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Near Miss of the Day 871: Cyclist narrowly avoids head-on collision with overtaking motorist

Despite the incident being reported neither Surrey Police nor the Metropolitan Police could provide an update on how it was dealt with

Our latest Near Miss of the Day submission comes from a reader in south London and raises yet more questions about the way video footage reported to the police is dealt with.

road.cc reader Allan was cycling out of Sutton on the Carshalton Road when he was left "shocked" by this motorist overtaking a bin lorry despite him riding towards them with priority, forcing him towards the kerb to avoid a head-on collision.

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

"I was so shocked I just carried on riding and only looked at it that evening," he recalled. "The next day I decided I should submit this to the police and investigated how. I assumed as it's well within Surrey that it would be Surrey Police."

Having submitted the footage to the force Allan then heard back from an officer who said the incident had actually happened in an area covered by the Metropolitan Police. The officer asked Allan to resubmit the footage to the relevant force and said he had "viewed the footage, along with my colleagues" and "we are of the opinion that this is a particularly bad piece of driving."

On trying to submit the footage to the Met, the reporting portal "kept erroring out". Allan continued: "I responded back to Surrey Police explaining that with screenshots and they said they would submit it with still photos to the Met on my behalf as I was going on holiday the next day.

NMotD 871

"Since that point I have heard nothing from the Met Police and so I went back to Surrey Police and received no response asking what had happened with the case.
I assume as it was close to the 14-day window that they need to inform the driver of intended prosecution that the Met Police missed it or it was not reported on from Surrey Police to them."

When road.cc approached Surrey Police for this story we were told it "has been passed to the Metropolitan Police [...] unfortunately we would not have information relating to their investigation".

On contacting the Met, we were told that as the initial incident report had a Surrey reference number "there doesn't appear to be a way for us to trace this".

> 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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8 comments

Avatar
neilmck | 6 months ago
3 likes

Classic case of motorists assuming that bicycles are stationary objects or cycled at the speeds of 10-year olds?

Avatar
Sriracha replied to neilmck | 6 months ago
3 likes

Possibly so. I think the stationary object assumption applies more often with overtakes by long vehicles where the driver pulls back in as if the cyclist had made no forward progress during the manoeuvre.

Here I think it's the classic case of the motorist "seeing" an empty road ahead (yay, nothing approaching, good to go). I don't think there is any cognitive appraisal of the cyclist as an obstacle.

Avatar
eburtthebike | 6 months ago
2 likes

"road.cc reader Allan was cycling out of Sutton on the Carshalton Road when he was left "shocked...."

Me too.  But not by the police obviously.

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Off the back | 6 months ago
3 likes

No doubt the driver would use the 'sun was in my eyes' defence. 

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David9694 replied to Off the back | 6 months ago
3 likes

No, because he doesn't remember it.

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capedcrusader | 6 months ago
11 likes

WTF - is the only sane comment to this close pass. 

Avatar
OnYerBike | 6 months ago
12 likes

England's unluckiest cyclist? 

Although Allan contacting the wrong police force didn't help matters, the incompetence of the Police is staggering. Surely cases get referred between forces all the time for various reasons and there is a process to do this? The Surrey Police say they did forward it on; is the Met saying they never received the case? Or that they received it but because it had a Surrey reference number it got filed into the bin?

Avatar
Steve K | 6 months ago
4 likes

Not a lot of help now, I know, but Sutton is not "well within Surrey" (and hasn't been since 1965).

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