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Near Miss of the Day 880: Bin lorry driver squeezes cyclist into kerb

Our regular feature showing close passes from around the country. Today it's Devon...

The latest video in our Near Miss of the Day series shows the moment the driver of a refuse lorry in Exeter made an extremely close pass on a cyclist – squeezing him into the kerb, and as you can see from the footage, the rider came very close to colliding with a woman walking on the pavement.

As Chris, the road.cc reader who found himself on the receiving end of the dangerous overtake points out, the driver immediately turned left – ignoring a pedestrian who was waiting to cross the side road, and who has priority under the changes made to the Highway Code early last year.

Chris submitted the footage of the incident, which happened on Old Tiverton Road, to Devon & Cornwall Police’s Operation Snap portal but has heard nothing back.

He also lodged a complaint with Exeter City Council (ECC), but when road.cc contacted them for a comment they said that the vehicle had nothing to do with them.

“The vehicle in the video is NOT an ECC vehicle,” the local authority told us. “It is likely to be a trade waste vehicle from a privately run company.”

The council provided pictures of its vehicles, shown below, and noted that after reviewing the video, “the vehicle in the footage is very different in a number of ways,” namely that it has “a different width chassis,” that the council has “orange bin lifts on the reverse of all our vehicles,” and that “all our vehicles are liveried up on BOTH sides as per the pictures.”

The council added that with the vehicle apparently turning into Stadium Way, which gives access to Exeter City FC’s St James Park ground, “whoever is running this lorry may be picking up trade waste at the football club.”

Exeter City Council bin lorry 2
Exeter City Council bin lorry 1

> 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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26 comments

Avatar
wtjs | 5 months ago
4 likes

There's not much merit in all this 'how many angels fit on the head of a pin' discussion when the police demonstrate no embarrassment about refusing to take action over large vehicles passing red traffic lights at speed, or easily traceable pickups with no insurance, MOT or VED for 6 1/2 YEARS. Whatever it is, they're far too busy to do anything about it.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 5 months ago
1 like

Ha, I was watching that video thinking the road looks familiar... I used to live in a dirty flat above the continental food store on the right! 

 

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belugabob | 5 months ago
1 like

And the red car overtook on a crossing/zigzags - I get this regularly, on my commute

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Hirsute replied to belugabob | 5 months ago
3 likes

Not an offence but not best practise.

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hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 5 months ago
3 likes

Hirsute wrote:

Not an offence but not best practise.

Overtaking just before turning left is a "do not" in the HWC, so presumably that's an offence or covered under careless and inconsiderate driving.

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 5 months ago
1 like

My reply was about overtaking on zebra crossings.

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hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 5 months ago
0 likes

Hirsute wrote:

My reply was about overtaking on zebra crossings.

Yep - I was just adding that the lorry driver did also perform an offence.

The zebra crossing rule should probably be amended to not allow overtaking cyclists in the wiggly line bit as I think it only applies to overtaking motor vehicles.

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stonojnr replied to hawkinspeter | 5 months ago
0 likes

how many drivers know it currently doesn't ?

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hawkinspeter replied to stonojnr | 5 months ago
6 likes

stonojnr wrote:

how many drivers know it currently doesn't ?

Fifteen

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belugabob replied to Hirsute | 5 months ago
3 likes
Hirsute wrote:

Not an offence but not best practise.

You are a Scottish police officer, and I claim my £5...
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/using-the-road-159-to-203

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Hirsute replied to belugabob | 5 months ago
2 likes

You should have noted that I said it wasn't an offence and that HP concurred.

 

Prohibition against vehicles overtaking at crossings

24.—(1) Whilst any motor vehicle (in this regulation called “the approaching vehicle”) or any part of it is within the limits of a controlled area and is proceeding towards the crossing, the driver of the vehicle shall not cause it or any part of it—

(a)to pass ahead of the foremost part of any other motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or

(b)to pass ahead of the foremost part of a vehicle which is stationary for the purpose of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26.

(2) In paragraph (1)—

(a)the reference to a motor vehicle in sub-paragraph (a) is, in a case where more than one motor vehicle is proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle in a controlled area, a reference to the motor vehicle nearest to the crossing; and

(b)the reference to a stationary vehicle is, in a case where more than one vehicle is stationary in a controlled area for the purpose of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26, a reference to the stationary vehicle nearest the crossing.

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belugabob replied to Hirsute | 5 months ago
0 likes
Hirsute wrote:

You should have noted that I said it wasn't an offence and that HP concurred.

 

Prohibition against vehicles overtaking at crossings

24.—(1) Whilst any motor vehicle (in this regulation called “the approaching vehicle”) or any part of it is within the limits of a controlled area and is proceeding towards the crossing, the driver of the vehicle shall not cause it or any part of it—

(a)to pass ahead of the foremost part of any other motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or

(b)to pass ahead of the foremost part of a vehicle which is stationary for the purpose of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26.

(2) In paragraph (1)—

(a)the reference to a motor vehicle in sub-paragraph (a) is, in a case where more than one motor vehicle is proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle in a controlled area, a reference to the motor vehicle nearest to the crossing; and

(b)the reference to a stationary vehicle is, in a case where more than one vehicle is stationary in a controlled area for the purpose of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26, a reference to the stationary vehicle nearest the crossing.

Well, this version just says "vehicle"...
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/362/schedule/14/made

Just show what a minefield this is.

Where did your quote come from?

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Hirsute replied to belugabob | 5 months ago
3 likes

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1997/2400/part/I/crossheading/moveme...

But your link is surely para 15 or 24 which is motor vehicle.

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mattw | 5 months ago
6 likes

It's an excellent response from Exeter City Council. I hope Chris had already reported to the police, or had time to do so.

I agree that it illustrates the extra opportunity for collisions created by cycling in the gutter on a relatively slow, constricted, urban road.

I note that the bin lorry dangerous overtake was immediately before the bin lorry turned left - explicitly against instructions in the Highway Code Rule 167.

Also, the pass by the small hatchback across the pedestrian crossing was close - I make that well under metre from wing mirror to handlebar end. It barely left 1.5m to the kerb.

 

 

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neilmck replied to mattw | 5 months ago
0 likes

In France you are legally obliged to cycle in the gutter. I had a copper on a motor bike take me up on this point while I was cycling on a dual carriageway. I saw two lanes, the French law sees three, the extra one being the gutter for cyclists (that way drivers can illegally squeeze past you at 40mph without entering into the next lane)

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Left_is_for_Losers | 5 months ago
0 likes

That's a bit of a squeeze

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Muddy Ford | 5 months ago
4 likes

When there is no room to overtake safely, you have to make that more obvious by 'owning' the space. Because most drivers are stupid, ignorant w@nkers and/or have no spatial awareness. Could road.cc be a fly in the ear of the police on these submissions, because if they can get away with doing fuck all about it (because it's only a lycra clad mamil innit) they will. 

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brooksby replied to Muddy Ford | 5 months ago
2 likes

Muddy Ford wrote:

When there is no room to overtake safely, you have to make that more obvious by 'owning' the space. Because most drivers are stupid, ignorant w@nkers and/or have no spatial awareness.

So, make your choice: do you move out into primary to make sure they understand that they have definitely not got room, but run the different risk of their just running into the back of you out of spite?

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mctrials23 replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
1 like

On a road like this you might struggle to take the lane enough to stop cars doing it. You could prevent larger vehicles but cars will still squeeze past. 

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HoldingOn replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
5 likes

brooksby wrote:

So, make your choice: do you move out into primary to make sure they understand that they have definitely not got room, but run the different risk of their just running into the back of you out of spite?

How depressing that cyclist all too often have to choose between the lesser of two evils (or rather the lesser of two potential KSIs)

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wycombewheeler replied to HoldingOn | 5 months ago
5 likes

HoldingOn wrote:

brooksby wrote:

So, make your choice: do you move out into primary to make sure they understand that they have definitely not got room, but run the different risk of their just running into the back of you out of spite?

How depressing that cyclist all too often have to choose between the lesser of two evils (or rather the lesser of two potential KSIs)

chance of the driver behind being lazy, inconsiderate or impatient and therefore likely to attempt a squeeze pass, is much hugher than the chance of the driver behind being a sociopath who drives right into the back of you.

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stonojnr replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
8 likes

Even if there's nothing behind you there's so many drains and potholes close to that kerb, you've got to ride prime surely just to give yourself a chance of not to come a cropper.

And you can't second guess how drivers might react to your positioning on the road.

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grOg | 5 months ago
10 likes

Truly dumb driving by the binman; basically forced the cyclist off the road just to turn left straight after; definitely actionable by both employer and police.

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Sriracha replied to grOg | 5 months ago
7 likes

Yeah, rubbish driver.

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46 and two | 5 months ago
6 likes

I've been closely overtaken on a blind bend. Then been overtaken by a police vehicle. Which showed no signs of stopping the perpetrator. I was so cross I nearly swore at the police.

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Hirsute | 5 months ago
9 likes

Must have thought the cyclist was Jeremy vine.
Please ride further from the kerb though.

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