
0 likes

This case looks like a prime example of the consequences of poor road design. I do not know the road but I would wage a large sum that this junction was previously a T-junction, with the minor road giving way to the larger road. 

Highways department decides to make the road 'safer' by installing a mini-roundabout to slow traffic down, but fails to re-profile the road at the entrances to the round-about, so that traffic on the main road is not forced to slow down and can crack on regardless of those pesky cyclists or other vulnerable road users.

There are far too many examples of road junctions being 'improved' like this.

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Captain Badger replied to Jem PT | 2 years ago
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Jem PT wrote:

This case looks like a prime example of the consequences of poor road design. I do not know the road but I would wage a large sum that this junction was previously a T-junction, with the minor road giving way to the larger road. 

Highways department decides to make the road 'safer' by installing a mini-roundabout to slow traffic down, but fails to re-profile the road at the entrances to the round-about, so that traffic on the main road is not forced to slow down and can crack on regardless of those pesky cyclists or other vulnerable road users.

There are far too many examples of road junctions being 'improved' like this.

Hmm, dunno. I must confess that whenever approaching a miniR I slow down and give way to the right. I can't remember when I last looked at the profiling before making my move....

I though it was just 5h1t driving personally.

EDIT: This is a longstanding road configuration looking at teh wear and tear - this isn't a surprise development to people used to that road.

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wtjs | 2 years ago
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No response from LC- Part II

This is Audi T90 JDT after crashing through the lights at 50+ mph, over 2 seconds after they turned red. I'm in somebody else's house at the moment- they have one of these crappy police programmes on, in which the cyclist who goes through a red light is chased hard by the City of London police, who catch, arrest and handcuff him. Many cheers from Mail and Express readers. In Lancashire, the Bad Cops make sure that motorists get away with it- so don't waste your time making suggestions about how to deal with-I'm already trying, or have tried, them

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Tattoojunkie30 | 2 years ago
5 likes

Christ if the cyclist would have been 2 foot forward he would have killed him! But by all means send a useless piece of paper with no consequences - had he hit another car the police would have been all over the driver...disgusting 

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Mungecrundle | 2 years ago
3 likes

Even in the case of NFA in regards to a fixed penalty or summons to court, it would some reassurance to understand if the Police forces in question send a letter to the registered owner so that they are aware of being reported, which for most people would be enough to buck their ideas up and that such reports are kept on file so that any future complaints involving the same vehicle are followed up more robustly.

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anagallis_arvensis | 2 years ago
7 likes

You can't see it from the video but the driver was deep in conversation with the passenger as he went past and so was looking in entirely the wrong direction.

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wtjs | 2 years ago
2 likes

Surely some people will now join me in despising the the police?! You can see how much effort the police will put into enforcing the 'new' priority rules when they don't even recognise that cyclists already traversing a roundabout should be given priority by approaching drivers

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Ride On replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
1 like

I think we are all frustrated from time to time, we may often disagree with decisions by police and courts but I think supporting the police will be much more productive :

- join your local community safety group
- stand as a councillor in a local election
- campaign to set road safety as a priority for your local force
- become a special constable in your spare time and work on traffic
- create a community road safety campaign group which will have a louder campaigning voice

Not saying any of these are easy just more productive than despising the police.

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Simon E replied to Ride On | 2 years ago
2 likes
Ride On wrote:

I think we are all frustrated from time to time, we may often disagree with decisions by police and courts but I think supporting the police will be much more productive

Why support them if they fail to act? What does that achieve?

If an authority such as a police force is refusing to do its job then it should be held to account.

I think wtjs has genuine reasons for feeling that way. Standing on parish council won't fix anything. In fact, wtjs is trying to do more than many councillors do (most are only acting in their own interests anyway) but Lancashire plod, despite having the facility to accept video evidence, couldn't give a toss. With that attitude, even if wtjs had a job in the force it is very unlikely that they could persuade a disinterested traffic division to act.

Perhaps it would be better to ask: how do we persuade police forces to act on aggressive and dangerous driving?

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wtjs replied to Simon E | 2 years ago
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With that attitude, even if wtjs had a job in the force it is very unlikely that he could persuade a disinterested traffic division to act

Lancashire Constabulary TacOps is, by definition, not disinterested but uninterested. It could be that there are LC officers with any knowledge of, or interest in cycling and cyclists - but I haven't come across any yet. As for the useless proposals for me below!!!- there is only one thing, apart from sacking the entire force and starting again, which can change LC, and that's force. Applying that force is the problem, and I'm still working on the b******s. Whatever the offence, they're not interested: close passing, red light crashing, mobile use at the wheel (I see quite a lot at A6 traffic light queues but can't break my cover to get a definitive CyclingMikey view), no VED, no MOT, overloaded LCVs, crossing unbroken white lines etc. etc. These are just Bad Cops, who could teach Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force quite a lot about arranging with offenders to ignore offences

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xtvk9/episodes/downloads

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Ride On replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

Maybe Road.cc could have a campaigning arm? I would be happy to put some funding into that.

Compiling a file of compelling evidence and the inadequate responses, presenting it to your MP, local press, police and crime commissioner may focus minds in the relevant police dept.

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wtjs replied to Ride On | 2 years ago
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Compiling a file of compelling evidence and the inadequate responses, presenting it to your MP, local press, police and crime commissioner may focus minds in the relevant police dept.

I see you're new here. Most people are sick of seeing my evidence of Lancashire Constabulary not being interested in any offence against, or reported by, cyclists. I can assure you that the PCC is also not in the slightest bit interested because Snowden is useless. My MP simply sends back the pathetic lies of the police. I'll give you a quick course:

Stagecoach Route 40 bus in Garstang, Lancashire. No response from Lancashire Constabulary. No reply to questions about the incident. All my reports contain excellent video, but when you have Bad Cops, cyclists are in trouble

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wtjs replied to Ride On | 2 years ago
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No response from LC- part1. This is when the lights turned red

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Bungle_52 replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
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As I submit in Gloucestershire I have a great deal of sympathey for your point of view, however, I do not despise the police. I think either there is a training issue or there is a genuine problem in achieving convictions in court. Neither of these is the fault of the PCs responding to our submissions. The people I do despise are the people in a position to change things and those are our polititians who claim to support increased cycling but are unwilling to take the necessary steps to achieve it. Examples are failure to deal with "hit and run" drivers despite two debates in parliament, failure to amend the law to back up changes in the new HC, failure to provide safe infrastructure for cyclists who are not confident enough to cycle in the road etc. etc.

In this example there is no doubt that the van would have been deemed responsible in a civil case if a there had been a collision, however, as far as I can tell, the HC says SHOULD give way to the right. The only MUST is that you have to go round the roundabout. If I am correct then no laws have been broken. I am not saying this is not dangerous driving just that at present the police may be operating with their hands tied behind their back and we'd be better occupied by lobbying for a change in the law so that these instances, which are blatantly unacceptable, can be dealt with.

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nniff | 2 years ago
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Another classic of the genre 'Two objects on a constant converging bearing will collide' .  The driver kept on going and didn't move their head to look around the A pillar.  The rider kept going, with right of way.  The angle remains the same, so the rider remains hidden.  The nagle only changes when the rider brakes.

Clear due care and attention (and ignorance of the importanace of a driver moving their head if rolling up to any intersection).  Equally, as a cyclist, if you can't see their head it's going to go wrong really fast.  Whether they actually process what they see properly is annoter matter

 

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anagallis_arvensis replied to nniff | 2 years ago
12 likes

I think you can see from the clip the rider didn't keep going, if I had I'd be dead. I had spotted the van coming from quite a distance away.

The driver was talking to the passengers, any pillars were incidental.

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HoarseMann | 2 years ago
5 likes

Andy is right, inattention is absolutely accepted by Thames Valley Police. At least they're upfront about it in their published solvability matrix :

Quote:

A decision has been taken by the force that the majority of driving complaints will not be formally investigated unless the manner of driving meets the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) threshold for dangerous driving.

Some consolation that a warning letter is better than no further action.

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IanMK replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
5 likes

But this doesn't explain why the threshold is set at dangerous driving rather than careless driving.

Careless driving
Codes CD10 to CD30 must stay on a driving record for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
CD10 Driving without due care and attention 3 to 9
CD20 Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users 3 to 9
CD30 Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users 3 to 9

I understand many drivers would worry about getting 3 points for a 'momentary lapse in concentration' but that's a failure of the endorsement system. There aren't many offences that attract less than 3 points. Eg If we knew a close pass, that could be considered inconsiderate, was 1 point then I don't think there would be any emotional response from the majority of drivers. I also believe more cyclists would run cameras and repeat offenders would eventually lose their licence.

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HoarseMann replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
11 likes

If you look at the definition of dangerous driving on the CPS website, there is a list of circumstances that are likely to be characterised as dangerous driving. The top two are:

  • racing or competitive driving
  • failing to have a proper and safe regard for vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders, the elderly and pedestrians or when in the vicinity of a pedestrian crossing, hospital, school or residential home

Weirdly, they seem to have missed that second one out on their solvability matrix and swapped it for some comment about it being over a sustained period. Yet further down the CPS list we have the following:

  • a brief but obvious danger arising from a seriously dangerous manoeuvre. This covers situations where a driver has made a mistake or an error of judgement that was so substantial that it caused the driving to be dangerous even for only a short time. Cases that illustrate this principle include:
  • Gen's Reference No 32 of 2001 (2002) 1 Cr. App. R. (S) 121 (offender failed to stop at a junction where there was a give way sign, failing to see a taxi that was being driven across the junction perfectly properly and colliding with it);

I would like to see greater use of the careless driving FPN for instances such as this NMOTD. They're quite happy to give out FPN's for speeding, even when nobody else has been put at risk. You can't expect zero-tolerance, but I would expect more than zero-enforcement!

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IanMK replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
4 likes

I still think that this case is still most likely to be prosecuted under driving without due care and attention. In the guidance it's most closely covered by.

There are decided cases that provide some guidance as to the driving that courts will regard as careless or inconsiderate and the following examples are typical of what we are likely to regard as careless driving:
emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle;

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HoarseMann replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
3 likes

You are right it would not be prosecuted as dangrous. But it passes the dangerous threshold, so would be considered for some form of enforcement action by TVP.

Despite TVP leaving out the bits about vulnerable road users in their solvability matrix, maybe they have taken action. I guess a warning letter is some action.

I agree with you it would most likely be due care, but it would not need to be court. A FPN for due care/inconsiderate/careless could be issued.

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Bucks Cycle Cammer replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
3 likes

A warning letter or call is sort of acceptable (30 out of 34 of mine 'actioned' by TVP last year had one) if we could be confident it actually meant something.  However, it is only relevant within the same force - hop over the border and there's no record - and I heard recently that they only keep a record for 3 months in any case (but I admit that's only anectodal).

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HoarseMann replied to Bucks Cycle Cammer | 2 years ago
4 likes

Yep, I agree there are some circumstances where a call/letter might work (close passes at low speed or other low risk situations where 'SHOULD' type rules have been broken).

In this case, I think disaster was only averted by the cyclists quick reactions and it involved a clear breach of a 'MUST' instruction (i.e. it was an indisputable breach of the law, note the additional 'give way' markings). So I would have thought an FPN more appropriate.

The 3 month rule is no anecdote. It's there in the solvibility matrix...

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Bucks Cycle Cammer replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
2 likes

Yes. Either "without due care & attention" or "without reasonable consideration". The cyclist was definitely 'inconvenienced by the manner of driving'.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/road-traffic-charging#_Toc778021

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zero_trooper replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
3 likes

You're quite right. In these circumstances a FPN would be entirely appropriate way to protect vulnerable road users.

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iandusud replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
3 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

Andy is right, inattention is absolutely accepted by Thames Valley Police. At least they're upfront about it in their published solvability matrix :

Quote:

A decision has been taken by the force that the majority of driving complaints will not be formally investigated unless the manner of driving meets the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) threshold for dangerous driving.

Some consolation that a warning letter is better than no further action.

The implication of this statement is that Driving without due care and attention is acceptable. 

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HoarseMann replied to iandusud | 2 years ago
5 likes
iandusud wrote:

The implication of this statement is that Driving without due care and attention is acceptable. 

That is true, but only for car-on-car allegations of poor driving. If a vulnerable road user is involved, then it's more likely to be characterised as dangerous driving (even if it is not prosecuted as such). Although the TVP solvability matrix doesn't mention this, it is clearly stated on the CPS website.

I can just about agree with that for a car-on-car incident of poor driving; the risk of harm for the drivers is fairly well balanced, both being contained in safety cages. But for cyclists, the only protection we have is the law.

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Ride On replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like

But for cyclists, the only protection we have is the law.

And your wits!

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