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Near Miss of the Day 725: ‘Boy racer’ squeezes between cyclist and overtaking driver

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

Today’s Near Miss is something of a rarity, as it features footage shot not from a cyclist’s action camera, but from a car’s dashcam. From this driver’s-eye perspective, the video neatly encapsulates how to overtake a cyclist safely and responsibly – and also how to endanger the lives of everyone on the road.

The video shows road.cc reader Stephen, who sent us the footage, performing an overtake on a cyclist, leaving the rider with plenty of room. Just as Stephen passes the cyclist, who is riding in the bike lane, a motorist driving a BMW squeezes between them at speed, barely missing both the bike rider and Stephen’s car.

The rearward footage of the incident also shows the impatient driver preparing to overtake the car and cyclist at the same time as they exited the roundabout, before Stephen moved into the middle of the road.

The incident occurred on the same road where Mark Richards was struck by a hit-and-run driver in April 2021, leaving the NHS worker with multiple fractures in his spine. 

> NHS worker who was left for dead watched motorist that hit him drive away

Stephen, an experienced cyclist with his own fair share of near misses while riding his bike, told road.cc: “I have been commuting on this road by bike to and from work for over 10 years and in that time have reported a number of near misses to police with most resulting in successful prosecutions.

“I was actually driving in the evening after work with my daughter as passenger. As I entered the road from the roundabout, I immediately noticed a cyclist ahead in the cycle lane with a bright red backpack and moved to straddle the centre line to give him plenty of room when passing, as I would hope for if I were cycling.

“I'd also noticed a boy racer in a black BMW flying around the roundabout and approaching me fast from behind. Initially they moved over the centre line to overtake on my outside but then I assume he thought he was a racing driver and decided to cut back inside and undertake me instead, despite the obvious danger to the cyclist who must have been clearly visible given my road position.

“I immediately sounded the horn, as much to warn the cyclist as the driver, and watched in horror as he "zoomed by" (my daughter's words) missing the cyclist by no more than an inch or two. You can see from the rear video the thoughts of the cyclist.”

Stephen later exchanged details with the cyclist and reported the incident. The driver was charged with careless driving and pleaded guilty shortly before the case was due to begin.

They received three points on their license and a £250 fine, which Stephen described as “disappointing… given the seriousness (nearly killing someone) and deliberate nature” of the manoeuvre.

> 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@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

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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35 comments

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bawbag-x | 2 years ago
0 likes

As a cynicist I’d say the BMW driver was going to overtake our cameraman unaware of the cyclist, who possibly didn’t like this so overtook the bike deliberately wide (a car width +).

I don’t know for sure and very sorry if I am misreading this but I think the guy with the camera was trying to block the BMW from overtaking. BMW driver is a t**t regardless.

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Hirsute replied to bawbag-x | 2 years ago
0 likes

"and moved to straddle the centre line to give him plenty of room when passing, as I would hope for if I were cycling"

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wtjs replied to bawbag-x | 2 years ago
1 like

1-post apologist. You are misreading this. 

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grOg | 2 years ago
0 likes

BMW driver was hooning.. speeding and driving recklessly; those typically young males don't heed fines or other civilised punishments; bring back the lash I say..

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griggers | 2 years ago
1 like

I had a very similar incident when overtaking a cyclist in rural wiltshire. A redneck in a pickup, who'd been tail-gating me for a couple of miles, tried to undertake me as I moved to the opposite lane when overtaking a cyclist. Christ knows how close he passed the poor cyclist - I just hope he was filmed and reported!

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Simon E | 2 years ago
2 likes

That's in a 40 mph limit yet the BMW driver looked like he intending to overtake the car that was accelerating away from a roundabout? Must have left his brain cell at home. 3 points and a fine for that behaviour is a joke.

The twat may have sold it now, the last V5C (logbook) issued for WM16 HPN was on 25 November 2021.

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Jem PT | 2 years ago
3 likes

This is terrible! The horn on the OP's car I mean. Jeremy Vine has a better horn on his bike!

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Adam Sutton | 2 years ago
3 likes

Did the beemer even know the cyclist was there? Not excusing this in any way, but it smacks a bit of another case of the idiot not even considering what may be ahead of the vehicle he desperately wants to overtake. Reminds me of this idiot I experienced driving through a 30 zone who overtook at about 60, not even considering there was a smaller vehicle in in front of me. If he'd pulled that stunt ten seconds later he would have had a head on with oncoming traffic.

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VIPcyclist | 2 years ago
8 likes

Often when I'm going to overtake a cyclist, if when I check my mirrors, and a car is approaching at speed I won't go all the way into the next lane, especially if it's a dual carriageway or near a junction ; actually I won't overtake on a junction for obvious reasons. The reason I do this, even though some cyclists might think I should give more room, is to stop the racer behind doing what was done in this clip.

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Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
11 likes

Good job Stephen (if a disappointing outcome), it would be great if more drivers (and not just drivers who happened to be cyclists as well) joined the campaign to make the roads safer by submitting camera footage: it would mean more criminally dangerous drivers like this one being caught, a greater likelihood of drivers behaving better, knowing it's not just cyclists who will report them if they don't, and it might also help move away from the commonly-held (by a substantial proportion of drivers and, it often appears, some sections of the police force) perception that video reporting is "just malcontent cyclists who are jealous because they can't afford a car," as I was recently told.

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OldRidgeback replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
3 likes

Yes to all of this, and it's good that he stopped to exchange details with the cyclist. That was a horrible overtake and extremely dangerous and the nutter in the BMW was very lucky to get away with such a light tap on the wrist if you ask me. Maybe the BMW driver will think twice next time, maybe not.

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andystow replied to OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
0 likes

OldRidgeback wrote:

Yes to all of this, and it's good that he stopped to exchange details with the cyclist. That was a horrible overtake and extremely dangerous and the nutter in the BMW was very lucky to get away with such a light tap on the wrist if you ask me. Maybe the BMW driver will think twice next time, maybe not.

If we're lucky he'll think once next time, which is once more.

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Captain Badger | 2 years ago
11 likes

This was a shit manoeuvre. However did the fackwit think that the camera car was turning right?

Probably had never seen a responsible driver giving a rider overtaking pace before.....

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Awavey replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
4 likes

Probably because the centre line they were straddling is actually markings up for a right turn lane, which is why you need to be mindful about where you overtake in circumstances like this,to ensure other road users cant mistake what you are doing.

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Captain Badger replied to Awavey | 2 years ago
2 likes

Awavey wrote:

Probably because the centre line they were straddling is actually markings up for a right turn lane, which is why you need to be mindful about where you overtake in circumstances like this,to ensure other road users cant mistake what you are doing.

Exactly my thought

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quiff replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
5 likes

Even if they were confused about Stephen's intentions and he had initially obscured the cyclist, surely the cyclist was visible before the BMW driver committed to the move. [EDIT: concur with brooksby - reckon they saw the cyclist and that's as much room as they would have given even if Stephen wasn't there.] Really scary one.  

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Captain Badger replied to quiff | 2 years ago
1 like

quiff wrote:

Even if they were confused about Stephen's intentions and he had initially obscured the cyclist, surely the cyclist was visible before the BMW driver committed to the move. Really scary one.  

Oh yes, like I said the only blame lies with the BMW driver.

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swldxer | 2 years ago
3 likes

LICENCE in the UK.

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Secret_squirrel replied to swldxer | 2 years ago
8 likes

swldxer wrote:

LICENCE in the UK.

Can I summon you if I say "wing mirror" really fast three times or is there more to it than that?

Asking for a friend.

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Captain Badger replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
4 likes

Secret_squirrel wrote:

swldxer wrote:

LICENCE in the UK.

Can I summon you if I say "wing mirror" really fast three times or is there more to it than that?

Asking for a friend.

Once usually does it I find.....

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giff77 replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
1 like

To be fair swidxer hasn't been rising to the alleged misinterpretation of that particular bit of hardware of a motor vehicle for a while now. 

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Captain Badger replied to giff77 | 2 years ago
2 likes

giff77 wrote:

To be fair swidxer hasn't been rising to the alleged misinterpretation of that particular bit of hardware of a motor vehicle for a while now. 

Hmm. Maybe I'll start saying it twice

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joe9090 replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

Thanks for asking

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HoarseMann replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes

Secret_squirrel wrote:

Can I summon you if I say "wing mirror" really fast three times or is there more to it than that?

There's more to it; you have to say it three times whilst looking into a wing mirror and good luck with that, they're nearly impossible to find nowadays! 

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mdavidford | 2 years ago
4 likes

Quote:

The rearward footage of the incident also shows the impatient driver preparing to overtake the car and cyclist

'Preparing' seems a little generous - it implies some kind of thought and planning.

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racyrich | 2 years ago
7 likes

Not reckless driving or even dangerous driving. Just careless driving. The sort of mistake anyone could make.

B0ll0cks

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wtjs | 2 years ago
1 like

I don't think they will allow you into a BMW Owners Club if you admit thinking about moving aside to pass a cyclist

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benjwharton | 2 years ago
14 likes

I just can't think of one good reason why someone who does that should keep their licence.

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Flâneur | 2 years ago
4 likes

bUt cAr eNtHuSiAsTs dOn'T cLoSe pAsS, as someone who should know better said last week

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Adam Sutton replied to Flâneur | 2 years ago
0 likes

Looked like a twat in a 1 series beemer, but OK.

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