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Near Miss of the Day 870: Driver mistimes overtake of cyclist, stalls car... blares horn at rider

"With two whole lanes, this idiot mistimes his approach, stalls his car, subsequent traffic won't let him out and he gets the hump with me."...

In nearly 900 editions of our Near Miss of the Day series, shining a light on the dangerous driving cyclists experience on British roads, today's might just be a first...

Never before have we had an incident like this one, from County Cork in Ireland, where the motorist involved mistimed their approach to a cyclist (possibly not helped by the van driver close behind) and was forced to brake suddenly having realised there would be no safe way past.

> Near Miss of the Day 869: U-turning motorist veers into cycle lane and almost hits cargo bike rider and seven-year-old daughter

Then, the driver manages to stall their car, restarts, doesn't get let out into the second lane by all the traffic formerly behind them, and caps off the display by seemingly blaming the cyclist for their predicament, blaring the horn on the way past.

Speaking to road.cc, the rider 'Righttobikeit', who regularly uploads footage of dangerous driving from their commutes and has appeared on this website previously, said this road, Carrs Hill on the N28 between Carrigaline and Cork City, has been something of a hotspot for close passes.

"I knew the car was there and heard it stalling," they explained. "The horn blowing prompted me to tag the video timeline so I was able to check back later what all of was going on. 

"It's my shortest most direct route to work so I use it regularly but not necessarily every day. I get a lot of criticism for using it but in reality it's not as dangerous as some other routes."

One incident, reported by Righttobikeit, on the same road saw a driver receive a careless driving conviction, €300 fine and five penalty points on their licence.

Admitting "the fact that I've psychologically categorised them says a lot", Righttobikeit has two categories for close passes.

They elaborated: "From experience I categorise close passing into two types. First you have the basic poor driving/judgement etc. for example trying to overtake on a bend and a car suddenly appears and they cut in to avoid a collision. No ill intent but highly unpredictable and dangerous.

"The second is blatant disregard or deliberate intent. This is where there is plenty of space width/distance and good visibility. The driver sees you but just cuts close anyway to intimidate or they just couldn't care less. While these can be scary at the time they are probably less dangerous as the driver is aware of what they are doing and sudden changes in the traffic conditions are unlikely.

"I get a lot of the latter on Carrs Hill which is intimidating but they don't live long in the memory."

> 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 non-league 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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32 comments

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EK Spinner | 9 months ago
5 likes

Plenty lack of foresight and very poor driving on display here, the only bit I would (nearly) excuse is the van driver pulling out on the orange car, the orange car was still in lane 1 (as were the other vehicles behind) when the van started to pull out, and with there being a left curve on the road were probably not visible in his drivers door mirror when he started his manoeuvre.

But looking at the inciedent as a whole there were just so many classic short sighted impatient selfish driving errors on display. All of this could have been eliminated by looking ahead, anticipating what might happen and having time to allow for it.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 9 months ago
2 likes

Do you guys not drive cars then? 

That was unfortunate driving, but I'd argue the driver was more the victim of circumstance than anything malicious / incompetent. 

The positioning of the cars in the outer lane, denied an opportunity for the car to move out, and so they rightly braked. Alas when doing so they didn't change gear so stalled when attempting to move forward. That was indeed an error, but hardly newsworthy.

I also think you have to cut the driver a bit of slack as they were on foreign plates so potentially not used to driving on the left. I can appreciate that could cut your reaction times slightly as you will be double checking everything before making any manoeuvre. They slowed rather than force their way out into traffic, basically did the right thing. 

The only thing to take offence to was the use of the horn, which was innappropriate; I guess they were feeling pretty stupid and wanted to take it out on someone.  

For me, nothing to see here. 

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HLaB replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 9 months ago
2 likes

I wouldn't choise to cycle on that road either but it looks the typical Irish rural connector road and there won't be much choice if you want to go from A to B.  Rather than a barriered DC's these tend to be short sections 2+1 unbarriered roads (2 lanes one direction and 1 lane the other way) with the 2 lane section facilitating a crawler lane to allow traffic to overtake slower moving vehicles and remove the driver fustration.  It doesn't seem to have worked in this situation  4

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Rendel Harris replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 9 months ago
5 likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I also think you have to cut the driver a bit of slack as they were on foreign plates so potentially not used to driving on the left.

It's an Irish plate (10 = year, C = Cork, 9631 = 9631st vehicle registered in Cork that year), in Ireland.

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mark1a replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
6 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I also think you have to cut the driver a bit of slack as they were on foreign plates so potentially not used to driving on the left.

It's an Irish plate (10 = year, C = Cork, 9631 = 9631st vehicle registered in Cork that year), in Ireland.

Not only that, it actually happened in Co Cork, so driver is more than well at home.

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to mark1a | 9 months ago
0 likes

Ah ha... that makes more sense. Also helps explain why the cyclist would choose to ride along such a road. 

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Adam Sutton replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 9 months ago
0 likes

Yes, but none of that fits the accepted narrative!

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Adam Sutton | 9 months ago
4 likes

Pretty sure most of the accepted narrative in the story, both from how it was reported by both the OP, the article and comments were:
Driver had to bail overtake and brake.
Van driver was too close to car in front.
Van driver did a shit manouvre for the car behind.
Car driver stalled car as forgot to change gear down.
Car driver shouldn't have beeped horn at cyclist who did nothing wrong. 

Now what is so different then Jimmy's take? (apart from them being foreigners because he hadn't actually read the article to see it was taken in Ireland). Obviously Jimmy seems to think that because it is in NMOTD, it must have been harmful to the cyclist but sometimes they are just used to show weird driving around cyclists. 
 

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brooksby replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 9 months ago
4 likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

The only thing to take offence to was the use of the horn, which was innappropriate; I guess they were feeling pretty stupid and wanted to take it out on someone.  

But isn't it worrying that someone driving a two tonne motor vehicle around was "feeling pretty stupid and wanted to take it out on someone"?  That path leads to punishment passes and their ilk.

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
0 likes

Yes and no.

It's basically the human condition to blame others for your own shortcomings. I can imagine the driver felt rightfully short changed, and then stupid, and with no one else to blame, protested with their horn at the cyclist.

I'd rather they did a blast on the horn rather than bottle it up for the next poor soul just minding their business, or as you say, used other, more aggressive means to vent. 

 

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chrisonabike replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 9 months ago
1 like

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I'd rather they did a blast on the horn rather than bottle it up for the next poor soul just minding their business, or as you say, used other, more aggressive means to vent.

Harm miminization is good.  Not sure it's a zero sum game / that "conservation of anger" applies though.  (The latter is a common theory - the anger must go somewhere!  But... where did it come from?  If it can be created, perhaps it can also dissipate?)

My only evidence for the above is observation and hearing about how some probation "anger management / anti road rage" courses work.  Apparently it's essentially the same technique as with kids - if you can only distract them for a few seconds and break the "emotion-action" link quite often the moment passes.

I think "pattern recognition" helps deal with some of those emotional triggers - if you see a cyclist and think "could be my child / parent / partner".  I think that's one of the virtuous circles / feedback loops you get if you can get to "mass cycling".  If...

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Secret_squirrel replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 9 months ago
2 likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

That was unfortunate driving, but I'd argue the driver was more the victim of circumstance than anything malicious / incompetent. 

Odd take.

Did you miss the initial cause of the problem where the driver failed to notice the cyclist and needed to do an emergency brake?

Pure incompetence and worthy of a careless driving/Driving without due care and attention charge if it had been in the UK.

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wtjs replied to Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
2 likes

Pure incompetence and worthy of a careless driving/Driving without due care and attention charge if it had been in the UK

It may have been worthy of such a charge, but almost certainly the charge would not have been made- despite the implication, the UK police in general, and Lancashire/ Scotland in particular, are no better than the Irish

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chrisonabike replied to Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
4 likes

Another common belief.  "They were unlucky" ("unfortunate" here) / "There but for the grace of God go I" / "it could have happened to anyone".

True in one sense - because it happens.  However my concern is with is the tacit acceptance that a) humans en-mass consistently fail to drive to the basic standards they're licenced to (obviously true) and yet b) this is acceptable / inevitable.

In fact setting the bar higher / retesting / stopping those shown to be incapable is seen as unfair / a denial of people's rights.

I'm not sure there's a good way of shifting that belief.  At least, not without exactly the "two systems" approach which works to make certain human failures less likely in the first place and minimises the harm if there is a crash.

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wtjs replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
0 likes

I'm not sure there's a good way of shifting that belief

Just like the widespread belief at Lancashire Constabulary, and doubtless other forces as well, that it's impossible to close pass a cyclist close enough for it to be an offence- even if they hit you, it's only a 'momentary loss of concentration'. The only way to shift it is through the law, a concept Lancashire Constabulary is loath to accept as an alternative to the present practice of 'the law is what we say it is'. Someone declared on here a few weeks ago that he would be 'very surprised if the police policy of refusing to tell victims of vehicular assaults on cyclists the outcome of police action (because they're only witnesses) were to continue'. Well, it is continuing in Lancashire over this (where there was almost certainly no action at all, but the police are trying to cover that up)

https://upride.cc/incident/4148vz_travellerschoicecoach_closepass/

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
0 likes

No, but I saw it differently. I don't think they failed to notice the cyclist, rather their initial focus was slotting into a gap in the outside lane. The closer their speed to that of vehicles in that outside lane, the greater the chance  of finding a gap.  

I would argue that is reasonable initial stance to take in the circumstances.

I get the viewpoint that all motorists should always accept being held up by cyclists in all cases, with no ill feeling, ever, but I also accept in the real world that's an unrealistic and rather entitled view to take. I don't think many of us would accept simply pulling over and getting off the road each time you hear a car approaching from behind. 

As an aside, that was hardly an emergency stop.  

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cyclisto | 9 months ago
1 like

The rider is perfectly legal to ride there, but I would never pick this as my daily commute. I wouldn't feel safe to ride on a daily basis in a two lane road with drivers overtaking me at 100+km/h. With such speed difference I would be a practically standing object on the road. Here in Road.cc we have read a lot of articles about deaths in two lane roads and I don't want to be featured in a road.cc article in such a way.

When younger at a past job, I had a similar segment (ok more urban thus slower than this on the video, but still fast) on my commute but it was a strong reason to chose the bus many days. I used the novice rider jinking theatre to win a few decimetres of additional space, but still felt it was dangerous.

Not easy solutions for such problems. People until fully automated driving comes becomes fully implemented will keep driving like shit. A painted bike lane, will wear off and drivers will run into it. A segretated though cycle path would be great, just look at the roadside on the video, all this empty space.

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HoldingOn replied to cyclisto | 9 months ago
5 likes

cyclisto wrote:

I used the novice rider jinking theatre to win a few decimetres of additional space, but still felt it was dangerous.

Apologies - a tangent, that this sentence reminded me of. A few days ago, I was following along behind an eScooter that was in the cycle lane*
There were a few cars that close passed me, then proceeded to give the eScooter a wide pass. I still don't know what to make of that. Could be because I was wearing a helmet and the eScooter rider wasn't? Could be the fact it was an eScooter?

*Yes, I know they are currently illegal on public roads in the UK and I have mixed feelings about this particularly rider - at least he wasn't on the footpath harassing pedestrians like many others!

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Rendel Harris replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
6 likes

I must say I've noticed similar in London. I assume it's partly because scooter riders register in the driver's mind as upright people, so more like pedestrians, around whom most drivers are more careful, and also because in the short time that escooters have been around they have earned a pretty solid (and frankly largely deserved) reputation as the wobbliest, most unpredictable road users out there.

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HoldingOn replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
4 likes

Out during my lunch time walk, some time ago, I was treated to the following scene, which still makes me chuckle (apologies for the swearing):

Section of road, with car parking spaces on the left, some cars in them. Car driving alongside them and indicates to pull into one of the spaces. An eScooter rider, from behind the car, decides now is his chance to get past, so swerves between the now slowly turning car and the parked cars. Car driver honks their horn, so the eScooter rider turns around (the eScooter was still travelling away, he simply turned to face the opposite direction) and starts mouthing off:
"F**k you! F**k off! You f**king w****r! I'm a good f**king driver. You should learn how to f**king drive!"
all while not looking where he was going and slowly veering into oncoming traffic....

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
3 likes

For some reason I'm not thrilled by the e-scooter "plague" (not plague).  However people gonna do what they do and I could easily see them becoming a dominant form of transport over bikes.  Maybe even walking?  The advantages are several - they're very small (so storable / portable) and don't take up much road space.   The "user interface" is pretty simple - very easy to get on / off, you stand upright, people are using existing spaces (footways) and not putting in much effort.  You just have to not fall sideways.

They might even reduce a bit of driving - not entirely convinced about that though.

What I do wonder about is exactly what you say - or rather a) they look extremely vulnerable to surface defects (potholes) and b) it seems there's lots of pedestrian interaction (potential conflict).

Can't stop, got to go find my tabard...

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cyclisto replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
2 likes

I have hit during nightime at big pothole-trench that the bike slided into it. I didn't have time to react at all but I was very surprised how steady the bike felt and I didn't fell. My heavy big diameter wheelset acted as a good gyro, and I believe that if I rode a 8" wheeled e-scooter, I would have probably crashed. So I understand drivers giving more space to e-scooters, as they are more likely to lose their balance compared to bikes.

I almost always wear a helmet, so cannot judge whether without it I would have been less closely passed.

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HoldingOn replied to cyclisto | 9 months ago
2 likes

pre-regular-cycling, as a drivist, I wouldn't have considered a how unstable a vehicle would be based on their wheel size (I do now!) - my decision would have been based on how they looked.

This particular eScooter rider, to me, looked competent. He wasn't weaving all over the place as some do and was going at a reasonable speed (I was doing about 35kmph and was catching him slowly) I wish I had kept the video footage of him!

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Mungecrundle | 9 months ago
2 likes

Pretty embarrassing ability fail from both the car and van drivers. I'd be mortified at my incompetence if that was me. However, does seem like "Parp, parp! Bloody cyclist holding up the traffic and almost causing an accident".

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Car Delenda Est | 9 months ago
1 like

I've tried two browsers but the media isn't displaying, anyone else having trouble?

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HoldingOn replied to Car Delenda Est | 9 months ago
5 likes

There is no video directly in the article, you need to follow the link to Twitter.

Twitter appears to be locking stuff down, so it may not play anymore without logging in/signing up?

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IanMSpencer | 9 months ago
3 likes

This reminds me of so many incidents where you have an uncertain driver who therefore sits behind, often when you are surprised they don't pass as it ought to be safe to do so with a certain level of competence.

Then another car arrives up their jacksy and they feel compelled to pass because they assess the delay to their fellow drivist more important than the cyclist's safety - indeed their own as it can often prompt a blind bend overtake.

When I am driving and I see an apparently patient motorist (or indeed impatient) I deliberately hang back to try and avoid the doublethink pressurisation by the driver ahead.

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Legin | 9 months ago
8 likes

A plethora of plonka drivers there including thos enot letting the driver overtake. I don't understand how standards have dropped, when I went to Cork in 1974 they all drove Morris Minors and waved at us on our bikes!

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Owd Big 'Ead | 9 months ago
3 likes

Bogof!
Not one incompetent driver, but two.
Both need to give their heads a good wobble if that is their standard of driving.

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Sriracha | 9 months ago
2 likes

Strictly speaking they've only got one whole lane to overtake in - the whole other lane is yours. Still, should be enough.

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