Update, 13/08/22: North Yorkshire Police have said that their initial decision not to act on footage which showed the driver of a 4x4 close pass a cyclist on a country lane before reversing back down the road towards him, hitting a dog in the process, was “wrong” and that an investigation into the incident is required.
Following the shocking incident (which can be viewed in our original Near Miss of the Day feature below) the police told road.cc reader Peter that “no traffic offences were committed” and that the cyclist had contributed to the driver’s decision to reverse by shouting “watch out!” following the close pass, an act the officer said constituted ‘road rage’.
After that rather unsatisfactory verdict, Peter lodged a complaint with the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. This morning he told road.cc that he has received a response from a chief inspector who conducted a review into the incident.
According to the chief inspector, the review concluded that “the initial decision was wrong and that an investigation is in fact required.”
Peter told road.cc: “The constable who has been tasked with the investigation has already contacted me. So far, so good.”
You can read the original Near Miss of the Day article below:
This is one of the most shocking submissions we have had to our Near Miss of the Day series, with the driver of a 4x4 making a close pass at a cyclist on a country lane and, when the rider remonstrated, reversing back down the road towards him, forcing a quadbike rider to swerve and running over a dog that had been travelling on it.
Incredibly, North Yorkshire Police decided not to act on the footage, citing among other things that the cyclist had contributed towards the sequence events by shouting at the driver to “watch out!” The cyclist, road.cc reader Peter, has now raised a complaint with the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
The incident happened on the morning of Tuesday 5 July 2022 on Orcaber Lane near Austwick, in the south west corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The incident starts at 1 minute 7 seconds into this video, shot from a rear-facing camera.
“I reported this incident to North Yorkshire Police,” Peter told us. “Their response, in a telephone call, was ‘no traffic offences were committed’ and that they would take no action.
“Briefly, they described my shouting ‘watch out’ as an oncoming wide SUV passed me at a speed I felt was too fast for a single-track country lane as ‘road rage’ and a contributory factor in the driver then reversing at speed towards me.
“I was saved from the encounter I feared by his running over a dog that fell from a quad bike that he forced off the road.”
Reversing a vehicle is covered by Rules 200-203 of the Highway Code.
Rule 202 says, among other things, that drivers should
Look carefully before you start reversing. You should … check there are no pedestrians (particularly children), cyclists, other road users or obstructions in the road behind you … reverse slowly …
Rule 203 says:
You MUST NOT reverse your vehicle further than necessary.
“Given the police response, I am contacting the Police and Crime Commissioner with my concerns that the response indicates a worrying lack of concern with improving safety for vulnerable road users,” Peter continued.
“I think that my intuition that this driver was dangerous when he passed me was vindicated by his subsequent dangerous behaviour. I had expected that he would at least receive a warning from the police that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.”
He added: “I pointed out to the PCC that the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership Safer Roads Strategy 2021-26 states that ‘Pedal cyclists account for a high and increasing proportion of all KSIs over the last five years’.”
As for the dog – which we suspect from the footage may be a working border collie given the prevalence of sheep farming in the area – Peter told us: “It seemed immobile but the two drivers didn’t seem to want to speak with me so I left without knowing whether it was dead or alive.”
Here’s the footage from his front-facing camera.
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.
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.