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Near Miss of the Day 746: "Any closer and I'd more than likely be in hospital"

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

"Any closer and I'd more than likely be in hospital," was how the road.cc reader who submitted the clip assessed this incident from Ockendon, in Essex.

Tony reported the driver to the police, but heard back that the motorist had only received a warning letter for their close pass.

"Had this happen to me last Friday, 8th April. Was out for an afternoon ride to unwind after work, had already had a few bad passes earlier on but then cycling through Ockendon, Essex, along a fairly quiet road at the time had this van driver pass dangerously close, made worse by the oncoming traffic in the other lane.

> Near Miss of the day 745: Impatient van driver waits...but only for a second

"Any closer and I'd more than likely be in hospital right now. Probably saved the driver no more than a few seconds overall. Reported this to Essex Police who felt it warranted nothing more than a pointless warning letter."

On last week's road.cc Podcast we asked if next month’s RideLondon-Essex sportive can help make the county’s roads safer for cyclists?

> Can next month’s RideLondon-Essex sportive help make the county’s roads safer for cyclists?

After the route announcement at the back end of 2021, Essex highways authorities and police were urged to tackle road safety as part of RideLondon’s legacy.

Essex Police then defended its silence over its RideLondon 100 plans after concerns over an apparent lack of road safety engagement prior to the event, citing traffic policing cuts and pointing to ongoing Vision Zero work to eliminate road danger.

> 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 joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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31 comments

Avatar
wtjs | 2 years ago
1 like

I ought to clarify: I followed up with Lancashire PCC as the second stage of the complaints procedure about LC (in summary) essentially doing nothing about anything- serious RLJ incidents, close passing (including me being hit twice by mirrors, admittedly over 2 years ago), double white line crossing etc. LC's own lamentable and deliberately ineffectual, laughably-named Professional Standards Department takes 6 months to say we're very busy and we did what we could. PCC took several more months until some typical female council worker concluded that the police know what they're doing and if you want anything else, take independent legal advice. Remember this complaint includes the indisputable video evidence of the simple RLJ and close passing stuff about which LC did nothing at all- the usual excuse is: we didn't look at the video until over 2 weeks had passed so it was too late to do anything. People have seen these stills too often, but I am unrepentant- here is one which LC did nothing at all about despite it being reported the same day. Close passing, double white line crossing, dangerous position etc. This is Stuart and Braithwaite builder's van DU61 VHJ- I see it around regularly displaying dangerous driving.

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lonpfrb replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
1 like
wtjs wrote:

I ought to clarify: I followed up with Lancashire PCC as the second stage of the complaints procedure about LC (in summary) essentially doing nothing about anything- serious RLJ incidents, close passing (including me being hit twice by mirrors, admittedly over 2 years ago), double white line crossing etc. LC's own lamentable and deliberately ineffectual, laughably-named Professional Standards Department takes 6 months to say we're very busy and we did what we could. PCC took several more months until some typical female council worker concluded that the police know what they're doing and if you want anything else, take independent legal advice.

Thank you for your clarity. The PCC is supposed to improve Police accountability and legitimacy whereas that has not been your experience at all.

Does the Lancashire PCC have any stated objectives and measures of success?

Have they published the actual measures of success?

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wtjs replied to lonpfrb | 2 years ago
1 like

Does the Lancashire PCC have any stated objectives and measures of success? Have they published the actual measures of success?

No idea- the organisation is a waste of space, and I'm not wasting any more time on it

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mdavidford replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

wtjs wrote:

... some typical female council worker concluded ...

Not really clear what relevance them being female has to any of this?

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Vision Design | 2 years ago
7 likes

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, as a company we don’t condone this type of driving.

We have spoken to the driver and pointed out that he was too close, the new regulations state that a minimum distance of 1.5 metres should be left from cyclists.

He accepts that the manoeuvre was not correct and will take this on board when passing cyclists in future. We all make mistakes in life and need to learn from them.

Please accept our apologises in this matter

Vision Design Projects

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IanGlasgow replied to Vision Design | 2 years ago
7 likes

A minimum distance of 2m if travelling at over 30mph or driving a large vehicle.

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MartinW_88 | 2 years ago
1 like

Wow, monumentally impatient moron! Glad you nabbed his plates!

I would say that me personally, as there was clearly a queue of cars behind, I would have pulled to the side and waved the cars through since after all they can travel much faster than me and while behind me present a big hazard that is better being where I can see it. 

However that is purely a personal decision as I believe we ALL need to learn to share the road better and is in no way a requirement and absolutely in no way condones or excuses this guy's actions!

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TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
6 likes

Made the mistake of looking at the road.cc Facebook post of this video..... Lo and behold there are a large number of motorists saying that the cyclist is at fault/was riding deliberately to hold up the driver because they weren't hugging the kerb.

All this because the driver was too impatient to wait about 15 seconds for a safe place to pass.

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TonyE-H replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
6 likes

Just had to go have a look myself and my god, the lack of empathy and understanding of the rules is mind boggling.  So many people who clearly shouldn't be driving.

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MartinW_88 replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
5 likes

I'll bet none of them even watched the video before jumping to a conclusion. 
I saw it on FB first and came here specifically to watch exactly what happened rather than listen to anybody's opinion, and it's a simple open and shut case that the driver was impatient and foolish. 
I get the frustration drivers can face when they are being held up for a long time, but there is simply no defense here for this van driver!

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TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
1 like

Just wondering whether the warning letter was used by police because it was a company vehicle as opposed to a privately registered vehicle.  Because if a company fails to notify the driver there can be no penalty points issued.

On a complete aside, I get a feeling that the company has bigger worries than a bad driver...... Given the fact that in the last set of accounts they owed HMRC over £350,000.... wouldn't surprise me if HMRC is due to file for insolvency of the company.

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TonyE-H replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
0 likes

I did think that myself.  A bit of a poor excuse if so, thought if it is a company vehicle then if the company fails to identify the driver the company itself can/will be fined at least.

Interesting on their accounts does seem like they are in a bit of trouble.

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Legin | 2 years ago
7 likes

Essex Police were cut beyond the bone by the Conservative Governement during "Austerity"; certainly up until a couple of years ago there were only two traffic cars on night duty, one at Stanway the other at Chigwell; evidently if they had a call out at In the Southend Basildon area they used to race each other to see who could get there first!

Our current cock of a Prime Minister claims they are recruiting more police in his regular spot the liar speeches, they are, just not to the levels they cut by.

The biggest cocks are the Essex voting public a majority of whom will vote Tory as long as they have a breath in their body. This of course ensures MP's like the dispicable Pritti Patel is vested on this country while doing a fat Zero for the people of Essex.

I don't agree with the Police's position on this, but do understand why it is.

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TonyE-H replied to Legin | 2 years ago
2 likes

It's not as straightforward as saying there have been cuts, which there clearly have been for years and it has no doubt impacted the ability of police to respond to incidents/reports etc.  

For road safety though, my understanding is that it is a dedicated team of several offices, this has been in place for years with no real changes.  I generally believe that the outcomes is dependent on which officer reviews the submissions, some seem far better at taking things forwards than others.  This to me suggests it's a matter of training for those officers involved. 

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Hirsute replied to TonyE-H | 2 years ago
3 likes

I'm guessing you have already read this but for others benefit

https://twitter.com/CampaignCycling/status/1513779581903417345

We have escalated this case to the head of roads policing. The Extra Eyes service should be a massive asset in reducing road danger but inconsistent enforcement weakens the confidence of cyclists in reporting incidents.

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mike the bike replied to Legin | 2 years ago
0 likes

Methinks he doth protest too much ..... in fact I reckon he's got the hots for Pritti.

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Fignon's ghost | 2 years ago
0 likes

Let's do trust that the Directors will bollock the cnut.

Unless one of them was driving?!?

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Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like

No consistency from them.
This one says a course but is not as bad.
https://mobile.twitter.com/CampaignCycling/status/1511825981182459910

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Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
9 likes

Be a shame if someone mentioned that the company who owns the van is Vision Design Projects (visiondesignprojects.com). Would hate for their Google search profile to be associated with dangerous driving.

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TonyE-H replied to Fursty Ferret | 2 years ago
6 likes

Was going to tweet the vid at them only to find their twitter account is suspended.  Doesn't exactly inspire confidence that they actually care about things like this.

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nosferatu1001 | 2 years ago
3 likes

Yay. Pointless warning letters! 
can cops do something a little more productive here?

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TonyE-H replied to nosferatu1001 | 2 years ago
6 likes

I felt for sure this would be at least a driving course/fine + points, to just be a warning letter is frankly frightening.  That essex police feel this is acceptable driving around vulnerable road users is appalling.  As you say a warning letter is nothing.

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eburtthebike replied to nosferatu1001 | 2 years ago
5 likes

nosferatu1001 wrote:

Yay. Pointless warning letters! 
can cops do something a little more productive here?

I wonder if the police have any data about the effects of warning letters?  If they can't prove that they work, then they are absolutely pointless.

We can't prove that they don't, but it is their job to make the roads safe, and if they can't prove that they are doing that, they aren't doing their job.  So the police are wasting police time by doing something that is a waste of time.  Who do I report this crime to?

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nosferatu1001 replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
1 like

They only care when it's a police officer that gets close passed, in the main. 

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lonpfrb replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
3 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

Who do I report this crime to?

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) responsible for Essex

https://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/

pfcc [at] essex.police.uk

Posted on Mar 25th 2022

VISION ZERO

No road deaths

Specifically Roger plans "Further investment in crime prevention

Our objective is to invest in activities and initiatives that prevent crime from happening in the first place to reduce overall crime and keep our
communities safe.

We Will…

Improve the effective allocation of planned police resources by monitoring All Crime Harm (crime severity) scores and ensuring Essex Police and partners bring down the level of harm in our communities.

Make clear how the safety and security of new roads and developments can be improved."

So Roger is waiting for your feedback on these objectives...

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wtjs replied to lonpfrb | 2 years ago
0 likes

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) responsible for Essex

PCCs are a worthless fiction

Just wondering whether the warning letter was used by police because it was a company vehicle as opposed to a privately registered vehicle

The police get nowhere near this level of complex thinking- warning letter or the even more worthless words of advice because they see it as a quick fix. You have to pursue them to make sure that it takes them more effort in the long run to do sod-all about close passing

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lonpfrb replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes
wtjs wrote:

PCCs are a worthless fiction

It's clear that you have a strong opinion. It would be more credible to provide the facts, specific to Lancashire, I suppose.

It is is clear that Essex do intend to be held to account by 'monitoring All Crime Harm (crime severity) scores and ensuring Essex Police and partners bring down the level of harm in our communities.'

Clearly the Police Service is County based (+Met,GMP) so that service will vary according to local priorities at least. The PCC is supposed to give focus that Councils have not done previously..

#VisionZero no road deaths is a crude beginning to confront Road Danger. So we need to educate the PCC that freedom from death is too low to aim and freedom from harassment is a minimum to deliver Active Travel.

In Lancashire and the whole United Kingdom..

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Hirsute replied to lonpfrb | 2 years ago
3 likes

" It would be more credible to provide the facts, specific to Lancashire, I suppose."

 

It is hard to believe you have made 186 posts on road.cc and not come across a wtjs photo of the inaction of lancs !!

nmotd744

Quote:

Why should any road user have to share roadspace with someone who demonstrates such an apalling lack of responsibility towards / care for others?

Because the unholy alliance between the driver and the police in particular, and society in general think that the deaths of the odd cyclist are an acceptable price to pay for the 'freedom of the driver'. Lancashire Constabulary hasn't told me what happened to the driver of this 'Traveller's Choice' coach 4148 VZ, which was Travelling at 30+ mph while I was doing 10, but it's likely to be nothing or the joke 'words of advice'. LC thinks they can get away with just refusing to reply, but you have to keep going and present big bunches of evidence that the b******s are doing nothing about offences against cyclists

//cdn.road.cc/sites/default/files/styles/main_width/public/ClosePassTravellersChoiceCoach-21Feb22-0004.jpg)

nmotd 743

Cyclists: "Because when we ride single file you do dangerous shit like this."

Or this, by BMW YK16 GXU, at well over 50 mph AND crossing the unbroken white line

 

//cdn.road.cc/sites/default/files/styles/main_width/public/ClosePassBMW-3Apr22-0002.jpg)

mnotd738

don't worry, I'm sure there's something we can do to get you off the hook. All the best, the police

They try their best, even with really tough cases. Wonder what they're going to do about this- not only is scaffolder's lorry MX55 YKN crossing the stop line 0.45 seconds after the lights changed to red, but it's listed by DVSA as untaxed since 20.7.09 and never having taken an MOT test. Now you, like me, may well think that this is incredible even for Lancashire! Surely, the Filth must have clocked this vehicle at some stage even though they try very hard not to- so there could be something wrong with the data. The police won't mention it when they send me the infamous 'no-action action letter' which includes the possibility that they might decide to do nothing or give 'words of advice', so it's another one on the list for finding out the actual outcome. Lancashire characteristically doesn't respond to such requests, so I have to keep harassing them. We shall see whether taxation and MOT has been abandoned for certain HGV's in Lancashire.

//cdn.road.cc/sites/default/files/styles/main_width/public/RedLightCrossLorry-25Mar22-0003_Crop.jpg)

 

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lonpfrb replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes
hirsute wrote:

" It would be more credible to provide the facts, specific to Lancashire, I suppose."

 

It is hard to believe you have made 186 posts on road.cc and not come across a wtjs photo of the inaction of lancs !!

You are correct, many posts about the woefully inaction of Lancashire Police but no mention of Lancashire PCC that is my point. They are different.

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chrisonabike replied to lonpfrb | 2 years ago
1 like

lonpfrb wrote:
wtjs wrote:

PCCs are a worthless fiction

It's clear that you have a strong opinion. It would be more credible to provide the facts, specific to Lancashire, I suppose.

I suspect wtjs will be referring you to their extensive posting history on the subject, pretty sure that's a few rounds of going up the complaints tree to the top and back down again.

Given "how it is" for cycling in society at large I'm not shocked that this seems to do nothing (well - it sometimes produces words...) In the UK in one sense we're very lucky.  We get the police and legal system that represents us - in a general sense *.  It seems in the UK we're still at a stage where road crime isn't entirely considered crime.  Many people are breaking some of the laws most of the time.  Or at least failing to observe the rules / principles is not considered that important until someone vandalises your car or kills your children.

* I appreciate this isn't so true if you're in a minority group or even female.  Just contrasting with states where much of the activity of the police is in harassing the population into compliance with a suite of unpopular rules or "private enterprise" for their own benefit.

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