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Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 6:39pm
by alexnharvey
Most days during my commute I am being close passed by one particular driver. Do you have any advice for dealing with this? I have told him that he is passing me too close once when I caught up at traffic lights. If anything his behaviour has worsened since then. I expect a further attempt at conversation could lead to a further worsening next day or an initiate escalation.

There's no easy alternative route for this section of my commute, all routes converge for that section or have a an extra mile detour. Road is a reasonably wide single carriageway, 40mph limit. I am positioned to the left of centre, in the left hand tyre track. If I am further left drivers tend to skim me whilst attending to pass within the lane. This effectively forces them to wait until they can safely overtake.

I suppose a dash cam and complaining to the police with footage is probably the best way. Any other ideas?

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 8:17pm
by flat tyre
Do you need to travel at exactly the same time everyday? Why not leave home 15 mins earlier or later. Do this for a while and your close passer might have gone away.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 8:19pm
by reohn2
alexnharvey wrote: ....I suppose a dash cam and complaining to the police with footage is probably the best way. Any other ideas?

That's your best course of action IMO.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 8:20pm
by Herts Audax
Report them to the police.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 8:48pm
by alexnharvey
flat tyre wrote:Do you need to travel at exactly the same time everyday? Why not leave home 15 mins earlier or later. Do this for a while and your close passer might have gone away.


Pretty much. Two kids to get ready for school and nursery so I leave as late as possible to help my wife with them and then have a morning handover meeting first thing at work.

I'll look into cameras then although others in Cambridgeshire report the police don't take any action over videos. Might be different if it shows a clear pattern of behaviour. Presumably a visible camera might have a deterrent effect too.

I should add that today it went from me thinking "idiot" (or similar) and being a bit angry about it to "whoa, that was nearly bloody touching me" and being scared. Previously he pulls in tight, today he fully skims me, no problem to reach out and touch.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 8:59pm
by Syd
My wife has a problem with a particular driver around Manchester. She reported it to the police, with video footage, and an officer called round one evening.

Shockingly the police advice was to change time or route as the driver was known to them and they feared an escalation of events if they paid a visit for a ‘chat’.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 9:02pm
by brynpoeth
Invite a policeperson to accompany you

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 9:30pm
by Bonefishblues
Herts Audax wrote:Report them to the police.

Do this now.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 1:01am
by Pete Owens
Bonefishblues wrote:Do this now.

^ This.

Don't wait to get a camera - report it now.

Whether or not your local police have a system for submitting videos of bad driving, what you describe goes far beyond what could be passed off as a moments lack of attention or poor judgement, but a persistent and almost certainly deliberate pattern of behaviour. And you are unlikely to be the only victim.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 6:52am
by tykeboy2003
Syd wrote:My wife has a problem with a particular driver around Manchester. She reported it to the police, with video footage, and an officer called round one evening.

Shockingly the police advice was to change time or route as the driver was known to them and they feared an escalation of events if they paid a visit for a ‘chat’.


I'm speechless, but not particularly surprised.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 8:23am
by Stradageek
I have tackled this in two ways, one a bit risky, the other pretty safe.

The risky option I use when I hear (or see in the mirror) cars likely to pass very close. I execute a strategic wobble, moving a couple of feet to the right as if avoiding a pothole, scares the willies out of most drivers who rapidly hit the brakes.

The less risky option is to tow a nice wide trailer or have something else nice and wide mounted on the rear of the bike.

Most drivers are not concerned about killing a cyclist - because they have no experience of the horrors involved - but every driver has experienced the horrors of having their car SCRATCHED! I've always played on those fears.

A well documented case in Northampton involved a cyclist knocked off his bike by a driver who immediately stopped got out of his car, checked it for scratches then got in and drove off!

PS my wife offers another solution, which has also worked. After the close pass give the driver a friendly smile and wave, the resulting discombobulation can result in the necessary change of behaviour.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 10:30am
by Mick F
Buy a lollipop.
They stick out nice and wide with a big red reflector too.
Mount it so it's as far out as you can.

This sort of thing.
https://www.roaduserdirect.co.uk/index. ... ct_id=3386
Another idea is to carry an umbrella and mount it sideways with the pointy end outwards.

Maybe the best thing, is to alter your clothing so you look like someone else.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 10:52am
by Pastychomper
Mick F wrote:...
Maybe the best thing, is to alter your clothing so you look like someone else.


I understand a long wig can be effective.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 11:03am
by Bonefishblues
Stradageek wrote:I have tackled this in two ways, one a bit risky, the other pretty safe.

The risky option I use when I hear (or see in the mirror) cars likely to pass very close. I execute a strategic wobble, moving a couple of feet to the right as if avoiding a pothole, scares the willies out of most drivers who rapidly hit the brakes.


This strikes me as quite a remarkable piece of advice to post, even with 'risky' attached to it.

OP please don't do this - moving further into harm's way can't be the answer.

Re: Repeated close passes by driver on commute

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 11:31am
by Ivor Tingting
alexnharvey wrote:Most days during my commute I am being close passed by one particular driver. Do you have any advice for dealing with this? I have told him that he is passing me too close once when I caught up at traffic lights. If anything his behaviour has worsened since then. I expect a further attempt at conversation could lead to a further worsening next day or an initiate escalation.

There's no easy alternative route for this section of my commute, all routes converge for that section or have a an extra mile detour. Road is a reasonably wide single carriageway, 40mph limit. I am positioned to the left of centre, in the left hand tyre track. If I am further left drivers tend to skim me whilst attending to pass within the lane. This effectively forces them to wait until they can safely overtake.

I suppose a dash cam and complaining to the police with footage is probably the best way. Any other ideas?


Use your mirrors. When you see the car or any vehicle approaching from behind which you know is probably going to pass too close/fast, turn around and eye ball them, keep looking back at them so they know in no uncertain terms that you have clocked them. If you feel they might still try and close pass hold up your right arm ready to take their near side mirror off. This always works and makes them swerve out giving you a lot of room. For the psychos have your D-lock to hand. I only had to use it twice in decades of cycling but in each instance it saved me from serious assault and injury - one a taxi driver in Camberwell in London 20 years ago and about 10 years ago from a pyshco 16 wheeler trucker in the Fens who got out down from his cab to assault me having tried to wipe me out Duel style.

Don't be under any illusions, Cambridgeshire police are crap when it comes to reporting drivers who close pass, intimidate and threaten cyclists. I was hit and run they were absolutely useless. Case closed after 2 weeks, insufficient evidence. I wouldn't even bother reporting anything to them now as I used to report drivers periodically. Not any more. They always make out that you're at fault. Anything to fob you off and not do any work. They are generally pretty ignorant. It's your life you have to protect it as you think fit. The plod won't be there if this idiot knocks you off. As I say the measures I use when I have to cycle short distances on roads work for me.

I cannot stress how important it is to use your mirror(s) and make the deliberate exaggerated look behind you, several times if need be as 99.99% of drivers will then slow up and then pass wide and safely. If you don't do this then you are close passed. Of course if you see in your mirror a car pulling out in good time to pass wide you don't need to keep looking behind although a quick glance is advised as some on occasion do cut in on you.

If all these seems a but much then just change your route. Get a camera or put your smart phone on your handle bars so you can readily film this idiot and so at least have footage of him or her. Some women drivers are just as bad as men. Riding on UK roads is scary you have to have balls of steel.