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Near Miss of the Day 757: 4x4 driver pushes cyclists “into the gutter” (video includes swearing)

Our regular series featuring close passes from around the country - today it's Merseyside...

A stand-off between a 4x4 driver and a pair of cyclists out for a ride near St Helens in Merseyside features in our Near Miss of the Day series today, with the motorist stopped on the wrong side of the road after encountering a pair of dog walkers in front of him.

The footage was shot by road.cc reader Sparrowlegs, who told us: “Tonight a friend and I were having a nice ride out round the back of Rainford in the North West.

“All was going well until we encountered someone who literally couldn’t have got the Highway Code any more incorrect than he did.

“We could see the dog walkers chatting in the road and the car turn on to the road. We thought he’d stop as the blockage was on his side but he proceeded to take up the whole lane and then push us in to the gutter.

“Not content with that he then got aggressive and got out of his car to tell us just how wrong we were and how he had the right of way as he’s in a car and ‘knobheads’ like us are always wanting all the road to ourselves.

“I must admit I lost my cool at one point as he just couldn’t see how he was in the wrong, he was in a car after all!

“I’m happy for you to correct me if I’m wrong but I think the Highway Code proves us correct,” he added.

For an alternative view of the incident, here’s the video that Sparrowlegs’ riding partner shot.

> 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

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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33 comments

Avatar
BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
5 likes
Quote:

and ‘knobheads’ like us are always wanting all the road to ourselves.

Says the bloke at the helm of 2.5 tonnes of I-have-a-tiny-penis-mobile that takes up 70% of the width of the road.

 

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sparrowlegs replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
7 likes

He also called my bike a "piece of shit". That hurt the most 😀

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hawkinspeter replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
2 likes
sparrowlegs wrote:

He also called my bike a "piece of shit". That hurt the most 😀

That's fighting talk round these parts!

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sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
8 likes

I've left it this long to comment to see what the consensus was.

To be honest I feel like I didn't exactly cover myself in glory and I wish I'd kept it more civil than I did. On that ride we had already had 2 close passes and a break test. 

We ride as passive as possible and choose the quietest roads but that night I was wound up by the bad drivers earlier on and this bloke was the cherry on the cake. He had plenty of time to either blip his throttle and get round them or drop back and let us pass but he just wanted an argument. If it's any relevance he had a DPD uniform on (only noticed it after reviewing the footage) so more than likely has spent a long day frustratedly trying to get his round done. I think he just wanted to let his frustrations out on someone and so did we.

I wouldn't have done anything different, just said things differently and in a calmer tone.

He was still screaming at us when we were around the corner and a distance away so I think there's some rage he might need to work on. 

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hawkinspeter replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
6 likes

I'm sure that most of us have been in a similar situation and lost our cool. I try to avoid reacting and just rely on the camera footage if I still feel aggrieved later on. It's very rare that drivers respond well to criticism so just leave them to their own misery.

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0-0 | 1 year ago
8 likes

Just stop in front of the car (not right up to it though), so it has to get back on the correct side of the to continue, or alternatively if the car is stopped, I would have then overtaken it on the right side of the road, if you feel you must overtake.
I don't see the point of stopping to talk to the driver. You can't argue with an idiot, as they say.

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IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
7 likes

The best I can make out was that car driver expects pedestrians and cyclists to vanish and if they don't, he's going to make damn sure they are inconvenienced.

All he had to do was slow, drift left, cyclists give cheery wave and are on their way. Instead he chose the method which caused the most confrontation and nuisance, including to himself.

I have no problem with him pulling out early, and he clearly had plenty of stopping time, so he wasn't driving dangerously, just being a cockwomble of the highest order.

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
6 likes

In summary - a big angry man in big car thiks he has priority because he's a big angry man in a big car.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

On watching the videos again, I've noticed something strange. The driver took up the wrong side position very early on and it looks like the red-coated ped was in the middle of the road. Maybe the driver was annoyed by that although the ped moved over to the other side well before the driver was close.

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
5 likes

Since you are supposed to give peds 2m gap, moving out early seems the appropriate thing to do. I find drivers leave it to far too late to move out. Range rover drivers in particular, including one who clipped me with his wing mirror in a single vehicle lane with no pavement.

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hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
5 likes
hirsute wrote:

Since you are supposed to give peds 2m gap, moving out early seems the appropriate thing to do. I find drivers leave it to far too late to move out. Range rover drivers in particular, including one who clipped me with his wing mirror in a single vehicle lane with no pavement.

Yes, but you're not supposed to start overtaking unless the way ahead is clear. The driver should have spotted the oncoming cyclists and repositioned, waited and then passed the peds.

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

Now you are stealing my first post !

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IanMSpencer replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

On a unmarked single track road, there is no requirement to keep left, you should use the full width of the road to your best advantage. The driver doesn't seem to have done anything daft until he positions himself to obstruct the cyclist.

Looking at where people are, I don't think there was an opportunity for him to proceed unhindered, it required everyone to cooperate. The pedestrians were getting out of the way, the riders had single filed having reacted to the car emerging. There was one participant who didn't cooperate.

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Wardy74 | 1 year ago
4 likes

If you judge this by replacing the cyclists with a car, would Mr Angry have tried to overtake the peds. If he wouldn't he is in the wrong. If he would he, er, is also wrong.

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TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
3 likes

So if my reading of the account given by the cyclists and the video.

It looks to me that the Merc driver turned onto the road from a side road.  Encountered pedestrians on the left hand side of the road, and despite the oncoming cyclists committed to the overtake.

They then stop effectively blocking the cyclists from travelling on their side of the road, they either have to go round the 4x4 on the wrong side or into the gutter.

The driver could easily have stopped leaving the cyclists plenty of space to pass on their side of the road.  And they already had the window down as soon as the cyclists went to pass on the left hand side..... so seems to me that they were deliberately looking for confrontation. 

I think the driver stopped where they stopped because in the alternative angle video you can see the car behind the pedestrians about 2 seconds into the video, but the cyclists seemed to maintain 2 abreast until about 10-20m away from the driver.  Which possibly contributed to the reason the driver wanted to argue about them riding 2 abreast for a good 5 or 6 seconds after they saw a car approaching on a narrow road.

If that was me I would have been thinning down into single file as soon as I saw the car approaching.  So possibly both cyclists and driver could have done things differently IMHO

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ktache replied to TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
3 likes

I would have probably stopped in front of the huge car, on the left hand side of the road mind, slowly shaking my head in a deeply disappointed fashion.

Would have been difficult not to fall off while laughing at the irony about wanting the whole road to yourselves.

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eburtthebike | 1 year ago
2 likes

4x4, puffer jacket, baseball cap = total complete and utter knobhead.

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wtjs replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
2 likes

4x4, puffer jacket, baseball cap = total complete and utter knobhead

I wouldn't call that a puffer jacket, although I'm sure he has one at home. Otherwise, spot on, and no point arguing with a pillock like this. We can't see his arms, but there's good chance he's gone for the complete set with tattoos all over them- just like the (need I say it?) BMW driving Ultra-Moron who completely blocked the double decker by illegal and really stupid parking in Clitheroe 3 days ago. He waved the tattoed arms around trying to convince the excellent and resolute bus driver there was 'loads of room', but eventually moved 10 yards up the road. 

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ErnieC replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
4 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

4x4, puffer jacket, baseball cap = total complete and utter knobhead.

 

wow - generalise much?

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eburtthebike replied to ErnieC | 1 year ago
2 likes
ErnieC wrote:
eburtthebike wrote:

4x4, puffer jacket, baseball cap = total complete and utter knobhead.

wow - generalise much?

Thanks.  I try to generalise as much as possible as it saves time.

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Adam Sutton replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
0 likes

Ok lycra clad tour de France wannabe.

BTW I just got back from a lycra clad 20 mile jaunt. I just don't think generalising helps anyone. I await to be told I must be an SUV owner etc, etc.

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chrisonabike replied to Adam Sutton | 1 year ago
1 like

I don't personally know eburtthebike (maybe you do?) but I suspect that's not generalising but fantasizing!

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brooksby replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
3 likes

Funny, isn't it: in my head, eburt and hawkinspeter both have more of a Richard Ballantine vibe...  3

(no offence intended!)

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

Funny, isn't it: in my head, eburt and hawkinspeter both have more of a Richard Ballantine vibe...  3

(no offence intended!)

Hey! I really like dogs and most of the time will stop cycling just to pet them if they're close enough.

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Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
6 likes

.

Yes, the driver was wrong to assume priority, and to want to 'demonstrate his manhood' by being unreasonable / difficult with the cyclists.

.

However, from the vid (not the greatest clarity) it seems that he had already started passing the peds/ dog walkers when the cyclists became aware of the vehicle.

.

'Hazard ahead' - peds / dogs on right, car overtaking on left; we should slow down a touch to ensure that no issues arise.

.

As such, I think the cyclists would have been wise to back off / slow down for - what - ten seconds, and let him complete his overtake / pass.

.

Give and take, eh?

.

Everybody happy.  No raised blood pressures. MUCH less riding time lost. Simps, really.

.

 

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hawkinspeter replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
4 likes
Flintshire Boy wrote:

However, from the vid (not the greatest clarity) it seems that he had already started passing the peds/ dog walkers when the cyclists became aware of the vehicle.

Not exactly. The driver had started his overtake (of pedestrians) maneouvre quite a way back, but the cyclists were opposite the pedestrians before the driver reached them which in my book is a slam-dunk poor overtake. The driver still hadn't reached the pedestrians when the cyclists tried to get past.

I think the driver had some pent up frustration and was letting it affect their driving.

It would have been comical for the cyclists to have come to a stop just opposite the pedestrians as that would have demonstrated just how poor the driver's overtake was, but it would have unnecessarily constricted the road, so they were correct to continue in their lane.

Here's a screenshot from the alternate view (following cyclist) so you can see the timing more easily (the driver did not progress much further than that).

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eburtthebike replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
5 likes

Your device has a problem with the "." button; better get it sorted so that you don't look ridiculous.

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ktache replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
3 likes

I think it might be intentional.

He does seem somewhat more coherent than a few days ago.

It did amuse me when he talked about reducing blood pressure.

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brooksby | 1 year ago
5 likes

Motorist should not have overtaken, given that there was oncoming traffic (the cyclists). That being said, given how low speed everything was, was there any reason that the cyclists could not have just moved to their right and gone around him (whilst sadly shaking their heads  at him...)?

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

Motorist should not have overtaken, given that there was oncoming traffic (the cyclists). That being said, given how low speed everything was, was there any reason that the cyclists could not have just moved to their right and gone around him (whilst sadly shaking their heads  at him...)?

Because he could then have moved back to the correct side of the road and knocked the cyclists off. "I tried to avoid the cyclists but they moved to my side of the road, so I had no other option than to drive into them"

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