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Near Miss of the Day 780: Cyclist tells police they should be “law enforcement, not school teachers” after high-speed close pass

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

A reader who got a very close pass from a van driver at speed was left unimpressed with the response from police, who said they would “educate” the driver – and told them they should be involved in “law enforcement, not school teachers.”

The incident happened on Wynyard Road near Billingham in County Durham, and it was Cleveland Police – who share roads policing duties with their colleagues in Durham, and who were doing a close pass operation at the time according to reader Paul – that dealt with it.

It really is a bit of a shocker, and let alone the close pass on the cyclist, we don’t imagine there was much space between the van and the car coming from the other direction, risking a head-on collision at what we’d guess would be way beyond 100mph.

Paul told us: “The policeman referred it to his sergeant, who said they were going to educate the driver,” he told us – his reply to the force being that they are “law enforcement, not school teachers.”

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

Over the years 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] or send us a message via the 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 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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