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Near Miss of the Day 907: Close pass driver gets police visit

“My strategy is not to see drivers punished just educated,” says cyclist on receiving end

An Edinburgh cyclist who received a close pass from a driver on a road close to the Scottish capital's beachfront in Portobello says he is satisfied that police paid a visit to the perpetrator's home to educate them on how to overtake cyclists, rather than taking the matter further.

Stewart, the road.cc reader who captured the footage of the close pass, told us: “This happened a few weeks ago while I was cycling along Portobello High Street.

“It’s a busy suburb of Edinburgh, with several sets of traffic lights, lots of shops, bus stops and cars parked on either side.

“I’m maintaining a good speed between lights and am closed passed by the white car. I’m assuming primary to protect myself from drivers on this stretch of road, but this one insists on passing.

“The driver stopped at the queue of traffic at the red light within 100m which gave me a chance to have a chat,” Stewart continued.

“I suggested, politely, to him that he had passed me too closely. He stated he had waited for ages before passing safely. I mentioned that this was too close but he continued on his view that he hadn’t. His perception of ‘waiting ages’ can be seen in the rear view camera footage.

“I said that the amount of time he’d saved was a lot less than sitting in the queue at this red light talking to me. He ended our conversation telling me to ‘fuck off’. Which was a little shocking as he had his two kids, under 10, and partner in the car.

“I called 101 when home and the police attended to view the footage. They determined, and I agreed, that they would visit the driver and if he responded well to an educational chat then no further action would be taken. They called me later that evening to say the driver was apologetic and would be driving according to the Highway Code of allowing 1.5m when passing cyclists in future,” added Stewart.

“Some might see that as an unsatisfactory result, in that no official action such as a warning letter being issued, far less a prosecution being brought against the driver, was taken.

But Stewart explained: “My strategy with these incidents is not to see drivers punished just educated as to the affect of their driving on other road users. And if a visit at their home by the police accomplishes this then it’s a success that makes the roads safer.”

> 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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10 comments

Avatar
bikes | 1 week ago
4 likes

What a joke of a system. A phone call (how long was the phone queue?) then waiting in at home for the police to visit which might be at any time. And then another police visit to the driver's house where you need them both to be in and to answer the door. And presumably it's two police officers rather than one.

Avatar
wtjs replied to bikes | 1 week ago
8 likes

What a joke of a system

It's meant to be a joke of a system! That makes it easier to bemoan 'lack of resources' as an excuse for never doing anything about anything: the police Nirvana. This BMW-driving ponce (PK14 HLW) said 'I gave you 1.5 metres' when I caught him up at the roadworks- as well as threatening to beat me up and knock me off my bike

Avatar
Olbol156 replied to bikes | 1 week ago
7 likes

101 arrange a time for the police to visit. They provide a 90 minute window, and offer times from 7.00am to 9.30am. I have to follow this 'joke of a system' because Scotland will not implement an online reporting system. They've been budgeted the money by the Goverment but have cancelled the project. I'd rather not take up mine and the Police's time bit how else to their drivers get held to account. If he hadn't driven so badly we I wouldn't be taking up police time or be put at risk. The last driver I reported, see close pass 903, received 6 points and £300 fine.

Avatar
bikes replied to Olbol156 | 1 week ago
1 like

I didn't know they offered a time window like that. I thought they just turned up, and never phoned to let you know they were on their way. And then if you're not in, you have to make another 'appointment', a process which will make a lot of victims give up or never bother to report a close pass in the first place. Good for you for getting that result.

The driver in this case will know just to not bother answering his door next time.

Avatar
I love my bike replied to bikes | 1 week ago
0 likes

It will still get any neighbours twitching though.

Avatar
wtjs | 2 weeks ago
9 likes

They called me later that evening to say the driver was apologetic and would be driving according to the Highway Code of allowing 1.5m when passing cyclists in future,” added Stewart

No he won't- although he may well always claim 'I gave you 1.5m', when it was only 20 cms- such a claim is good enough for the police

Avatar
KDee replied to wtjs | 1 week ago
3 likes

You've already made the mental leap that the Police actually visited the driver...whereas I have my doubts.

Avatar
wtjs replied to KDee | 1 week ago
3 likes

You've already made the mental leap that the Police actually visited the driver...

I wouldn't have done if it had been Lancashire Constabulary, of which I have much personal experience. This was the case where LC claimed to have taken action against the Traveller's Choice coach driver- it turned out they did nothing at all

https://upride.cc/incident/4148vz_travellerschoicecoach_closepass/

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Flâneur replied to KDee | 1 week ago
3 likes

I hae ma doobts aboot that too KDee

Avatar
Sriracha | 2 weeks ago
13 likes

Fair enough - but then why is it on road.cc?

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