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Near Miss of the Day 545: Tesco driver nearly wipes out cyclist

Our regular series featuring close passes from across the country - today it's Dorset. ...

Today's close pass footage shows an impatient Tesco driver trying to overtake a rider as they approach a set of traffic lights at the foot of a hill.

The video, captured by Gary, from Dorset, shows him descending in wet conditions.

As he gets close to the traffic lights a Tesco van goes around him before moving back into the left hand lane nearly wiping him out in the process.

Gary, who works at Poole Hospital, was travelling along the B3073 near Wimborne Minster on his way home.

He said: "I didn't want to go and speak to the driver [after], but I knew I had to. 

"I approached him very calmly, and tried to get him to see it from my point of view, even informing him I drive vehicles larger than his almost daily.

"My advice to him was simply, wait behind, you can't push people into the kerb just to get to the red light.

"I did that rather than just going on my way because I don't think he had any clue what he was doing was wrong.

"He said to me he was trying to ''get round me before the light, and I had to brake as well'.

"That tells me he thinks he was doing the right thing by overtaking and I should have braked to let him back in.

"The idea that perhaps not overtaking, just to sit at a red traffic light, didn't seem to have entered his mind."

> 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.

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28 comments

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Muddy Ford | 3 years ago
2 likes

You should report it to Tesco, who would appreciate it. No business wants to be associated with the death of a child cyclist by one of their drivers, it could cost them much more in lost business than any fine. You are an experienced cyclist and motorist, and you braked to avoid being wiped out. A child might not have and would have been dragged under the wheels or thrown into the path of a following car. Cyclist deaths also hit the public perception of safety, and damage the governments chances of convincing people to cycle more. You are doing less for cyclists by having a friendly chat with him than getting him reprimanded or even sacked if it transpires this is not the first complaint. Otherwise he will simply regale the time he got one back on the mamils to his mates, and how he laughed at the bloke in lycra having a moan at him.

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wycombewheeler | 3 years ago
1 like

Driver has no need to overtake, but he does have a third option, as the right filter lane is empty he could sit straddling the line, leave the cyclist space, and complete the pass safely once the lights turn green.

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Gary's bike channel | 3 years ago
7 likes

I'll say my piece here now.

I really really do not want the driver of that van to get into any form of trouble. I don't want him to lose his job, or be forced into another role. 

I simply wanted him to be shown the video, so he could gain a better understanding of what he did wrong.

If it's on tescos fb page, well i presume he will see it. It would be beneficial if they called him, just to show him the clip, then in future, perhaps he will wait behind until a more appropriate time.

We can't just have people driving around but not having enough knowledge of cycling and putting innocent people in danger. What if that had been a kid on their way home from school and they had assumed the van driver was turning right? They may have kept their straight on path and been knocked clean off their bike sideways. I only avoided it because I've got experience with MGIF'S. 

Why dont we have a cycling and horse section on the driving test?

Question... does a cyclist have to use a shared path and why might they not be using it?

Is there actually a point to overtaking the bicycle, or will you be re overtaken seconds later?

The more people that cycle, the more this is going to happen. We need to get people educated on how to act around cyclists and learn what they've done wrong, in a calm and civil manner. Not go round shouting at eachother and having road rage. That helps nobody. 

Or you know, we could just take part of the road away on every major link road and town and city in the land, give it protection from motor traffic and priority over all motor traffic? Then drivers wouldnt even have to contemplate an overtake, theyd be in their own lane, and we'd be in ours. 

Or we could make it mandatory for people taking their driving test to watch videos like this?Cyclists!!! - YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSROjN1qSCI   

       saying that, when i went for my driving test, one of the staff there was having a discussion with a test taker, as i put my stuff in the locker. He said'' oh yes i got stuck behind a cyclist on castle lane, he wasnt using the cycle lane''.

Angered, i said to him'' actually theres a very good reason for that- that isnt a cycle lane, its a pavement where you have to stop at every junction, its too bumpy and its got pedestrians walking all over it, its not a cycle lane, its a shared path for slow riders.''

Worrying too, even in a test centre these mis conceptions float....

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Bungle_52 replied to Gary's bike channel | 3 years ago
5 likes

I agree with everything you say but I still think nothing would concentrate the mind better than a letter from the police or an offer of a driver awareness course with the alternative being a prosecution. That's why I wouldn't have stopped, I'd have just submitted the footage.

The only other suggestion I have is that cycling should form part of, or be a prerequistite to, the driving test. When I was a kid every one cycled so this was effectively the case. Now most parents think it's too dangerous for their children to cycle. I know many people who cycled during the first lockdown but now won't and for the first time I saw a bike on ebay with the reason for sale given as "too frightened to cycle on the road". If we are going to get more people cycling we need actions not words.

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Gary's bike channel replied to Bungle_52 | 3 years ago
1 like

so the proof is there. the first lockdown really was one, with key workers out, everyone else has basically empty roads, or 1950's traffic levels. Now with ''essential'' shops still open, or people going to work who may not be a key worker, going for a drive somewhere local to exercise, going to get the car mot'd, going out on the road generally, its exactly what people would do normally. This isnt a lockdown, this is just how it was in the tier system. Roads are just as busy in day time as they ever were and very few police cars around to stop check everybody. So of course people are too afraid to ride on the roads, especially kids, its the same as it was before. I actually really miss riding in the first lockdown. There were more people cycling than there were cars! and no traffic jams at all. This just shows people want to be able to cycle places or do it for exercise but out of fear of traffic they cant. I don't see why the government doesnt just instruct councils to put up bollards on every major road in towns. Thats got to be cheaper than building widened pavements everywhere. 

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Richard D | 3 years ago
13 likes

I put a link to it on Tesco's Facebook page.

First comment? "Seems a legit pass to me. Maybe bike should be nearer the curb".

I shit you not.

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alansmurphy replied to Richard D | 3 years ago
3 likes

Which makes you wonder why a delivery truck needs a passenger seat, what difference would it have made if the bike was nearer the kerb, if I see a car too far from the kerb can i wave a knife around at the driver. The logic of some (many) people!

 

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Hirsute replied to Richard D | 3 years ago
5 likes

Kerb - why can't people spell?

I suppose there is a slim possibility that it was a lame joke.

 

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Rendel Harris replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
1 like
hirsute wrote:

Kerb - why can't people spell?

I suppose there is a slim possibility that it was a lame joke.

Might have been an American, they spell it curb.

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zero_trooper replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
0 likes

Or even a lane joke…

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swldxer replied to Richard D | 3 years ago
2 likes

"KERB".

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HarrogateSpa replied to swldxer | 3 years ago
5 likes

The Tesco driver should have used his wing mirror to assess how far the rider was from the curb.

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Gary's bike channel replied to Richard D | 3 years ago
0 likes

can you link that here. I can't see anything on tescos page.

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Richard D replied to Gary's bike channel | 2 years ago
0 likes
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alansmurphy | 3 years ago
13 likes

As others have said, the fact that he doesn't see this as a problem is the problem. He will do this 100 times not thinking of it as a problem, kill someone and we'll be told how it was an unavoidable collision and the first time anything like this has happened...

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HarrogateSpa replied to alansmurphy | 3 years ago
3 likes

It's taxi-driver style driving - breaking the rules of the road, but using the physical bulk of the vehicle to force others out of the way.

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Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
16 likes

I miss the chap who didn't like tri bars.

Given the lack of contrition by the driver or acknowledgement that he had driven a liveried vehicle in a very poor manner, I would definitely urge you to report this incident to Tesco at the least.

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Gary's bike channel replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
0 likes

tri bars? i do love the position. i did a test on ten miles the other night, about 32 minutes day time using drops, but night time on tri bars only 27.30! the wind just zips over you, its a much better position.  

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eburtthebike | 3 years ago
19 likes

I trust that this incident was reported to both the police and Tesco?  The driver clearly didn't consider that he'd done anything wrong and will therefore do it again, and again and again, until he kills someone; then he'll know it was wrong.

Kudos for staying calm, I might have considered dragging him out of his cab and applying summary justice.

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brooksby replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
12 likes

Based on his logic, I trust that the Tesco driver pulls safely off the road every time a bus or a HGV wishes to pass him?

Definitely complain to Tesco (who will ignore it) and to the police.

Are Tesco delivery drivers employees or are they minimum wage subcontractors like all the 'normal' delivery van drivers?

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giff77 replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
10 likes
brooksby wrote:

Based on his logic, I trust that the Tesco driver pulls safely off the road every time a bus or a HGV wishes to pass him?

Definitely complain to Tesco (who will ignore it) and to the police.

Are Tesco delivery drivers employees or are they minimum wage subcontractors like all the 'normal' delivery van drivers?

I'm pretty sure they're Tesco employees who most likely will work in store as well as deliver. I've also heard that Tesco take a dim view of irresponsible driving as it is reflective on the brand especially when their vehicles are covered in decals. I can never understand why drivers insist on driving like tools in marked vehicles. 

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ktache replied to giff77 | 3 years ago
9 likes

Because that is the standard of their driving ability.

This person deserves not to be allowed on the roads, let alone in a light goods vehicle, representing a national company, with a reputation to uphold.

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giff77 replied to ktache | 3 years ago
2 likes
ktache wrote:

Because that is the standard of their driving ability.

This person deserves not to be allowed on the roads, let alone in a light goods vehicle, representing a national company, with a reputation to uphold.

I totally agree. And it's disappointing that Tesco allow individuals drive their vehicles in this manner until the proverbial hits the fan and police and social media get involved!  

An organisation I worked with years ago would only let you drive any of their fleet if you had a clean licence. You also had to sit an in house test including theory as well as demonstrate basic knowledge of oil, water, tyres and basic road worthyness of vehicle. They were pretty strict about it all and endorsements could result in you forfeiting your driving privileges of the fleet. 

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yupiteru replied to giff77 | 3 years ago
3 likes

No, most likely not a Tesco employee but an agency driver and if a complaint gets made they will be moved to another depot/store.  Tesco uses a lot of agency staff for this very reason, they can say it is nothing to do with them.

I know because I used to be Tesco customer sevice manger and all they care about is making money, that is why I handed my notice in.

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Hirsute | 3 years ago
7 likes

You should have braked to let me in.

Tesco every little hurts
Tesco every little could result in serious injury.

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Philh68 | 3 years ago
8 likes

Terrible, ignorant driving. But I must say I'm impressed with the side underrun protection on the van, that's a rarity here in Australia. With drivers like this one it's easy to see the necessity of it.

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Bristol Bullet replied to Philh68 | 3 years ago
3 likes

It's not  "side underrun protection", it's a hinged step the delivery driver can stand on if they need some extra height to reach the crates of shopping on the van. It's "folded" away when driving and deployed at the customer's address. It's only on the nearside of the van as this is the only side you can access the shopping. I used to be a Tesco Delivery driver. 

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zero_trooper replied to Bristol Bullet | 3 years ago
0 likes

Could you deploy it remotely - 007 style - if any pesky cyclists dare undertake you?!?

*undertake, as in 'pass on the nearside' 

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