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Near Miss of the Day 808: Police force changes mind on warning letter to close pass driver (video includes swearing)

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

A police force which issued a driver with a warning letter after a “shocking” close pass, then told the cyclist on the receiving end that they would not engage with him on social media because he swore in the video, has reviewed its original decision with the driver given the option of an awareness course or conditional offer.

When road.cc reader Tony sent us the clip originally, he said: “This happened in Grays, Essex. Had just exited a roundabout and was reasonably far out from the kerb, Range Rover driver decides to overtake ignoring the oncoming traffic.

“They then drive closer to me, squeezing between myself and an oncoming vehicle, forcing me to swerve hard to my left to avoid being hit.”

However, Tony, who described the incident as “shocking driving,” was disappointed with Essex Police’s original response.

“You'd think this was a clear cut send out a NIP [Notice of Intended Prosecution] for the police, but nope, their response was to send a warning letter,” he explained.

“I've shared the video on Twitter calling out Essex Roads Policing, and yes I used some swearing in the tweet, their response on Twitter was, and I quote: ‘Once you remove the offensive language we will engage with you, but not via this platform’.

“I can usually brush off close passes quite easily, but this one actually left me quite shaken for several hours,” Tony continued.

“I fully intend to raise an official complaint regarding the outcome and then appeal to the PCC [Police and Crime Commissioner] when they brush it off.”

Possibly because of the attention the tweet was getting on Twitter even before we featured the footage on our Live Blog last Thursday, Essex Police reviewed their decision, with Tony saying in a new tweet on Friday: “Interesting, just had an email and checked the Essex Extra Eyes website and it now shows the driver has been given the choice of course or conditional offer.”

> 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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