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WATCH: Bodycam captures speeding driver in near miss with cyclist

By Andrew Turton | Birmingham | Crime | Published:

This is the moment a speeding driver came within inches of sending a cyclist flying as he tore along a busy road.

The cyclist remonstrates as the car driver is captured on camera

And police released the footage as part of a safety project in a bid to highlight motorists who pass too close for comfort.

The video clip shows the Jaguar driver – a Birmingham doctor on his commute to work – who was just 10cms from the cyclist.

Police say the driver flew past at nearly 50mph in a 30mph zone along Harborne Road, in Birmingham.

Bodycam footage provided by the biker was used by the Road Harm Reduction Team to prosecute the 33-year-old for driving without due care and attention.

He admitted the offence which happened at 7.30am on October 5.

He was handed fines and costs totalling £265 and given three points on his licence at a hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Monday.

WATCH the footage here

Video shows shock ‘close pass' of cyclist by 50mph driver

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West Midlands Police launched its project called #OpClosePass 18 months ago.

It sees plain clothes cops on the lookout for motorists who fail to give cyclists enough room.

They offer road-side education to many and take the most serious offenders to court.

More than 400 motorists have been prosecuted using video footage provided by the public.

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The force say the cycle safety campaign has coincided with a 20 per cent drop in the number of cyclists killed or seriously hurt on Midlands' roads.

Pc Mark Hodson, from West Midlands Police’s Force Traffic Unit, said the latest prosecution should act as a warning.

He said: “This was a shocking example of a hazardous close pass and in one manoeuvre the driver has committed offences that would fail a driving test: endangering the cyclist, speeding and undertaking other vehicles.

“We assessed he came less than 10cms from the bike’s handlebars.

"That alone could have caused the cyclist to fall off, and potentially been seriously hurt, but had he clipped the bike it could have had fatal consequences.

“He initially denied being at fault and opted for a court trial instead of accepting a fine or drive improvement course – but his excuses were rubbished by the video evidence and he later changed his plea to guilty.

“We’ve prosecuted hundreds of inconsiderate motorists thanks to video evidence provided by road users and I expect that figure to surpass 1,000 later this year.

“Drivers who endanger vulnerable road users need to understand that we run operations to catch them – and if they avoid our officers we can still prosecute them using footage provided by cyclists and other motorists.”

Here's how much space you need to give cyclists

Pc Hodson said he is confident the close pass message is getting through to drivers.

He added: “Cycling groups are telling us that, on the whole, motorists are becoming more considerate and understand we will prosecute them if they endanger our members.

“We’ve seen reports of close-passes halve in the West Midlands since we started the project and the number of cyclists seriously hurt in collisions fall by a fifth – that’s incredible against a backdrop of increasing numbers of people cycling on our roads.”

Several other police forces across the UK have since adopted the close pass scheme and up to 30 are considering following suit.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “I am extremely proud of West Midlands Police’s pioneering close pass scheme; we must have mutual respect on the roads and it is vital cyclists are afforded the same rights and protection as any other road user.

“As a former Transport Minister, I understand the importance of road safety and made it a top priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

"This is outstanding work by West Midlands Police, who are bucking the national trend by reducing cycle deaths on our roads.”

Andrew Turton

By Andrew Turton
Digital Journalist

Digital journalist based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton. Interested in breaking news and social media. Get in touch on Twitter @aturton_star or andrew.turton@expressandstar.co.uk

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