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Near Miss of the Day 862: Cyclist guesses motorist wanted to intimidate him with last-minute swerve

"Don't expect any help from the police if you don't drive," the rider warned road.cc after recalling the concerning incident...

This one came with a warning of "police indifference" from the road.cc reader who submitted today's Near Miss of the Day clip, after no further action was taken to this alarming piece of driving because... there was no record of the report, and then it had been incorrectly dealt with by a trainee, meaning the 14-day window had passed.

Reader Steven was left to assume this driver's last-minute swerving manoeuvre had been an attempt to intimidate him, having initally thought it might have been to avoid a pothole.

"The video was shot as I was cycling south into Brookmans Park in Hertfordshire at the end of March," he explained. "On a reasonably quiet road the oncoming 4x4 suddenly swung across the road towards me before pulling back at the last moment. I turned in to avoid it and initially thought it had swerved to avoid a pothole but there was nothing there.

> Near Miss of the Day 861: Driver of Red Driving School car races through red light and close passes cyclist

"I can only assume that the driver wanted to assert his dominance over cyclists by either trying to scare me or make me fall off. I did an online check and the Toyota isn't taxed, nor did it have an MOT.

"What was disappointing though was the subsequent reaction from the police. I submitted an online report on the force website and got back an automated email saying someone would be in touch within 48 hours. Nothing happened so I used their query to find out what was happening.

"Again an automated response that a member of the appropriate team would be notified and they'd get back to me. Again nothing. I finally used the complaints page, which did elicit a response from a real person who initially said that there was no record of the report, and then that it had been incorrectly dealt with by a trainee.

"However, it was now more than 14 days since the incident so nothing more could be done. Twice now I've been knocked off my bike by a car pulling out at a junction and the attending police did nothing. Now they won't even pretend to look at video footage.

"Last year in London I was kicked in the face by a delivery driver who was trying to smash my phone when I took a photo of him blocking the pavement on a blind bend. The attending police officer told me that it wasn't illegal for delivery vehicles to park across the pavement and that I had aggravated the situation by taking a photograph. You can't win.

"Don't expect any help from the police if you don't drive."

> 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 lower leagues 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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44 comments

Avatar
Runtilyoudrop | 12 months ago
3 likes

Someone please explain to me why because 14 days have passed a crime is no longer a crime?

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IanMSpencer replied to Runtilyoudrop | 12 months ago
5 likes

Because drivers commit so many infractions, how can you expect them to remember what they did wrong?

I think it's mainly to do with the NIP being timely so it is fair and reasonable to know who was driving. Leaving it longer raises the question of whether it is reasonable to know who was driving. (Not saying it is right, just saying what the logic is).

As soon as the event becomes a serious one, such as bodily harm or criminal damage, the 14 day limit doesn't apply. You can see the logic - it becomes a memorable event (in the context of my flippant first comment, which isn't now so flippant).

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Oldfatgit replied to Runtilyoudrop | 12 months ago
9 likes

As far as Police Scotland are concerned, the driver only has to say that they can't remember the incident and its all forgotten about.
Even when there is high-quality video evidence and witnesses.

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Sriracha | 12 months ago
1 like

On his phone?

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STiG911 | 12 months ago
10 likes

Leaving aside the complete shitshow that was the Police reation to this, what the hell is 'police officer told me that it wasn't illegal for delivery vehicles to park across the pavement'? This was in London, where it's illegal to park on the pavement AT ALL.

Fuckwits.

Avatar
AidanR replied to STiG911 | 12 months ago
9 likes
STiG911 wrote:

Leaving aside the complete shitshow that was the Police reation to this, what the hell is 'police officer told me that it wasn't illegal for delivery vehicles to park across the pavement'? This was in London, where it's illegal to park on the pavement AT ALL.

Fuckwits.

That, and since when was taking a photo of a van a justification for assault?

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 12 months ago
6 likes

What an absolute cnut.

If you've cycled a fair amount of time. You'll have come across one or two of these cnuts.
Making the wrong decision or losing control at the wrong moment could cost the cyclist their life.
The arsehole in the motor doesn't get that point. It's just a bit of fun.

If only we could drop a couple of tacks or metal stars at the right moment. Problem solved.
Personally. I'm for repealing the gun laws. Pure self defence versus a 3 ton missile disguised as a truck. I'd empty the clip.

An ode to tramadol nights.
Send a message, Michael. One in each tit.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Fignon's ghost | 12 months ago
6 likes

Fignon's ghost wrote:

If only we could drop a couple of tacks or metal stars at the right moment. Problem solved.

Caltrops (but maybe with hollow spines, same principle as the police stingers, so tyres slowly go flat).

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Fignon's ghost replied to brooksby | 12 months ago
3 likes

Good idea. Stash them in your bar bag/cup holder. Got to time it right.

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joe9090 replied to Fignon's ghost | 12 months ago
2 likes

Shut up and take my money

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ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
18 likes

If that happened to me and I got that response from the police, my MP and police commissioner would be getting a letter and I would be raising a formal complaint via IOPC.

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Steven Lynch replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
5 likes

FYI, I did contact my local MP as it happened very close to where he lives. However, it is Grant Shapps, he of the "let's get cyclists to have number plates". To his credit he has got one of his assistants to contact Herts Police.

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HoarseMann | 12 months ago
12 likes

Surely that's a stolen vehicle? Smashed rear passenger window where they've gained access. Tailgate is hanging down and nearside wing has a large dent.

The vehicle branding looks very similar to this local business:

https://www.manmadedrivesandpatiosltd.co.uk/patios.php

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quiff replied to HoarseMann | 12 months ago
14 likes

Impressive, Poirot!

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HoarseMann replied to quiff | 12 months ago
8 likes

Well this sort of thing is really not acceptable and I quite enjoy a bit of google fu.

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HoarseMann replied to HoarseMann | 12 months ago
6 likes

hmm, the business address from their website is a bit of a run-down looking house and a mailbox provider.

Companies House has a business of that name with a director registered to an address at this caravan park:

https://goo.gl/maps/5UBBeU1MmhV4bK9A6

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to HoarseMann | 12 months ago
4 likes

This all has a bit of a travellers vibe about it. I can appreciate why the police might be keen to look the other way. Massive amount of effort to try and prosecute for what in real terms is a minor offence. 

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HoarseMann replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 12 months ago
5 likes

Took 50 officers the last time they visited the property this business is associated with:

https://www.thecomet.net/news/22212702.arrests-codicote-travellers-site/

It's also been extended without planning permission:

"Wexford Park, is the only authorised gypsy/traveller site in North Hertfordshire with six permitted pitches. However, both Wexford Park and No 1 Pulmore Water have been extended westwards."

I also get the feeling the police have intentionally looked the other way on this one.

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Steven Lynch replied to HoarseMann | 12 months ago
2 likes

I'm impressed by your powers of detection. You obviously don't work for the police ;-<

Unfortunately the image isn't any clearer on the original video.

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HoarseMann replied to Steven Lynch | 12 months ago
4 likes

Yep, I don't work for the police! Whether this was a stolen vehicle or associated with the company, it all seems a bit dodgy and you're better off chalking it up as a lucky escape.

At least we now know what to look out for and the area to be vigilant around when out cycling. Oh, and you know who not to call if you need your drive tarmacked!

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belugabob | 12 months ago
8 likes

So, a trainee failed to correctly deal with a report that there is no record of?

..said Sargent Heisenberg...

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to belugabob | 12 months ago
6 likes

*Sergeant

(No, I'm not fun at parties)

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Spangly Shiny replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
2 likes

Or even Serjeant, depending on Regiment (The Rifles as I recall).

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belugabob replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 12 months ago
0 likes
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

*Sergeant

(No, I'm not fun at parties)

That's fine, I goofed, and stand corrected.

To be fair, the spell checker was uncertain about that one 😉

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Steven Lynch replied to belugabob | 12 months ago
3 likes

You would have hoped there would be some oversight of what trainees were up to. Man out loose threatening road users! Oh, he's in a car, let's file it under lost cats

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belugabob replied to Steven Lynch | 12 months ago
1 like
Steven Lynch wrote:

You would have hoped there would be some oversight of what trainees were up to. Man out loose threatening road users! Oh, he's in a car, let's file it under lost cats

That does presume that the non-trainees operate to a higher standard - unfortunately poor standards do seem to be perpetuated down subsequent cohorts. Isn't that how Institutional issues accumulate?

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wtjs replied to belugabob | 12 months ago
2 likes

That does presume that the non-trainees operate to a higher standard - unfortunately poor standards do seem to be perpetuated down subsequent cohorts

Total Idleness Policing is irrevocably established in Lancashire, so the long-termers have taught it to the 'trainees'. BX14 VFM has been driving around Garstang with no VED for 3 years 3 months, and I've spotted it numerous times. I reported it a couple of years ago to DVLA- no action of course. I also reported it to LancsFilth in January, and I saw it again a couple of days ago- this is the January picture because it's right outside Garstang Police station!

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Hirsute | 12 months ago
8 likes

No ved or mot. What's the betting on insurance?
Is this Lancashire ?!

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 12 months ago
3 likes

Hirsute wrote:

No ved or mot. What's the betting on insurance? Is this Lancashire ?!

If they haven't got VED or MOT then they can't have insurance, surely? (pretty sure it isn't a historic vehicle...)

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wycombewheeler replied to brooksby | 12 months ago
0 likes

brooksby wrote:

Hirsute wrote:

No ved or mot. What's the betting on insurance? Is this Lancashire ?!

If they haven't got VED or MOT then they can't have insurance, surely? (pretty sure it isn't a historic vehicle...)

Insurance will be void without a valid MOT. Don' think this applies to not having paid VED

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