1. ITV Report

Cycling family give a 'thumbs down' to near-miss drivers

Five-year-old cyclist Ruth Jones gives the thumbs down to a passing driver. Credit: Family

A father, who's cycling around Cornwall and Devon with his family, has called on the Chief Constable to do more to ensure their safety on the roads. Tom Jones has posted footage of various vehicles overtaking them on the busy A392 near Newquay.

The Jones family had a near miss which nearly ended their trip just as it was getting started. Five-year-old Ruth was letting drivers know what she thought of the space they were giving her as they overtook near Newquay and then a car towing a caravan came within centimetres of knocking them off their bikes.

I knew how close it was to me and I knew how close it was to my child on the back and when you're a parent you just want to protect your children.

You go from shocked to cross. I went to cross fairly quickly and I think I may have shouted at the gentleman or lady concerned just 'what are you doing? You complete idiot!'

We're people. We're not some abstract. We're actual living breathing people.

– Katie Jones, Mother and Cyclist
The Jones family want to be able to ride out in confidence. Credit: ITV West Country

The family have video evidence of the near miss. Dad Tom was so angry he made a direct appeal to the Chief Constable, "It is not fair that a family like ours is being intimidated off Devon and Cornwall's roads. Please will you do something to restore our confidence?"

This was the response from Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer. He told ITV News that, road policing resources might be stretched but there will be more money for schemes in the autumn.

As a cyclist, I have to agree with that family. 'Close pass' is one of the operations we run where we actually video and then pull over vehicles for passing too close and what I would say is if you really have got that material, I can't promise to act on every single one but that kind of intelligence of geographically where does it happen then I'd like to focus on the hotspots.

– Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable, Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Watch the Jones family's story in 'Near Misses'

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Dad Tom hopes his experience will encourage motorists to be more careful. He says it's "A totally avoidable situation that somebody has put you in for the sake of a few seconds saved but it's utterly terrifying for those few seconds and it's needless".

How it should be done - this driver gives the cycling family plenty of room. Credit: ITV West Country