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Near Miss of the Day 763: "Driving isn't poor enough" according to police

UPDATE: “In this instance the manner of driving did not appear to cause the cyclist any raised risk,” says Gloucestershire Police

UPDATE: Earlier this month, road.cc reader Richard sent us this footage of a motorist overtaking a cyclist on a tight bend, directly towards two oncoming vehicles.

According to Gloucestershire Police, however, that spot of questionable driving wasn’t enough to warrant a prosecution.

As we reported at the time, the force told Richard: “I have watched the video. The vehicle moves over for the other vehicle once the car is passed you. The driving isn't poor enough for me to prosecute them for careless driving.”

So, as Richard put it, “this is the standard of a 'careful and competent driver' in Gloucestershire”.

> Near Miss of the Day 762: The Friday fun day skateboard rider left-hook edition

As Richard was told that the driving on show wasn’t “poor enough” for the motorist to be prosecuted, we got in touch with Gloucestershire Police to clarify matters.

After a few weeks, they finally responded with the following statement from one of their investigating officers:

“As the driver continues around the bend, having passed the cyclist, the car approaching in the opposite direction means that the driver pulls towards the left.

“While the car driver could have waited until both them and the cyclist had turned the corner, in this instance the manner of driving did not appear to cause the cyclist any raised risk.”

I’m not sure Richard would agree…

> 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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32 comments

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Gus T | 1 year ago
1 like

Maybe I'm getting mixed up but I was of the belief that the flashing amber lights on each corner of a car were called indicators because they indicate to other road users, and pedestrians, what you are going to do. The current trend of some irresponsible organisations of saying that "you should know what I am going to do" is irresponsible and victim blaming.

No-one but you knows what you are going to do so it is your responsibility to let them know.

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zideriup replied to Gus T | 1 year ago
0 likes

Couldn't agree more. I've certainly been in the position where I have emerged at a junction at night and would have appreciated a signal from somebody who most likely held the view that 'nobody is around so I'll not bother signalling'. 

My view is like yours, to always make intentions known. Roads are dynamic environments and just because there might not be a road user around to appreciate a signal at the start of a manoeuvre doesn't mean a road user might come round a corner or emerge at a junction at any point of the manoeuvre.

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eburtthebike | 1 year ago
5 likes

“While the car driver could have waited until both them and the cyclist had turned the corner, in this instance the manner of driving did not appear to cause the cyclist any raised risk.”

What they mean is that "While the car driver SHOULD have waited......"

Overtaking on a bend is ipso facto, dangerous.  As for raised risk, the officer who wrote that drivel should be made to ride a bike and be passed by a driver doing what this driver did; maybe then they'd understand that there was considerable risk.

HC rules:

162
Before overtaking you should make sure:

the road is sufficiently clear ahead
road users are not beginning to overtake you
there is a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake.

163
Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should:

move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking, once you have started to overtake. Allow plenty of room. Move back to the left as soon as you can but do not cut in

give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders and horse drawn vehicles at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211 to 215). As a guide:

leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds

you should wait behind the motorcyclist, cyclist, horse rider, horse drawn vehicle or pedestrian and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.

166
DO NOT overtake if there is any doubt, or where you cannot see far enough ahead to be sure it is safe. For example, when you are approaching:

a corner or bend.

167
DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example

approaching or at a road junction on either side of the road

Nice to see Glos police applying the rules to protect vulnerable road users.  I'm rather concerned as a resident of Gloucestershire that the HC doesn't apply here.

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nordog | 1 year ago
3 likes

I had a lot worse than that here most days that had a clear view of any danger of income cars/van etc the pass me on totally blind bends that are even narrower than that wide road, I now ride centre lane most times to stop dangerous passing in many parts of my local small town.

 

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Rekrab replied to nordog | 1 year ago
1 like
nordog wrote:

I had a lot worse than that here most days that had a clear view of any danger of income cars/van etc the pass me on totally blind bends that are even narrower than that wide road, I now ride centre lane most times to stop

dangerous passing in many parts of my local small town.

 

Totally agree had the cyclist blocked the driver by going to the right of those potholes and not the left this would not have happened. Hugging the kerb invites close passes

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Hywel | 1 year ago
0 likes

Glos Police has a very lazy attitude to dealing with poor driving standards that affect cyclists, despite having put up a load of posters reminding drivers to give cyclists room. It's in their DNA.

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wtjs replied to Hywel | 1 year ago
0 likes

Glos Police has a very lazy attitude to dealing with poor driving standards that affect cyclists, despite having put up a load of posters reminding drivers to give cyclists room.  It's in their DNA.

Similarly, Lancashire Constabulary put up 3 combined 'Pass Safely' and '1.5 metres' signs on successive lamp-posts near my house. I filmed people performing gross close-passes right by the signs, and LC just ignores the reports. Hypocrisy is also in police DNA

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NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
4 likes

"Drive like an idiot, lose your car" say police as they seize Audi.

At least some police officers actually care about their job.

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes

It's only a minor compared to the ridiculously dangerous driving, but the give way markings on the road to the front right show that the road going round to the left is a bend, not a turning, so the driver should not be signalling, another little indicator (ha!) that they are not competent.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

Noticed the same thing. First thought the driver was indicating to "alert" the cyclist that they would be pulling in and then realised they were signalling for the "turn". At a guess they didn't know the area which again, means they should have waitied behind cyclist could have gone straight.

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Velophaart_95 replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes

I see this quite often, drivers indicating when they don't need to  - and annoyingly, some expect you to....why??  In fact it happened to me on a bike; the road bends round to the right - straight on is a 'left turn' - and a driver expected me to signal right.....

Are people really that incompetent? The answer is 'Yes'.

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Awavey replied to Velophaart_95 | 1 year ago
1 like

I often wonder when a car has overtaken me and then indicates left, and theres not a left turn in sight, whether its not like a sort of passive aggressive keep left you cyclist kind of message.

here it could easily be they just were following satnav, they dont handle those kinds of road situations that well and will often say turn left in instruction to a road thats just going left.

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eburtthebike replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
4 likes
Awavey wrote:

I often wonder when a car has overtaken me and then indicates left, and theres not a left turn in sight, whether its not like a sort of passive aggressive keep left you cyclist kind of message.

They are merely following good driving practice, and having indicated right to pass you, they then indicate left to pull back in.

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Awavey replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
2 likes

no its not good driving practice, IMO at least, or my driving instructor  1 who always said unless you are on a multi lane carriageway, were where you are going is important to indicate, we drive on the left in the UK, and you are expected to return to the left hand side of the road you are on anyway after overtaking anyway, so indicating left after an overtake of a cyclist could easily be misinterpreted that you are doing something more than overtaking like pulling over to the left & stopping at the side of the road, or taking a left turn into a driveway instead of an actual road, and so on.

its the same as cycling in terms of you signal to benefit road users behind you, you dont just signal because thats what youve been programmed to do because that actually shows you arent thinking about what you are doing and being observant, which is not the mindset you need on the road.

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Gus T replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
1 like
Awavey wrote:

no its not good driving practice, IMO at least, or my driving instructor  1 who always said unless you are on a multi lane carriageway, were where you are going is important to indicate, we drive on the left in the UK, and you are expected to return to the left hand side of the road you are on anyway after overtaking anyway, so indicating left after an overtake of a cyclist could easily be misinterpreted that you are doing something more than overtaking like pulling over to the left & stopping at the side of the road, or taking a left turn into a driveway instead of an actual road, and so on.

its the same as cycling in terms of you signal to benefit road users behind you, you dont just signal because thats what youve been programmed to do because that actually shows you arent thinking about what you are doing and being observant, which is not the mindset you need on the road.

I remember a  TV documentary called "GLF" where a Police driving instructor  said you don't need to signal when pulling in after overtaking, unfortunately he forgot to acknowledge that there are other vehicles around and pulling in without signalling is dangerous.

Look around you and see the number of idiots who regard indicators as very fragile optional extras so don't use them at all.

It's better to keep a good habit then a bad habit.

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Awavey replied to Gus T | 1 year ago
0 likes

But that's the curious point, you wouldnt expect based on the average driver use of indicators, theyd be used at all, yet it's a near 90% conformance to application of the left signal after theyve passed, I've no idea without a rear facing camera if they signal right first, and I dont always take notice if they apply the same signals to pass a cyclist up ahead of me riding more in the gutter, though I always feel I get the short end of the stick in terms of close passing.

But it's just something I ponder occasionally on my rides  1

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Rendel Harris replied to Gus T | 1 year ago
1 like
Gus T wrote:

I remember a  TV documentary called "GLF" where a Police driving instructor  said you don't need to signal when pulling in after overtaking, unfortunately he forgot to acknowledge that there are other vehicles around and pulling in without signalling is dangerous.

Long ago I was in a car with three mates and I asked the driver (who was a very competent and courteous one, generally) why he wasn't signalling when returning to  the lefthand lane after overtaking on the motorway, he replied that not only was it unnecessary but strongly discouraged, if not illegal. The other two passengers (both drivers) agreed this was the case. I don't know where the myth that it's unnecessary or even illegal sprang up but it's pretty widely accepted, it seems.

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grumpyoldcyclist replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
1 like

Often the drivers are trying to cancel the lane alert systems which try to 'prevent' the cars from drifting across lanes. If a driver uses indicators, the cars sensors ignore the vihicle crossing a white line and don't alert the drivers, although this doesn't apply in the featured footage.

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Runtilyoudrop replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
0 likes

It's there dinosaur brain responding belatedly to the recognition of your presence. It does not mean anything other than they recognise something happened that they may or may not have understood

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Gus T replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
1 like

When in my car & overtaking a cyclist, I signal to say that I am pulling out to pass & also to say that I am pulling in, it's how I was taught when I learned to drive many moons ago.

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IanMSpencer replied to Gus T | 1 year ago
3 likes

The logic of advanced driving is that as at a certain point you should be returning to your lane, why would you need to signal?

Also, never signal if your signal is ambiguous, so signalling left when there is no obvious purpose can be misconstrued as about to turn left.

Similarly, there is no need to signal when passing a parked car, it is entirely obvious you need to go round it - and if the car is close to a junction you really only should be signalling if you are turning right.

Signalling is only one part of a clue to what people are doing and fixating on signalling rather than the combination of signal, speed and road position - for example, never consider pulling out in front of a car turning left until you have another clear confirmation that they are turning, which is typically reducing speed and watching their road position.

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Velophaart_95 replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
2 likes

Having read a Roadcraft, and subscribed to a few Advanced Driving/Riding channels, that is correct as I understand it; no need to signal when returning to the left lane. Signaling purely out of habit, is not to be encouraged, as it means you're not thinking about your driving.

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quiff replied to Velophaart_95 | 1 year ago
4 likes
Velophaart_95 wrote:

Signaling purely out of habit, is not to be encouraged, as it means you're not thinking about your driving.

That's fine in principle, but I wonder if it stacks up in practice. There's no way for other road users to distinguish between advanced motorists who are thinking about their driving and have consciously decided not to indicate, and awful drivers who are neither indicating nor thinking. Personally I don't see the harm in both thinking about your driving and indicating.          

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zideriup replied to Velophaart_95 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Self-proclaimed 'advanced' drivers seem to be one of the worst apologists for bad driving in general. It's hard to see how an actual IAM-tested advanced driver would condone the shite driving standard that is generally excused by the loud, self proclaimed kind on social media.

Maybe Roadcraft should be updated to reflect the recent changes in the HC because some, assuming they actually are IAM-tested advanced drivers and not a load of loud Walter Mittys trying to argue from an authority they don't have, still either haven't got the memo or think their opinions against the changes ultimately trumps the changes.

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CyclingInGawler replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
1 like

With regards to signalling when passing both parked cars and cyclists (and anything else that happens to be in the carriageway) when driving, I indicate precisely because while it is obvious to me that I need to pull out there is no guarantee that the driver behind me can see that need because, of course, my car is in their line of sight. Having signalled to move out, I then signal to move back to my previous line on the left, as I was taught many (many!) years ago. 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Velophaart_95 | 1 year ago
4 likes

This isn't far from where I live and the amount of times cars have pulled out on me through a conjunction of SMIDSY, I thought you were "going straight on" and also simply "you were on a bike so thought you would have been slow".

The cars usually parked on the bend also make it lovely when there is also cars coming down the "main" route as well. 

 

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
4 likes

How does that not deserve at the very least a warning letter?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

It might have had one. Plod response is that they couldn't prosecute for it, not that they couldn't / didn't take other action. (Although letting the videographer know would have helped). 

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hawkinspeter replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
0 likes
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

It might have had one. Plod response is that they couldn't prosecute for it, not that they couldn't / didn't take other action. (Although letting the videographer know would have helped). 

Possible, I suppose, but I'd expect that to be mentioned in the article.

Just submitted a report to A&S about a dangerous oncoming driver overtake - it's been my first one in ages. I'll probably post it here when I get a response from them.

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the little onion | 1 year ago
3 likes

Institutionally anti-cyclist

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