Sorry mate, I didn't see you...recording near misses while cycling

Chris Peck's picture
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CTC's Stop SMIDSY campaign is gathering examples of where and when crashes occur between road users and will document the reactions of the criminal justice system, ranging from the police to prosecutors and the courts. But there are hundreds of 'near misses' that occur for each actual crash.

There's one junction that I must use regularly that I find really scary. It's a roundabout above a major trunk road. Motor vehicles come off the trunk road at 70 mph but the design of the roundabout means that they only need to slow down to around 45 mph if they want to enter the roundabout and leave at the first exit.

Once, when passing through this junction, I was almost hit by a 4X4, the driver of which barely slowed as he entered the roundabout, having decided to squeeze past me on the inside or he simply didn't see me. It was the closest as I've ever come to being hit by a car.

It was the closest as I've ever come to being hit by a car.

I reported that incident on CTC's Stop SMIDSY site.  We've had hundreds of horrible incidents reported but for each one that involved a crash with another vehicle, another four were 'near misses'. For health and safety professionals in industry, near misses are often considered with the same level of seriousness as actual crashes, but in our experience the same cannot be said about the police where they are informed.

In most cases, of course, the police aren't informed about 'near misses', often because the cyclist - accustomed to previous apathetic responses - doesn't think the police will ever take notice. Alternatively, they would like to report it to the police but can't identify the vehicle involved. In the most recent incident I was far too shaken up - and the driver was going too fast - to record the incident.

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