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Near Miss of the Day 902: “I can’t believe I wasn’t hit”

Cyclist changed the way he approaches roundabout in Gloucestershire after two previous near misses – but still got a very close pass from a driver

A cyclist who changed the way he approached a roundabout in Gloucestershire after receiving two close passes, has said “I can’t believe I wasn’t hit” when the driver of a SsangYong Rexton SUV subsequently made a very close pass on him at the same location in Bishop’s Cleeve, just north of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

Richard, the road.cc reader who submitted the footage, told us just as with the two previous incidents, no action was taken against the motorists involved other than a warning letter being sent to one driver, and also gave us some more detailed background of his experience of dealing with police when sending them videos of close passes.

“After a year of hearing nothing from my OpSnap reports to Gloucestershire Constabulary I’ve started asking for the outcomes of my reports after a year has elapsed,” he said. “After a short delay and chasing up for the first one I've been getting speedy responses to my requests.

“From January to March 2023 I've had warning letters and one points and fine. That was the first one I've had since my first report in August 2020.

“I've recently had the results for April and all 3 were NFA [No Further Action]. One of them was a close pass at the roundabout which featured in NMOTDs 674 and 848 so I thought I'd send it in to show how things are progressing in Gloucestershire.

https://road.cc/content/news/nmotd-674-driver-inconveniences-cyclist-288521

https://road.cc/content/news/near-miss-day-848-299017

“After the first two I've been taking the centre gap in the traffic calming humps before the roundabout,” Richard continued. “It has mostly worked but not this time.

“In my submission I mentioned Highway Code Rule 153, allow cyclists to pass through traffic calming and don't overtake in traffic calming areas. I mentioned not overtaking before a junction and not overtaking at roundabouts if turning left. I also mentioned the fact the oncoming car had to pull in and stop. I also mentioned I was very frightened. It turns out all these fell on deaf ears.

“Any way, I'd value your readers' opinions of the value of taking the central gap at this point in the road. As I said it's worked well apart from this one.

“Having not viewed the video for a while, I can't believe I wasn't hit. It certainly felt very, very close at the time.

Richard added: “I’ve attached a graph which shows outcomes of reports to OpSnap in Gloucestershire for 2023. You will note a sharp rise in NFA from March 23 to April 23 when this occurred.”

Gloucestershirre Op Snap

> 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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106 comments

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wtjs | 1 month ago
5 likes

I think you're all making the mistake of responding to this obvious nutter as if with a rational human instead of the obvious fantasist and troll he is

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EngFan replied to wtjs | 1 month ago
0 likes

I have had a very close pass experience a couple of weeks ago where the driver admitted and took joy from passing close.  I have studdied the highway code extensively since then to see if I did anything wrong.  I didn't do anything wrong.

It was during that studying I stumbled across this video and sensed that the comments didn't make safe sense.  Comments saying or suggesting that "it is dangerous to ride over a speed hump".  This is rubbish.  Speed humps are specifically designed for cyclists to ride over safely.  It is suddenly swerving to ride between them (in the middle of the road) without taking look behind you which is dangerous.  In turn, a car 'should' not overtake at speed humps because cyclists do silly such as pulling into the middle of the road while forgetting to look behind, but it is not 'mandatory' for a car not to overtake at speed humps.  In this case the cyclist remained in the middle of its lane right up to the hump, so the car may have assumed that the cyclist was going to go safely over the centre of the hump per rule 72, leaving plenty of room for the car to pass per rule 163.

Nine out of ten Near Miss of the Day articles are good.  In this one it was both the cyclist and car who failed to follow rules which contributed this near miss.  There are many other comments which say the same.

By many commenters logic, if the cylist had been approaching the hump at the same time as a car coming from the oposing direction, then the car approaching from the oposing direction would have to stop before the hump to let the bike through the hump gap (because it is to dangerous to ride over the top) and only after that the car could drive over the hump.  This is absurd and irrational.

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EngFan | 1 month ago
1 like

I think both the cyclist and driver broke the law.

Rule 72 of the highway code states that the default position of a bike is in the centre of the lane and that when a faster vehicle approaches from behind, the bike should move to the left to let the car pass if it is safe to do so.  When moving left the bike should stay at least 50cm from the curb.  In this case the shape of the left side of the hump was too dangerous to move left and therefore the cyclist should stay in the middle of the lane, and ride over the centre of the speed hump.  Nowhere in the code does it say that the cyclist should go to the right of the lane and dangerously ride in the middle of the road to get around the speed hump.  So the cyclist broke rule 72.  In doing so the cyclist also broke rule 68, which states that a cyclist MUST NOT act inconsiderately.

The car broke rule 153.  This states that at road calming points such as speed humps, cars 'should' not overtake other road users.  Notice the word 'should'.  It is not mandatory.  I think that the purpose of this rule is to keep inexperienced/dangerous cyclists safe.  The rule does not give cyclists a licence to ride in an inconsiderate way around a speed hump.

So, when the cyclist moved into the middle of the road at the last moment, after the car had already initiated the overtake, the car did break rule 153, however mitigation to this offence is that the cyclist broke Rules 72 and 68, and therefore a warning to the driver is appropriate.  A warning to the cyclist is also appropriate.

The cyclists feeling that in future they should move into the middle of the road sooner also breaks rules 72 and 68.  The correct course of action is to ride over the centre of the speed hump and reduce your speed if you need to.  If you look over your shoulder and there are no vehicles within sight, then riding in the middle of the road to get around the hump is reasonable.

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brooksby replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
4 likes

The cyclist may move over to the left, if they (the cyclist) think it's safe to do so. There is no "they MUST" about it...

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stonojnr replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
1 like

Well just using the rules they quoted and the words they used "the bike should move" & "cars 'should' not overtake"

"Notice the word 'should'. It is not mandatory. "

Nuff said but I wasn't going to engage

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chrisonabike replied to stonojnr | 1 month ago
1 like

Eng(ine) Fan?

I think they're actually at whataboutery/"6 of one..." but also not worth the bother. Opinions on what "considerate" means clearly cover a vast range.

Also Highway Code is not exactly the same as "the law". Some is...

From the video and discussion it's what most people know already - there's *no* place a faster vehicle won't try to overtake a cyclist. Plus at the end of the day there is almost nothing you can do to signal "not safe here". And finally even though the overtaking vehicle starts behind you, you'll still be held at least partly responsible for someone else's bad decisions.

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Hirsute replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
3 likes

Another troll.
Is the football season over or something?

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wtjs replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
3 likes

You bounder! I was just about to write the same thing!!

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Mr Hoopdriver replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
1 like

You missed Rule 67, point 2 :-

"watch out for obstructions in the road, such as drains, service covers and potholes, positioning yourself so you can move to the left (as well as to the right) to avoid them safely"

What you have demonstrated though is why IDS' amendment is insidious if you consider moving right to be 'dangerous'.

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EngFan replied to Mr Hoopdriver | 1 month ago
1 like

Engfan refers to Engineering fan.  Like most cyclists, I enjoy the engineering behind cycling.  I am also a Mechanical Engineer.

Mr Hoopdriver,

Rule 67 is for potholes and therefore doesn't apply.  A speed hump is a calming measure, designed for vehicles to ride over 'slowly'.  Even if rule 67 was valid, the cyclist has broken rule 67 because he didn't "look well ahead" and instead "swerved suddenly to avoid the" hump, giving the car behind little notice.

chrisonabike,

There are no issues with a car overtaking a cyclist.  The issue is when there is not enough room to pass.  In this speed hump incident, the close call and danger could have been avoided if the cyclist had complied with Rule 72 and rode over the centre of the hump (as explained above, it was not safe to go to the left of the hump).  The car would have been able to safely pass in the way that it did (even though rule 153 says that it 'should' not have).  I don't think the driver intended to put the cyclist at danger.  The driver probably got a fright when the cyclist 'suddenly' pulled into the centre of the road, breaking rules 67, 68 and 72.  With narrow lanes, I tend to take the centre of the lane because I have decided that it is unsafe for cars to pass me. 

The reason why I have contributed to this article is because after 10,000km of riding, I had my first incident of a vehicle intentionally targeting me with a VERY close pass.  I caught up with the vehicle, and the driver started laughing at me before I even spoke to him, and then admitted he did it intentionally.  I think that the combatant approach presented by many comments here is causing retaliatory combative drivers (like the one I faced).  The highway rules are quite reasonable and good.  My experience is that fewer deaths, injuries, accidental close calls and punishment passes would happen if cyclists would just follow the highway code rules.  When I strictly follow the rules, it is very rare that I am in an uncomfortable situation.  Where as, people who are set on blocking the road whenever possible seem to get into all sorts of tight combative situations.  It is like they enjoy the personal conflict.

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hawkinspeter replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
3 likes

EngFan wrote:

Engfan refers to Engineering fan.  Like most cyclists, I enjoy the engineering behind cycling.  I am also a Mechanical Engineer.

Mr Hoopdriver,

Rule 67 is for potholes and therefore doesn't apply.  A speed hump is a calming measure, designed for vehicles to ride over 'slowly'.  Even if rule 67 was valid, the cyclist has broken rule 67 because he didn't "look well ahead" and instead "swerved suddenly to avoid the" hump, giving the car behind little notice.

chrisonabike,

There are no issues with a car overtaking a cyclist.  The issue is when there is not enough room to pass.  In this speed hump incident, the close call and danger could have been avoided if the cyclist had complied with Rule 72 and rode over the centre of the hump (as explained above, it was not safe to go to the left of the hump).  The car would have been able to safely pass in the way that it did (even though rule 153 says that it 'should' not have).  I don't think the driver intended to put the cyclist at danger.  The driver probably got a fright when the cyclist 'suddenly' pulled into the centre of the road, breaking rules 67, 68 and 72.  With narrow lanes, I tend to take the centre of the lane because I have decided that it is unsafe for cars to pass me. 

The reason why I have contributed to this article is because after 10,000km of riding, I had my first incident of a vehicle intentionally targeting me with a VERY close pass.  I caught up with the vehicle, and the driver started laughing at me before I even spoke to him, and then admitted he did it intentionally.  I think that the combatant approach presented by many comments here is causing retaliatory combative drivers (like the one I faced).  The highway rules are quite reasonable and good.  My experience is that fewer deaths, injuries, accidental close calls and punishment passes would happen if cyclists would just follow the highway code rules.  When I strictly follow the rules, it is very rare that I am in an uncomfortable situation.  Where as, people who are set on blocking the road whenever possible seem to get into all sorts of tight combative situations.  It is like they enjoy the personal conflict.

That's a whole bunch of bullshit, right there.

It's perfectly simple - a driver has no business attempting to overtake where there are traffic calming measures in place. The root cause of this near miss was the driver attempting to overtake where overtaking was not appropriate and not safe to attempt to do so.

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Mr Hoopdriver replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
4 likes

EngFan wrote:

Engfan refers to Engineering fan.  Like most cyclists, I enjoy the engineering behind cycling.  I am also a Mechanical Engineer.

Mr Hoopdriver,

Rule 67 is for potholes and therefore doesn't apply.  A speed hump is a calming measure, designed for vehicles to ride over 'slowly'.  Even if rule 67 was valid, the cyclist has broken rule 67 because he didn't "look well ahead" and instead "swerved suddenly to avoid the" hump, giving the car behind little notice.

It is also for obstructions in the road,  so you are saying that a speed hump is not an obstruction which is contrary to its design goal.

The driver behind (and you) should have been aware of rule 213 :-

"Motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make."

QED

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EngFan replied to Mr Hoopdriver | 1 month ago
0 likes

If calming measures such as speed humps were covered by rule 67, then rule 67 would mention speed bumps in the list of hazardous obstructions which the cyclist can ride to the left or right of for safety reasons.  Rule 67 does not list calming measures as obstacles, therefore they are not covered by rule 67.  Calming measures are designed to be ridden over safely (in an effort to reduce speed) and not to be avoided.  That is why they are not in rule 67 and are specifically mentioned in Rule 153.

Rule 213 advises cars on how cyclists have to avoid dangerous obstacles per rule 67.  Again, the list in Rule 213 says nothing about calming measures such as speed humps.

It is rule 153 which applies to the car looking out for cyclists who dangerously or inconsiderately ride to the right of a specially designed calming measure such as a speed hump.  Rule 72 says that the cyclist should ride in the centre of the lane (or to the left if it is safe), and says nothing about riding to the right.  Rule 153 advises cars that some cyclists are inexperienced/dangerous or inconsiderate and therefore cars 'should' not overtake cyclists at calming measures in an effort to protect cyclists from themselves.

The car didn't do what is should have by breaking rule 153, and the cycle also broke rule 72 amongst others, by suddenly shifting right into the middle of the road without looking behind.  The car was halfway through the overtake where there was plenty of room for the overtake when the cycle suddenly switched position into 'the centre of the road'.

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brooksby replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
2 likes

EngFan wrote:

The car didn't do what is should have by breaking rule 153, and the cycle also broke rule 72 amongst others, by suddenly shifting right into the middle of the road without looking behind.  The car was halfway through the overtake where there was plenty of room for the overtake when the cycle suddenly switched position into 'the centre of the road'.

The camera appears to have been mounted on the bicycle, not on the rider's helmet, so how do you know that they didn't look?  (Simply saying, "If they'd looked, they would not have made that manouevre" doesn't count, BTW).

I'm pretty sure that priority is with the vehicle in front, and I'm also pretty sure that the HC says for anyone to be aware that cyclists may have to suddenly move to avoid hazards etc in the road.

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Hirsute replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
5 likes

I can't wait for all your comments on nmotd 1 to 901 to explain how the cyclists was combative.

"With narrow lanes, I tend to take the centre of the lane"

"Where as, people who are set on blocking the road whenever possible "

You then act in a combative manner by your own description.

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chrisonabike replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
2 likes

Everyone else seems to have dealt with this (including the clincher from ROOTminus1 on rule 163).  (And the victim has also considered things e.g. whether they should have moved out earlier / their assessment of the driver's intent)

Probably isn't worth it but ... just on the "combative approach ... combative situations ... enjoy the personal conflict" (I'm feeling I've read that here before?) - and leaving aside the internal contradictions (why would you approach someone for a sober discussion - not combative of course! -  if you thought they'd just tried to kill you?):

I've had abuse (including things thrown at me) by drivers who AFAIK had never met me before.  And perhaps had minimal "cyclist experience" (e.g. they were young).  Now I'm stereotyping and guessing that they're not avid readers of the comments on road.cc of course - but could you explain again how " the combatant approach presented by many comments here is causing retaliatory combative drivers (like the one I faced)"?  I'm presuming you hadn't preciously remonstrated with this driver?

Is it because those other cyclists (folks here) are not "follow(ing) the highway code rules"?  Is that where we're going wrong?

Actually, no need - unless you're particularly hot on the science / psychology?  I'm quite familiar with the "logic" which equates "actual physical threat to someone's life" with "annoyance caused by reading complaints from people protesting about said real, physical threats to their life".

FWIW I suspect it's the familiar features of human hierarchy at work: comments or complaints from those we see as "beneath" us come over as "cheeky" or "entitled" or a challenge to our status.  In some people the latter seems to be a trigger for violence.  Plus motor vehicles are force magnifiers - which means "I wanted to teach them a lesson" can be lethal.  Plus the general "out group" / simple "they're in our way".

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wycombewheeler replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
4 likes

EngFan wrote:

 In doing so the cyclist also broke rule 68, which states that a cyclist MUST NOT act inconsiderately.

 

How is it inconsiderate to ride on the safest line for the cyclist (not going over the hump) considering that overtaking is not allowed where traffic calming measures exist? Why should the cyclists stay left to facilitate an overtake which is not allowed?

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EngFan replied to wycombewheeler | 1 month ago
0 likes

Riding over a speed hump is an entirely safe line.  Riding between the humps is simply more comfortable.

Notice how the code says the the overtake 'should' not happen.  It doesn't say 'must' not.  Perhaps consult the definition of the two words.

The reason  why the car 'should' not overtake is the protect the cyclist from their own dangerous conduct.  In this case the cyclist didn't even look behind for a faster vehicle (see rule 72), before going through the centre fo the humps.

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ROOTminus1 replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
6 likes
EngFan wrote:

The car broke rule 153.  This states that at road calming points such as speed humps, cars 'should' not overtake other road users.

You missed the important rule of the highway code that makes your entire argument moot:

Rule 163 - Overtake ONLY when it is safe and legal to do so.

Doesn't matter where in the lane the cyclist is, if the vehicle driver can't get past safely, they should not be attempting it.

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EngFan replied to ROOTminus1 | 1 month ago
0 likes

Notice the word 'should'.  You even use it in your comment.

Perhaps learn the diffence between 'should' and 'must'.

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quiff replied to EngFan | 1 month ago
4 likes

Now do the bit where the driver proceeded with the overtake despite the presence of an oncoming vehicle (which had to stop to allow them through) and a roundabout (which they then failed to indicate for). To paraphrase the quote, one error may be regarded as misfortune, but together they look like carelessness.

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Bungle_52 | 2 months ago
3 likes

Thank you for all the considered comments. I have thought about what happened a great deal over the last few days.

The driver was very close but they also overtook in a traffic calming zone, did not allow a cyclist to pass through taffic calming, overtook approaching a junction, overtook into oncoming traffic, overtook at a roundabout when turning left, forced an oncoming car to pull over and stop, and, worst of all, pulled in on me before the overtake was complete.

After reading all the comments I am led to the conclusion that it was NFA as Gloucestershire Constabulary thought that all those were acceptable because I chosen the central gap rather than the gutter. I have to admit that I thought this would be a definite points and fine when I submitted it.

I have to accept that it MAY not have been so bad if I had taken the gutter but NOTHING would have happened if the driver had obeyed the rules and not overtaken. That would mean adding a few seconds to their journey or more likely getting to the next traffic queue a few seconds earlier.

Will I continue to use the central gap? I will as I feel it is still the option most likely to deter this happening again. I will however take some critiscism on board and shoulder check before moving out and move out sooner.

Just off to book some training now.

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Hirsute | 2 months ago
4 likes

I need more training to prevent 48mph passes into oncoming traffic.

 

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Velophaart_95 | 2 months ago
1 like

So this is this cyclist's 3rd close pass???......Either he's unlucky or there's an issue with his road sense, or lack of it.

I'd be advising him to get some training.....

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Hirsute replied to Velophaart_95 | 2 months ago
10 likes

So you have never had a close pass. You must live on Sark

 

I regularly get close passed here at a blind bend NSL despite taking primary. I  guess I need more training too.

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perce replied to Hirsute | 2 months ago
6 likes

Yep, I must need more training too. I get closed passed at least once most times I go out. Last ride I was overtaken at speed while signalling to turn right, not for the first time. Is it really me that needs training?

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MattKelland replied to Velophaart_95 | 2 months ago
6 likes

Why does everyone hate this cyclist so much? I don't think he did anything wrong at all.

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john_smith replied to MattKelland | 2 months ago
0 likes

Because they think he pulled out towards the car and is then blaming the driver for being so close?

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Backladder replied to Velophaart_95 | 2 months ago
8 likes

Velophaart_95 wrote:

So this is this cyclist's 3rd close pass???......Either he's unlucky or there's an issue with his road sense, or lack of it.

I'd be advising him to get some training.....

I think the only training he needs is in how to get the police to get of their arses and do something about it and we probably all need some of that!

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giff77 replied to Velophaart_95 | 2 months ago
6 likes

I really must get more training then. Even with 50 odd years of cycling experience I must be incredibly unlucky going by your rational. No matter how assertive I am I will get individuals who attempt left hooks, close passes, brake checks, verbal threats on a daily basis.  

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