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Near Miss of the Day 550: Unmarked police car driver weaves through cyclists

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

Here’s an interesting entry in our Near Miss of the Day series – the driver of what we presume is an unmarked police car starting to overtake a cyclist and thinking better of it due to a couple of other riders; as well as another motor vehicle, coming in the other direction then after weaving through them, flashing their blue lights.

The footage was filmed in northwest Kent by road.cc reader Philip, who said there was no apparent reason for the driver to have flashed the lights other than because “that for some reason excused and justified their bad driving.”

He told us: “Having just cycled up Hogtrough Hill (just next to the better known Brasted Hill in Kent) I was heading down a quiet country lane. I started taking a left turn, arm out in a clear signal with a car still approaching on the opposite side of the road. The car then continued to turn as I turned but onto the wrong side of the road, towards an oncoming car and two other bicycles.

“The car then had to stop sharply but couldn’t pull over because by this point it was parallel to me and had nowhere to go. It pulled in behind me, allowed the oncoming car and bikes to pass and then continued to pass me. While I was fine and nobody came close to me, had the oncoming traffic been faster or closer we could all have been seriously hurt.

“As I gave my usual disappointed shake of my head that I reserve for this sort of thoughtless driving the car lit up its blue lights. I can only assume that this was to show me that it was an unmarked Police car and that for some reason excused and justified their bad driving. There was no reason to light up its lights after passing the other vehicles and while passing me and at no other point were their blue lights on and almost as quickly as they passed, they turned off their lights again. (Note, in the video their side lights appear to flicker but this is just a side effect of the camera’s frame-rate).”

He added: “I find in general road users’ lack of consideration for cyclists disappointing but it is really sad that I often find that the Police are just as bad as any other ‘regular’ driver.”

> 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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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