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Near Miss of the Day 740: HGV driver (whose boss is a cyclist) disciplined after very close pass

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

The driver of a vehicle subcontracted to Thames Water who made a very close pass on a cyclist in Oxfordshire was disciplined by his employers (and may also face prosecution) – although the bike rider on the receiving end of the dangerous manoeuvre wonders whether the fact the driver’s boss is also a cyclist may have had something to do with the company taking action.

The incident (whihc happens around 2 minutes 20 seconds into the video) was filmed by road.cc reader Tom as he rode home from Oxford towards Thame earlier this month.

“This was one of the closest passes I've had in a while, that along with the bus coming in the other direction it was all a bit startling,” he told us, “which is why I'll give a warning for potential bad language but it all came out at once so the swears merge into one.

“Obviously I'm fearful of my safety here but I was also on my second outing on my new bicycle which had taken 14 months after being paid for to get to me. so I was equally annoyed about the potential for the bike to end up scratching along the road with me.

“Weirdly enough I was expecting slightly more Thames Water vehicle traffic as they were dealing with a big leak in Thame on the day.

“I got in touch with Thames Water after reporting this to Thames Valley Police via their online portal.

“I had the usual guff about how they'll investigate and couldn't let me know the outcome (they initially wouldn't accept a Dropbox link and wanted me to upload the video into the Twitter messages which just seemed to be avoiding taking responsibility).

“I did however get a call on Monday from the subcontractors who provide the vehicles and drivers who told me they'd disciplined the driver (he also mentioned the gaffer was a cyclist himself and was keen to sort this out, which the cynic in me means this may not have happened if he wasn't) and had been talking with the police who intend to file an NIP [Notice of Intended Prosecution] too.

“I'm still waiting to hear from Thames Valley Police on this and to be fair they normally do give me a call whatever the outcome,” Tom added.

> 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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21 comments

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
2 likes

What an absolute cnut.

Double whites.

Should've been chain whipped. That wasn't a close pass. The rear wheel closed the door.

Cyclists. On the roads. THAT IS WHY YOU ALWAYS WEAR A CAMERA. FRONT AND BACK.

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Rockhopper229 | 1 year ago
1 like

It's about time the law was changed to allow crossing the white line to overtake in this situation. Our highways Dept are just putting in solid white lines where they like now and you can't expect traffic to back up behind slow moving vehicles for miles. At this rate we will crawling along at slow speeds wherever we go.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Rockhopper229 | 1 year ago
1 like

So at what speed would you set to allow overtakes in dangerous road considerations. 

After all the only reason solid white lines are needed is because drivers can't be trusted to make a good overtaking decisions as most can't see 10 feet passed their own bonnet end. 

And of course if motor traffic is slowed, it is safer for everyone. 

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grOg replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
0 likes

Motorists in Australia are allowed to cross solid lines to overtake cyclists and other slow moving vehicles; no evidence of this being unsafe.

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Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
3 likes

Re crossing the white lines. Have a look at NMOTD 689

https://road.cc/content/news/nmotd-689-you-prck-close-pass-speed-289183

Driver didn't cross the lines and no action from the police.  Which would you prefer?

I'm quite happy to be overtaken by cars crossing the white lines even when I'm doing over 10mph providing it's safe for them to do so.

In this case the only one which wasn't safe was the lorry which did cross the white lines unsafely (both for the cyclist and the oncoming vehicle) and they should be prosecuted in my opinion.

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StokieBloke | 1 year ago
2 likes

As a few have said, there's a question mark over most of the passes due crossing solid white lines. It looks to me that you were doing >10mph for pretty much the full video, and I counted 20 go passed over solid lines.

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wtjs | 1 year ago
2 likes

Driver is guilty. The word of a 'subcontractor to Thames Water' is worthless, especially accompanied by an 'I'm a cyclist myself' variant. They haven't done anything. Until you get something written about an NIP, nothing has been done- this is axiomatic

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Velophaart_95 | 1 year ago
5 likes

It's not just that driver; quite a few drivers need to read their HC, as they overtook when the road markings forbade them to - unless he was doing less than 10mph - and I doubt he was.

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brooksby replied to Velophaart_95 | 1 year ago
4 likes
Velophaart_95 wrote:

It's not just that driver; quite a few drivers need to read their HC, as they overtook when the road markings forbade them to - unless he was doing less than 10mph - and I doubt he was.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who wondered about that... 

But of course 'Cyclists Are Slow', innit?

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TGT replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes

Just had a look and I'm going along at around 24mph on this bit. And around the same in the 30 limit before it starts to go up hill a bit.
To be fair, most drivers on this road are pretty decent but all it takes is one. Was even closer than it looks on the video too. 

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Fursty Ferret replied to Velophaart_95 | 1 year ago
3 likes

I frequently get overtaken by police cars who cross solid white lines when I'm already doing 30mph in a 50 zone. So if they don't know (or obey) the rules you can't expect anyone else to either. 

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Rendel Harris replied to Fursty Ferret | 1 year ago
3 likes
Fursty Ferret wrote:

I frequently get overtaken by police cars who cross solid white lines when I'm already doing 30mph in a 50 zone. So if they don't know (or obey) the rules you can't expect anyone else to either. 

I'm not in the business of defending the police but they may be on a response - I discovered the other day, somewhat to my surprise, that police, fire and ambulance drivers do not have to have blues and twos on in order to ignore traffic laws, they just need to be on an emergency response. Not saying some of them won't be taking the piss, mind - I used to know a retired copper, now alas deceased, who, whenever he saw a patrol car with blues and twos on, would say, "Late for his tea, must be fish and chip night."

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HarrogateSpa | 1 year ago
1 like

Auto-play road.cc videos...down with this sort of thing.

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
3 likes

It's about 2:20 for those who find the camera angle makes you dizzy.

 

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AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
8 likes

Look at all those passes on the opposite side of the road.It shows the HC changes do make a difference. Just a shame most of those were illegal as well.

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DrG82 replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
1 like
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Look at all those passes on the opposite side of the road.It shows the HC changes do make a difference. Just a shame most of those were illegal as well.

I was thinking the same, plenty of nice wide passes.

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Flintshire Boy replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
6 likes

.

My thoughts too. Almost every one of the overtaking vehicles was breaking the law.

.

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lesterama replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
5 likes

I find it incredibly concerning how many drivers crossed the solid white line. Really dangerous.

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grOg replied to lesterama | 1 year ago
0 likes

Completely legal in Australia, no problem.

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lesterama replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
7 likes

If only the Highway Code said something about overtaking on white lines above 10mph

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IanMSpencer replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
4 likes

There were a chunk overtaking at obviously more than 30mph in the 30 as well. However, most had reasonable visibility sufficient for passing a cyclist, so in terms of relative danger most of them were better than the alternatives that we see every day.

However, generally speaking, I'd rather a motorist crossed a white line to pass a cyclist than trying to squeeze past or ending up blowing a gasket in frustration and doing something stupid. Recently, on the Warwick Road between Chadwick End and Knowle, which is extremely winding and notoriously difficult to overtake on anyway, they've introduced double white lines for about a 2 mile stretch, and there are precious few opportunities for a cyclist to give way safely. Note the limited road width:

https://goo.gl/maps/qrnqLSpYc25KzAwz8

There are places you can overtake with care (especially where it was dotted lines 2 years ago) and you would hope that the presence of white lines does give cause to think.

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