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Near Miss of the Day 736: Taxi driver close pass — no police action

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

Coincidentally this close pass came on the very same road as Near Miss of the Day 733...small world.

There was no six-month ban for this driver, however. In fact, there was not so much as a warning from Hampshire Police who told road.cc reader Luke, the Crown Prosecution Service would be unlikely to take it forward.

"The close pass was on the bridge crossing over the railway line at Botley Railway Station, Hampshire," Luke told us. "In a weird coincidence, this happened on the same road as the videos in NMOTD 733, although on the opposite side of the village.

> Near Miss of the Day 733: Driver gets six-month ban for failing to give way to cyclist at roundabout

"I had come through Botley, which is quite fast and was then cycling up the hill, going towards Curdridge. Although it's a short hill, I never manage to keep my momentum up (partly as the surface is bad) but I was still doing just over 10mph. 

"You can see a couple of vehicles pass which don't give a particularly good amount of space but then the taxi comes to and overtakes as I come to start on the bridge and the curb starts.

"There is a car coming the opposite way and so the taxi could only pass without leaving the lane. As the taxi was unable to leave the lane, this can be nothing but a close pass.

"In addition, there are double solid lines and so, given my speed, they shouldn't have been attempting to pass on any event.

"It happened at about 10:30am on Saturday 15 January 2022. I reported it on the 18th but heard nothing. I knew that they were taking no action as they hadn't requested a copy of the video, which they do as they say they can't take the video from YouTube.

"I decided to chase it up in order for them to confirm that they had taken no action so that I can make a complaint. The reply I received is attached. I'm not impressed, to say the least. Looking at the number of views that the video has had on YouTube, I'm not even sure that it was looked at.

NMotD 736 police response

"I've made a few submissions to Hampshire Police. I believe that they took action in one case as they used my video in a Twitter post but the others (until last week) haven't garnered a reply to request a copy of the video."

> 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

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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30 comments

Avatar
nordog | 2 years ago
3 likes

If your stopped as a driver speeding over 30mph by a very small margin, say 4mph above 30 in a village with a clear road no double white lines and no danger to any other persons they fine you or ask you to take the course on speeding but not it seems on very dangerous driving. Why not?

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tigersnapper | 2 years ago
1 like

Not only close but on double whites in the centre.  Tut, tut.

I notice in the letter they state the number of reported non collision incidents at 12500 - way up from 10 years ago.  Is that due to lack of police enforcement and people knowing they can get away with poor standards these days?  I worked for the police some 25+ years ago and remember my boss, an ex DCI, bemoaning the fact that drivers were getting away with non standard number plates then.  I think he'd be horrified these days!

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clackerty-clack | 2 years ago
5 likes

Next time I cross that bridge I'll be taking he centre of the lane for my own protection.

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wycombewheeler replied to clackerty-clack | 2 years ago
4 likes

every single time.

Any driver who is upset and beeps at you, is a driver who would have endangered you. Don't be upset by the beeping, think "yes, my actions have protected me from harm."

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pockstone | 2 years ago
4 likes

Perhaps a word with/complaint to the Taxi licensing authority might get you somewhere...worth a try?

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Jogle replied to pockstone | 2 years ago
3 likes
pockstone wrote:

Perhaps a word with/complaint to the Taxi licensing authority might get you somewhere...worth a try?

I might send it to the council. I didn't do it at the time as I really expected the police to take action. I've learned from that and reported an AA van to the AA as well as the police last week

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HoarseMann | 2 years ago
6 likes

The police can't blame the CPS for their inaction. They don't need CPS support to:

  • send a warning letter
  • request the driver pays for a course
  • issue a 3 points £100 fine Fixed Penalty for careless driving
  • summons the driver to court for careless driving with a police-led prosecution (driving ban or up to 9 points, maximum fine 700% of weekly income)
Avatar
Jogle replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like
HoarseMann wrote:

The police can't blame the CPS for their inaction. They don't need CPS support to:

  • send a warning letter
  • request the driver pays for a course
  • issue a 3 points £100 fine Fixed Penalty for careless driving
  • summons the driver to court for careless driving with a police-led prosecution (driving ban or up to 9 points, maximum fine 700% of weekly income)

That's really interesting. Could you point me in the direction of something which officially states that please?

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Jogle replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
3 likes

Thank you, that's excellent.

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HoarseMann replied to Jogle | 2 years ago
3 likes

You've got the basis for a police complaint there, as they seem to have provided misleading and false information.

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Jogle replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
2 likes

Indeed, it looks so. I was planning to call their bluff and ask for a copy of their guidance as their reply is not in line with their publicised close pass operation (the last I can find being four months ago) but I hadn't realised that the whole proposition of the CPS being willing to take it on was false.

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wycombewheeler replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
0 likes

HoarseMann wrote:

The police can't blame the CPS for their inaction. They don't need CPS support to:

  • send a warning letter
  • request the driver pays for a course
  • issue a 3 points £100 fine Fixed Penalty for careless driving
  • summons the driver to court for careless driving with a police-led prosecution (driving ban or up to 9 points, maximum fine 700% of weekly income)

The driver always has the option of declining the fixed penalty and being taken to court, at which point the CPS would be involved. Same for the course.

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HoarseMann replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
1 like

The police do not need to involve the CPS to take a driver to court for careless driving if they decline a FPN or course.

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Inspector Kevin... replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
8 likes

Spot on. 
 

CPS advice is not required for careless driving prosecutions anyone who tells you different doesn't know what they're talking about. 
 

Worth a complaint if only to stop that officer using the same excuse in future. If an NIP hasn't been sent in 14 days though that offence can't be prosecuted so you may have missed the deadline. 
 

if the driver opts to go to court the CPS are still not involved - the charging decision comes from the police. If the public interest test and evidential test are met and there is a reasonable prospect of conviction then the CPS only get involved post charge. 

 

If you search for the DPPs guidance on prosecutions you should find all you need to know there. 
 

 

 

 

 

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wtjs replied to Inspector Kevin Smith SYP | 2 years ago
3 likes

CPS advice is not required for careless driving prosecutions

I think we are all grateful to The Inspector for 'spilling the beans' like this. However, he should watch out when next at any police gatherings, and not open any parcels with

From: The Police scribbled out in black marker

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Inspector Kevin... replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
7 likes

I know my force might have been this poor a couple of years ago. We have got much better over the past couple of years. 
 

It does require having some "difficult conversations" when the service is this poor. Only with some pressure does it get better. 
 

And we also still get things wrong, and we have a large number of inexperienced officers making decisions that they haven't received sufficient training for. And in an area of policing that doesn't receive much public support, and with little home office scrutiny or the other pressures like NCRS that hold police to account. 

I check NMOTD to see how other forces are managing things and see if we'd have done things differently. When I started this job the answer was no, we'd be just as poor. These days we are starting to catch up with the Met or WMP who seem to get this right more often. And surpassing them in some areas (show me another force that has done group close pass rides).  Onwards and upwards

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Flintshire Boy replied to Inspector Kevin Smith SYP | 2 years ago
1 like

.

Indeed, onwards and upwards, and thank you for your contributions to making that happen.

.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Inspector Kevin Smith SYP | 2 years ago
0 likes

I know these close pass and Op Snap things are specifically force led, but do the traffic Officers responsible for these have UK wide meetings to dicuss things. As you mention, some of the response are from naive operators, but surely you could at least have a word with your Neighbours in Lancashire who, from all evidence supplied by wtjs, seem to go out of their way to allow RLJ and double white line offences, let alone the close passes. 

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wtjs replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
0 likes

Neighbours in Lancashire who, from all evidence supplied by wtjs, seem to go out of their way to allow RLJ and double white line offences, let alone the close passes

Just for a bit of variety: this is 3 vehicles abreast on a normal suburban road. Citroen CA70 MKC was doing over 50 and left just a metre for me to fit in. Lancashire Constabulary: NFA. Further action not in the public interest. It took me 7 months to receive that information despite numerous requests.

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Flintshire Boy replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

.

WT - I know t'ings is tough in Garstang, but ..... are you, perhaps, letting your unhappiness with the police have an adverse effect on the rest of your life?

.

Only askin'.

.

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HoarseMann replied to Inspector Kevin Smith SYP | 2 years ago
1 like

Thanks for clarifying this and the pointer to the DPP guidance. I only know this from my previous case, which was a police-led prosecution (eventually!).

I do have some sympathy for the police being swamped with submissions, but as @tigersnapper says, this could be due to a lack of enforcement. I am very selective with what I submit, so as not to unduly burden them, choosing only the very worst (4 in the last 3 years). Knowing the process, and the level of evidence required, is really useful to make sure I'm not wasting police time with submissions that won't cut it, but also gives me the confidence to challenge their response where I think that might be necessary.

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Jogle replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
0 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

I am very selective with what I submit, so as not to unduly burden them, choosing only the very worst (4 in the last 3 years). Knowing the process, and the level of evidence required, is really useful to make sure I'm not wasting police time with submissions that won't cut it, but also gives me the confidence to challenge their response where I think that might be necessary.

I am really selective too and had submitted three videos in two years. But it might be, as Tigersnapper suggests, that with the lack of action being taken, driving is getting worse because I've submitted three in nine days. I expect action won't be taken in two of them (people not checking their blindspots although one includes them driving in a bus lane) but yesterday's close pass was shocking. I thought that I was taking enough of the lane (maybe I would have been clipped by the mirror if I hadn't swerved in surprise at the car attempting the pass).

I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to be less selective; it seems like a lottery that any action will be taken so the more I submit, the more likely one will be picked

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HoarseMann replied to Jogle | 2 years ago
0 likes

Jogle wrote:

I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to be less selective; it seems like a lottery that any action will be taken so the more I submit, the more likely one will be picked

I mulled that over in the past. I made a point of saying to the police that I could submit several reports for each ride I do as the standard of driving is so bad. I really tried to emphasise that the report I was making was not an exception, but the tip of the iceberg, and I expected them to do something about it!

I do think your report is a valid one. The speed was not extreme, but it was dangerously close and needless, as there was ample safe opportunity to overtake if they had just waited a couple of seconds.

I don't tend to get close passes like this anymore, as I ride very defensively in the middle of the lane almost all the time. I watch every approaching vehicle and am ready to swerve out of the way if they look like they haven't seen me. But it's not a riding style for everyone, nor should it be required in order to feel safe on the roads.

If you are going to submit more, I'd get that camera mount fixed though! Flapping about like that makes the footage difficult to view and might mean you miss catching number plates.

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Jogle replied to Inspector Kevin Smith SYP | 2 years ago
0 likes
Inspector Kevin Smith SYP wrote:

Spot on. 
 

CPS advice is not required for careless driving prosecutions anyone who tells you different doesn't know what they're talking about. 
 

Worth a complaint if only to stop that officer using the same excuse in future. If an NIP hasn't been sent in 14 days though that offence can't be prosecuted so you may have missed the deadline. 
 

if the driver opts to go to court the CPS are still not involved - the charging decision comes from the police. If the public interest test and evidential test are met and there is a reasonable prospect of conviction then the CPS only get involved post charge. 

 

If you search for the DPPs guidance on prosecutions you should find all you need to know there. 
 

 

 

 

 

Thank you. I'm going to look that up and will certainly put in a complaint. I think I'm also going to try to meet the PCC as, if they take no action on clear cases and don't provide any feedback, there is no confidence that the police are doing anything

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open_roads replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like

Exactly.

Once again the police are lying to cover up their own intertia or lack of understanding of how the law works. Both are completely unacceptable.

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Benthic | 2 years ago
1 like

Just cycle in the middle of the lane and be done with it.

Cycling on the left of the lane is of no benefit.

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alansmurphy replied to Benthic | 2 years ago
0 likes

Benthic wrote:

Just cycle in the middle of the lane and be done with it.

Cycling on the left of the lane is of no benefit.

 

I often think the same when close passed but also think there's a higher chance they would have actually hit and killed me. The inconvenience of a new chamois after wiping my blood is probably worth it to rid the road of one more bloody cyclist!

 

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Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
0 likes

Does Hampshire not have a video upload portal?  Why wait for them to request it?

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Jogle replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Does Hampshire not have a video upload portal?  Why wait for them to request it?

The process is that you complete a form with the details and provide them with a link to the video. They should then get in contact and provide a link to upload it for their "evidential copy", or not in this case.

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