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Cycling police officer catches dangerous driver red-handed during close pass operation

The motorist was reported for driving without due care and attention for cutting up the officer, who was participating in a close pass operation in Malvern

A motorist in Malvern was reported yesterday for driving without due care and attention after committing a dangerous close pass on a bike-riding police officer.

The officer was taking part in a close pass operation in the town, targeting motorists who overtake cyclists too closely, when the driver – seemingly unaware of an oncoming lorry – decided to pass him on a bend.

The motorist then had to sharply swerve back in front of the cyclist as the lorry approached, narrowly avoiding a collision with both the HGV and the police officer.

The officer, who captured the dangerous overtake on his helmet camera, reported the motorist to court for driving without due care and attention.

The incident occurred while local police were conducting a close pass operation in Malvern and Worcester yesterday.

> Near Miss of the Day 

Close pass operations – as pioneered by West Midlands Police – involve plain-clothes officers on bikes equipped with cameras radioing ahead to alert uniformed colleagues of close passes or other instances of poor driving.

Motorists are then stopped and shown how to pass cyclists safely or in some cases, like the driver in Malvern, reported. 

> Dame Sarah Storey joins South Yorkshire Police on close pass operation – and almost one in five drivers get pulled over

These initiatives inevitably gather enough evidence of poor driving for a whole swathe of prosecutions.

In September 2021 Dame Sarah Storey, Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian, joined road policing officers in South Yorkshire for a close pass operation on the notorious A57 climb

Of the 110 motorists who passed Storey during the operation, 20 were stopped by the police for advice on their driving and overtaking skills, while ten were prosecuted for a range of offences from careless driving to contravening double white lines.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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33 comments

Avatar
KRSL64 | 2 years ago
1 like

And if it hadn't been a police officer absolutely nothing would have been done.  You only have to see the lack of response to equally dangerous passes on the Road CC Daily 'I Nearly Got Killed Again' feature to see that.

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Velophaart_95 | 2 years ago
0 likes

I'd always assumed Malvern was a cycle friendly place ( plus producing world champion/ class riders) - obviously not. As bad as everywhere else.....

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0-0 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Is there something in the driver's left hand?

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Captain Badger replied to 0-0 | 2 years ago
1 like
0-0 wrote:

Is there something in the driver's left hand?

The filthy swine.....

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Rik Mayals unde... | 2 years ago
11 likes

I'm surprised they didn't tell their colleague that it wasn't in the public interest to prosecute?

It would be very intersting had this happened in Lancashire.....wait, Lancashire plod would never ever be proactive towards cycling.

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Prosper0 | 2 years ago
14 likes

Over a quarter of drivers encountered on the ride drove dangerously around the cyclist. That sounds depresingly accurate.

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wtjs | 2 years ago
10 likes

The practice: The footage has been viewed however on this occasion there will be no further action as it is not in the public interest.

Although the vehicle could have maybe done better, it passed with reasonable space and as rule 163 of The Highway Code is only guidance failure to comply with it will, not in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted

This Lebus lorry PO14 UGX was doing 40mph. The police are despicable. Lancashire Constabulary has never prosecuted anybody for close passing a cyclist

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IanGlasgow replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
11 likes
wtjs wrote:

Although the vehicle could have maybe done better, it passed with reasonable space and as rule 163 of The Highway Code is only guidance failure to comply with it will, not in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted

best resposne I had from Police Scotland in Glasgow was when I sent them footage of a driver passing within a few cm while I sat waiting to turn right at a traffic light. There were two lanes but he couldn't be bothered moving left into the other one. Police Scotland took no action, they replied to my video noting that he had passed very close "howver, on this occassion no harm was done..."

So there you have it; break all the laws you like, as long as no harm is done there will be no consequences.

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wtjs | 2 years ago
1 like

The theory:

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BillBalchin | 2 years ago
6 likes

What's all the fuss? The driver left a metre and a half - as long as you measure it from the nearside of the car to the stone wall next to the footpath.

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Oldfatgit | 2 years ago
15 likes

How quick to action they are when it's one of their own.

One of us, mere mortals, on the other hand ...

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NPlus1Bikelights | 2 years ago
4 likes

Great to see, shame the operations are so rare.

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HoarseMann | 2 years ago
5 likes

It's good the police seem to be doing a bit more of this at the moment. Maybe related to highway code changes and mobile phone use law update?

Recently Thames Valley roads police have run a mobile phone op and next week they're doing a closs pass of horse riders op!

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Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
10 likes

Compare and contrast with NMOTD 674. "the driver is going to have to inconvenience someone"

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

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IanMK replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
14 likes

I did think the same, reading this article, if you're a serving policeman or possibly a peer of the realm they'll prosecute. If you just a member of the public...meh, not so much

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Bungle_52 replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
1 like

It seems to me that outcomes from close pass operations are significantly different to outcomes from footage submitted by the public. I'm not sure why this is. Acting on public submissions must be far cheaper than mounting these operations and would presumably have the same effect. I wonder if they are not confident about prosecutions as the jury or magistrate would be more likely to take notice of a police witness rather than a member of the public.

May be the same would apply to a peer of the realm but I doubt many cycle going on what is said by some in the house of lords debates on cycling issues.

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wtjs replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
0 likes

It seems to me that outcomes from close pass operations are significantly different to outcomes from footage submitted by the public. I'm not sure why this is

I am! Forces which conduct close pass operations differ markedly from those which don't. Lancashire has never conducted such an operation or prosecuted in court any driver for close passing. I think they have never even issued a FPN or caused any licence points to be awarded either, but it's difficult to get that information from a force which doesn't want to admit failings.

Compare this pass from woman driver of Peugeot 208 MC65 NDF with the pass of the police officer above. No response from Lancashire Constabulary

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hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
10 likes

Nice work, Malvern Cops!

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
17 likes

30 out of 110 drivers were given advice or prosecuted; 27%.  In what other field of human behaviour which could and does kill, would that level of incompetence be tolerated?

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Rigobear replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes

Unfortunately many it appears, including most crimes against women.

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eburtthebike replied to Rigobear | 2 years ago
0 likes
Rigobear wrote:

Unfortunately many it appears, including most crimes against women.

Maybe I'm being dim, but how are crimes against women incompetence?  Unless you mean crimes against women cyclists?

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the little onion replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
3 likes

I think it is a reference to the depressingly low prosecution rates for cases of rape , sexual assumptions and also domestic violence. The vast, vast majority of rape cases go unprosecuted

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Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
1 like

That is bloody awful road positioning on the part of the police rider. What happened to riding a metre from the pavement, or even taking primary?

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Wingguy replied to Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
12 likes

I don't think you can tell anything about his road positioning from the photos posted....

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rct replied to Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
19 likes

That may be where he ended up to avoid getting hit.

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FrankH replied to rct | 2 years ago
6 likes
rct wrote:

That may be where he ended up to avoid getting hit.

Or maybe he was pretending to be the average, not particularly experienced cyclist. They're the ones most likely to be passed closely precisely because they are riding in the gutter and leaving just enough space for an impatient driver to squeeze past.

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TriTaxMan replied to FrankH | 2 years ago
3 likes
FrankH wrote:

Or maybe he was pretending to be the average, not particularly experienced cyclist. They're the ones most likely to be passed closely precisely because they are riding in the gutter and leaving just enough space for an impatient driver to squeeze past.

*sarcasm alert*

Maybe the police officer was riding like that to trap as many motorists as they could..... because it's all about squeezing money out of the poor motorists...

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Daveyraveygravey replied to Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
6 likes
Fursty Ferret wrote:

That is bloody awful road positioning on the part of the police rider. What happened to riding a metre from the pavement, or even taking primary?

 

You're looking at 3 still photos, not sure how you can ask about road positioning? 

At least they are doing something about it.  At least this can be used to try and publicise how needlessly dangerous driver behaviour like this is.

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Captain Badger replied to Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
11 likes
Fursty Ferret wrote:

That is bloody awful road positioning on the part of the police rider. What happened to riding a metre from the pavement, or even taking primary?

It's perfectly possible that had he retained his original position the photo would have been from under the car.

In any case the overtake was appalling, contravening 163 of both old and new versions of HWC. There is nothing the rider could have done to justify that driving.

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Inspector Kevin... replied to Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
23 likes

We're only human. 
 

I had to submit a file to court for one of the close passes back in September but looking back at it - I should have taken primary (long stretch of narrow road, just after a blind bend, double white lines). 

the reason I was in secondary? Probably because I was quite tired, after trying to keep up with Dame Storey's usual pace and also I hadn't heard the BMW approaching at what looks like 10mph above the speed limit around the blind bend so didn't have the stimulus to reconsider my position. 

Basically - there are loads of reasons you might end up in a bad position. It's still not an excuse for drivers close passing you though.
 

 

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