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Near Miss of the Day 837: Mercedes driver close passes cyclist carrying four-year-old son in child seat

The cyclist says this is the worst close pass he has ever received on a stretch of road in Hanwell, London that he claims is already a "hot spot" for poor driving standards...

Just weeks after a video of a driver failing to stop to let a five-year-old cyclist and his father pass went hugely viral, another cyclist, this time carrying his infant child in a child seat - has shared footage of a driver passing them with inches to spare on a narrow London street. 

The cyclist, Ruairi, can be heard saying "f**king idiot" as the driver of the Mercedes overtakes on Church Road in Hanwell, West London, 20 seconds into the clip. Other vehicles are travelling in the opposite direction as the driver makes the dangerous manoeuvre, with parked cars making the available road space even narrower. 

Ruairi told road.cc: "My son and I were on our way back from his Saturday football training. It's a short 7km ride from Hanwell to Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, London. We travel by bicycle if dry, which has been pretty regularly this year.

"The bike is a Merida Silex 400, with a Yepp Maxi seat... a really good seat and solid attachment post.

"[There is] no real cycling infrastructure apart from bus lanes on the main roads along the route. Although Church Road is a main road, it has no cycling provisions other than bicycle paint marks.

"As you can see in the footage, we are cycling when a Mercedes performs a very close pass.

"This part of the journey is a hot spot unfortunately, but this is the worst close pass yet."

Ruairi says he has reported the incident to the police. 

> 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 ‚Äď so many, in fact, that we‚Äôve 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

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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25 comments

Avatar
Muddy Ford | 1 year ago
4 likes

I'm not even going to bother reading any replies from Martin and his cronies. They are spoiling this site with their incessant attempts to convince people who ride a bike they should stop complaining about how bad drivers are and look at how they are riding. I'll just say this instead, and it can be inserted after all of his timewasting and boring comments. Fuck off you twat and take your pathetic friends with you.

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ChrisB200SX | 1 year ago
9 likes

Should we rename NMOTD as "Troll Bait of the Day"... It seems to bring out the bridge-dwellers and bottom of the internet to give all the reasons they think (I use the term loosely) everything is always the cyclist's fault.

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
4 likes

Great stuff guys!

Bogbrush

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
5 likes

I hope the police take action on this. That Merc driver needs to learn a hard lesson.

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mattw | 1 year ago
3 likes

Two decent and two dodgy.

Interesting road. AFAICS the road is about 7m wide, and the road corridor is about 11m wide and a large majority of the housing has off street parking.

Rurai doing 15mph uphill (not bad with a 4 year old on), and a 20 mph limit.

That looks juggleable to get a somewhat narrow protected cycletrack in the corridor. Need to lose most of the on street parking.

Hmm. Hope it's a careless for both drivers - the Volkswagen one may well be more dangerous imo, not looking futher ahead than the end of the driver's conk into a 3.2m wide pinch point.

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alansmurphy replied to mattw | 1 year ago
3 likes
mattw wrote:

Hmm. Hope it's a careless for both drivers - the Volkswagen one may well be more dangerous imo, not looking futher ahead than the end of the driver's conk into a 3.2m wide pinch point.

 

I don't agree. Looked to pass wide and saw their mistake and bailed, most would have just turned left.

 

The Merc driver knew their wasn't room and moved towards a child on a bike!

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mattw replied to alansmurphy | 1 year ago
2 likes
alansmurphy wrote:
mattw wrote:

Hmm. Hope it's a careless for both drivers - the Volkswagen one may well be more dangerous imo, not looking futher ahead than the end of the driver's conk into a 3.2m wide pinch point.

The Merc driver knew their wasn't room and moved towards a child on a bike!

I don't agree. Looked to pass wide and saw their mistake and bailed, most would have just turned left.

Disagree in turn. The VW driver did not notice that there wasn't room until they almost hit the pinch-point.

The VW driver *started* their passing manoeuvre withing 40m of a pinh-point, and did not back off until they hit the serious hazard hatchings.

What were they thinking, and how far ahead were they looking?

Heaven help in a hazard situation when doing the driver is doing a higher speed and does not look ahead.

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alansmurphy replied to mattw | 1 year ago
1 like

Fair enough, but danger to the cyclist and child in this case was very much with one rather than the other...

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to mattw | 1 year ago
1 like

For me... everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect all the time. The key, for me is realising your mistakes in a timely manner, and making the right choices to overcome. 

In this case the VW driver, realised his stupidity before creating a dangerous situation, and then backed out in a safe manner. 

Nothing to see here... move on. 

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LeadenSkies replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
1 like

That's my take on it as well. As you say, we all make the occasional mistake, I know I can look back at some incidents when I have been cycling and in hindsight say I misjudged the situation and made a mistake. To me, it's about how you deal with issue once you realise your error. The VW made a mistake and actually rectified it pretty well, much better than many. I have had numerous people start to pass me in similar ways and rather than brake and fit back in behind, they have decided to continue anyway and squeeze me into the edge rather than act to correct their misjudgement.

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brooksby replied to mattw | 1 year ago
3 likes
mattw wrote:

Need to lose most of the on street parking.

"BURN THE HERETIC!"

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mattw replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like

Ha!

If nearly all the houses have off street parking, especially in London, I don't see too much of a problem :-). Especially if there is a tube station close by.

Perhaps it needs a car storage facility nearby for visitors.

More difficult in places where public transport is absent, but then because we still tend to have reasonable minima of offstreet parking for new hooses, and have traditionally not lived in apartments, reasonable amounts of parking are possible whilst still allowing for all transport modes.

Important point is - as ever - to prevent the London tail wagging that UK dog.

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Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
15 likes

So here is someone doing what the government SAY they want to happen by cycling for a short journey instead of driving, thus reducing pollution, congestion and his chance of needing the NHS. You would think everyone would be thanking him but this is his reward. You can't build infrastructure everywhere so society needs to deal with this poor driving if active travel is going to take off. Many people have been put off cycling as a result of inconsiderate driving.

Unfortunately the only people who can do anything about it, the police, are underresourced and undermined by dubious decisions of juries and magistrates*.

Thank you, as always, to the cyclist for reporting the incident and I hope the fact it's a 4 year old who was put in danger will result in appropriate action this time.

*(alternative explanations are available)

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Sriracha replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
2 likes
Bungle_52 wrote:

society needs to deal with this poor driving if active travel is going to take off

My perception is that if progressively everybody in London were to ditch the car for cycling, even then the last remaining motorist would be swearing at all the bloody cyclists getting in their way. As would, to be honest, a good many of the cyclists.

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rico500 | 1 year ago
4 likes

what will the driver get a driver education course and a warning to try to give cyclists room the law is a complete joke

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mattw replied to rico500 | 1 year ago
0 likes

I think that is a very good question.

IME of doing one myself, and of others doing them, is that driver awareness courses do make a difference.

I have not seen research on how long it lasts, though.

But at present that is the best we have.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 1 year ago
7 likes

It's OK though - there are little white bikes painted on the carriageway so the infrastructure is sufficient. 

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NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
5 likes

I'm assuming the Ford and vauxhall drivers recognised a fellow human being and then the Merc and VW drivers just thought "look at that poor person who can't afford and doesn't deserve a premium German automobile".

Or maybe it's just a strange coincidence . . . . again.

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The Accountant | 1 year ago
2 likes

Wait, the cyclist said "f***ing idiot" to his 4 year old kid? That's barely better than some of Rendel's previous behaviour.

Aside from that, bad driving by the German car driver, as per.

I was under the impression that you weren't meant to plaster close pass footage over the internet prior to police finishing their work on the submission, so the poster might want to take the video down.

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Sriracha replied to The Accountant | 1 year ago
6 likes
Rakia wrote:

I was under the impression that you weren't meant to plaster close pass footage over the internet prior to police finishing their work on the submission, so the poster might want to take the video down.

I've never really understood why. Is it in case this goes to a jury trial and it becomes impossible to select a jury because they are all tainted from having watched the video online? Seems pretty implausible. Or is it in case Plod views it and is likewise tainted by the experience - except, wait, they have to view it in the first place anyway.

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Awavey replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
8 likes

like alot of police decisions, I suspect just covering their behinds, as they can never give you a consistent reason for that demand, some say its data protection, some say it jeopardises a trial, some say people identified from it could sue for wrongful alledging of crimes.

all I know is whenever theres a major incident thats covered by the press and high definition video footage is endlessly replayed on the news, it never seems to harm any trials that result later.

take the woman in the Land Rover who drove into those XR protesters, the media repeatedly aired the footage, didnt stop a jury finding her guilty did it ?

or the woman who kicked that horse, hasnt come to trial yet, but again the media didnt seem concerned about repeatedly showing the footage of the incident or publishing her job, which she then lost as a result and had to move home as a result of the media exposure.

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mattw replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
5 likes

It was in a Magistrates' Court, so no jury.

And she entered a plea of guilty, so no question about the verdict.

So not even a smidge of relevance.

I'm inclined to say that she was spectacularly badly advised, or did not reflect before capitulating to the charge.

I can't comment on the woman who kicked the horse, though if the horse had been sensible and kicked back she perhaps would not do it again.

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Awavey replied to mattw | 1 year ago
0 likes

yet the request not to share your videos online comes before its got to any court or any plea has been entered at all

so wheres the smidge of relevance to that ?

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Rendel Harris replied to The Accountant | 1 year ago
15 likes
Nigel Garage previously banned for racism and libel wrote:

Wait, the cyclist said "f***ing idiot" to his 4 year old kid? That's barely better than some of Rendel's previous behaviour.

Bless, it's so sweet that you keep on with your obsession honey but I've told you before, I'm not going to pay to rent on that space I occupy in your head. Hugs, get well soon.

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
10 likes

The failed overtake by the VW is spectacularly poor as well.

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