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Near Miss of the Day 794, updated: Police say driver should have been prosecuted after passing cyclists signalling right

“It is these types of cases that can cause cyclists to believe we are not taking their plight seriously, but I can assure you we are,” said Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Traffic Unit manager

A Traffic Unit manager at Gloucestershire Constabulary has said that a driver should have been prosecuted for overtaking a group of cyclists who were signalling to turn right, after one of his colleagues chastised the riders for not turning quickly enough.

“I would not prosecute this as you had slowed to a virtual stop to talk with your friend after you had signalled rather than continuing to go round the corner,” the police originally told road.cc reader Andy, who submitted the above footage of the incident (which can be viewed from 1:30 into the video).

However, after we got in touch with Gloucestershire Constabulary following the publication of Monday’s Near Miss, the force’s Traffic Unit manager Robert Vestey confirmed that the driver in the video “should not be overtaking at a junction” and that they should have been prosecuted.

“These cases often get sent out to area constables to deal with and, as a result, their response is inconsistent,” Vestey told road.cc.

“We have now set up a dashcam unit to try and bring some consistency to what we proceed with. I’ve viewed the video and checked our systems, annoyingly this case was not put through our process but probably sent out to an area team.”

He continued: “In my view an offence of due care could have been proceeded with if we’d received the footage and were able to send out a notice of intended prosecution to the registered keeper within 14 days of the offence.

“It is these types of cases that can cause cyclists to believe we are not taking their plight seriously, but I can assure you we are. That vehicle should not be overtaking at a junction.

“We proceed with about 50 percent of cases reported and the most common reasons why we don’t relate to the time since the footage was taken being too long, the close pass allegation (bearing in mind a close pass itself is not an offence but due care is), not being clear enough to show how it affected the rider, or the video itself just not sufficiently evidencing/proving the offence alleged.

“These are a mine field which is why consistency is so important and I hope we manage to reduce the cases that slip the net. We would ask that the best way for these to be reported is via the single on-line home and we then should be able to pick them up. We hope to have a dedicated on-line portal up and running in the next few months.

“We don’t always get it right, but we need to be upfront when we don’t and try and explain what we are trying to do.”

You can read Monday’s original Near Miss of the Day article below:

Gloucestershire Police started a Near Miss of the Day debate after NMotD 763 when the force said the driving wasn't "poor enough" despite the motorist pushing past a cyclist on a tight bend into oncoming traffic.

That caused plenty of discussion, and following some extra questions from us, the force doubled down, saying: "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."

Anyway, the point is we're back in Gloucestershire for today's submission, which starts just after 1:30 into the video above.

road.cc reader Andy explains: "This was on the evening of the 8th June, about 8pm, in Minchinhampton — a small Gloucestershire town, very quiet and rural. Local cycling club outing. About eight riders. I happened to be at the front chatting to a mate.

"We both checked behind and began signalling ahead of the junction, we started to slowly turn but the car driver appears to have started to overtake the main group further back so just carried on. I was clearly signalling the entire manoeuvre. 

"Fortunately I was hesitating and cycling slowly as I sensed the driver wasn't going to wait. The PC from Gloucestershire Police dismissed outright initially as the wrong date on the video. I offered witnesses to confirm, including the local vicar, so he then replied that I had come to a virtual standstill after signalling. Not sure how that gives the driver the right of way, my track stands are not that good."

Here's the exact police response: "I would not prosecute this as you had slowed to a virtual stop to talk with your friend after you had signalled rather than continuing to go round the corner."

"I was clearly signalling the entire time, but as I didn't barrel round the corner to get out of the drivers way, it was my fault. Must ride faster," Andy concluded.

> 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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38 comments

Avatar
Hirsute | 1 year ago
3 likes

Gloucester Police have a hell of a way to go

https://twitter.com/passwideandslow/status/1543938038845382656

According to #Gloucestershirepolice this is not dangerous driving around a horse, what a disgrace #mountedpolice #dangerousdriving #carelessdriving not according to@GloucesterPD. A disgrace to you

 

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Bungle_52 replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
1 like

"Every journey starts with the first step". As a Gloucestershire resident  I hope that this journey continues. Thank you to Dan for chasing this up.

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yupiteru | 1 year ago
7 likes

“These cases often get sent out to area constables to deal with and, as a result, their response is inconsistent,” Vestey told road.cc.

As I have previously explained, these desk bound video review jobs get allocated to officers as 'punishments' in many cases and when this happens, the officer has no interest whatsoever in doing the job properly, only doing what means the least amount of work for them, before they get back out on the beat.

Believe me I have insider knowledge!.

It is good that they have set up a dashcam unit as the officers are more likely to have their decisions held to account and performance monitored.

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iandusud | 1 year ago
5 likes

As I said in my comment on the original story, the driver shouldn't have been overtaking on a junction. Any police officer should know this. But surely any video footage of a potential driving offence should be dealt with by a police officer with in depth knowledge of traffic regulations. Clearly whoever responded originally didn't even have the basic knowledge of traffice regs, in which case why on earth are they a police officer in the first place?

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wtjs replied to iandusud | 1 year ago
2 likes

Clearly whoever responded originally didn't even have the basic knowledge of traffice regs, in which case why on earth are they a police officer in the first place?

Many people on here, even now, have failed to appreciate just how thick the basic traffic officer is. They can't grasp the simplest concepts written out in the simplest possible English in the Highway Code, and refuse to respond when their basic mistakes are pointed out also at the appropriate level of English. I have described how Lancashire officers can't understand Advanced Stop Lines- they think that you can legally carry on over the Stop Line if you have already crossed the ASL when the light changes to red. The problem arises because the supervision of the police is...the police

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HoarseMann | 1 year ago
12 likes

Thank you road.cc for asking the police for comment on this.

It's good to hear they've recognised the problem of inconsistent enforcement, the disillusion and worry this causes, and are improving their process as a result.

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brooksby replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
2 likes

Quote:

“These cases often get sent out to area constables to deal with and, as a result, their response is inconsistent,” Vestey told road.cc.

Is that down to staff shortages caused by cuts in funding from central Govt?

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open_roads replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
6 likes

Unlikely - it's a failure of process / consistent application of defined standards. If they addressed both of those areas they may actually need less resource because decisions would be right first time.

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Flintshire Boy replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
0 likes

.

No.

.

Next loaded question, please.

.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
4 likes

So what is it then?

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TheBillder replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
7 likes
Flintshire Boy wrote:

.

No.

.

Next loaded question, please.

.

Is there something hidden under those microdots you put in every post?

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Hirsute replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
5 likes

There are no cuts?
There are no reduced resources?
You do not live in the UK?

Can you write anything coherent?
Will you ever respond to any questions asked of you?
Who is controlling your account today?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
0 likes

I wouldn't be surprised if that was a very pertinent question under personalities in the same body. The writing style alone. 

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
3 likes

"the close pass allegation (bearing in mind a close pass itself is not an offence but due care is), not being clear enough to show how it affected the rider"

How exactly pray, when close passed at 40+ mph by a driver is anyone supposed to show how they were affected ?

Have Gloucester Police done extensive tests on speed and proximity to determine the expected reaction? Then they compare this with the actual reaction.

Am I supposed to fall off, wobble, swear, cry, or do a wout and put out 550+ watts, catch up and punch their lights out ?

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TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
5 likes

It's such a weird response from Glos Police.

If the cyclists hadn't stopped to avoid being run over by the careless driver, it would have ended up with the driver pleading not guilty to careless driving and being let off becuase the sun was in her eyes.

Equally if it had been a car turning right and overtaken in the same circumstances would they have dismissed the footage saying "You slowed to a virtual stop to talk with your friend passenger after you had signalled rather than continuing to go round the corner."?

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grOg replied to TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
1 like

I was turning into a driveway on the right in my motor vehicle and signalled well in advance; luckily I noticed a car in my side mirror approaching at speed on the wrong side of the road who would have slammed into my door if I turned, so I stopped just in time for the idiot to pass on my right; I took his number and reported to police who took no action because I didn't have dashcam evidence.

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0-0 | 1 year ago
8 likes

Surely the Police should be blaming the Sun.
It's clearly shining unprovoked into the driver's eyes.
Please ignore the fact the driver hasn't pulled down the visor to block the nasty Sun's light and aid their view of the road. They have chosen to wear fashionable sunglasses instead.
I'm sure if the case went to court. The Sun would be found guilty and ordered to be covered by cloud for at least one week.

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Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
10 likes

Police response flowchart:
Did the motorist's dangerous driving give cause you to stop?
No: then there was no danger or else you would have had to stop or evade.
Yes: their driving was justified as you had come to a standstill in the middle of the road.

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Cycloid | 1 year ago
12 likes

I have had this happen to me five times. On the fifth occasion I was brought off when I was hit by the wing (Pedant's Door) mirror.
It's right up there at the top of the scare scale, and one of the most dangerous incidents I can imagine.
This is a considered manoeuvre by the driver, who gains no advancement from it in terms of advancement along the road. It's pure aggression.
The police don't think there was enough evidence to prosecute : ergo the cyclist was resposible for his own predicament.
World turned upside down.

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
11 likes

Clearly confected for YouTube clicks...

Only kidding, what sort of Alice-in-Wonderland world do the police live in, "you had slowed to a virtual stop to talk to your friend"? The riders had both signalled, the camera guy was making multiple checks, the only thing that made them come close to a stop was the tonne of metal crunching up the outside. I believe the HC says "DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users", IIRC there was no addendum in the new version to say "unless, like, you think they're being annoyingly slow or something."

As so often with these incidents, we can apply the car test: if instead of two cyclists it had been a car approaching that turn at that speed and signalling, would she have overtaken? Not in a month of Sundays.  

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ktache replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
10 likes

But the offending driver would have been let off their incompetence if the signalling driver and passenger were in conversation.

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Hywel | 1 year ago
1 like

This is one of the stock responses from Gloucestershire Police.  They're completely flaccid when it comes to dealing with this sort of report, and it largely pro-motorist.

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Sriracha | 1 year ago
12 likes

Oh, this is an easy one; the cyclists were two abreast.

Even so, whatever happened to rule 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.

It's almost as if the people who wrote the HWC had reasons for putting that one in.

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IanMK replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
3 likes

My close pass submissions now include several paragraphs reminding the police of ALL breaches of the highway code. One this weekend started on a narrower stretch of road continued over a right hand junction all approaching a left hand junction and a traffic island with a pedestrian refuge (IE crossing facility). I'm working on multiple breaches must be easier to prosecute.

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wtjs replied to IanMK | 1 year ago
3 likes

I'm working on multiple breaches must be easier to prosecute
Admittedly I'm basing this on Lancashire, which is working on being the most cyclist -hostile force in the UK, but nobody is getting prosecuted. What you're fighting for is the distinction between 'words of advice and a 'warning letter ', which are pretty much equally worthless as deterrents

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grOg replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
0 likes

If the cyclist had hit the car in retaliation for almost running him down, the police would have prosecuted the cyclist for criminal damage to property.

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Rod Marton | 1 year ago
8 likes

I know that road very well. Classic MGIF from driver: "I'm going to get in front of those pesky (though he probably wouldn't the word pesky) cyclists just before the parked cars and narrow lanes in the middle of the village". The fact that the cyclists were signalling right and not going through the middle of the village doesn't seem to have registered.

In an ideal world the cyclists would have been a bit further to the right, but with a car behind who wasn't going to stop I can well appreciate why they weren't. This certainly isn't an excuse for the driver. If he is so blind as to miss the cyclists' signals you wonder why he is still allowed on the road.

 

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mdavidford replied to Rod Marton | 1 year ago
3 likes

Not sure you could really ask for them to be further to the right - the chap in the orange was about as close as you could be for comfort to the centre line for a good 45s until they moved in a little for the car coming the other way just a few seconds before they reached the junction.

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iandusud | 1 year ago
12 likes

So as I understand it the police are saying that the cyclist should have continued to make the right turn and get ploughed into by the car driver overtaking on a junction. The conclusion that I draw from this is that unless a car actually hits you (the result of which could be death) then there isn't a problem. 

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wtjs replied to iandusud | 1 year ago
4 likes

I draw from this is that unless a car actually hits you (the result of which could be death) then there isn't a problem

Yes, that's it! No response whatsoever from Lancashire Constabulary to this near death experience at the wheels of the driver of this Sainsbury's 44 tonner

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