Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance have carried out an operation to improve the safety of cyclists on the road by education drivers on how to overtake them safely. During the two hour operation six drivers were stopped and all accepted safety advice from the police officers.
On Tuesday, July 11, the Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance roads policing teams simultaneously launched Operation Close Pass.
Close Pass is an initiative intended to improve the safety of cyclists on the road by educating drivers on how to overtake them safely. It aims to raise awareness amongst motorists and cyclists alike on how to behave courteously to each other on the regions roads.
Head of roads policing for the Alliance, Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, said: “Rolling out Close Pass across in Devon and Cornwall is in direct response to feedback we have received from cycling groups and individual cyclists about the danger and discourtesy they face on a daily basis on the regions’ roads.
“Our figures indicate approximately 400 or so collisions involving cyclists every year, 200 to 300 of which result in slight injury, 50 to 80 in serious injury. There were 4 cyclist fatalities in each of the years from 2012 to 2016.
“This initiative is very important in the safeguarding and education of our community of road users.”
Close Pass works by volunteer police officers in cycling clothes, effectively ‘undercover’, taking to the road on bicycles fitted with cameras which record the behaviour of drivers who overtake them.
If offences are found to have taken place, the officer radios colleagues further down the road to direct the offending vehicle into a checkpoint where the driver will be offered roadside education using a specially designed mat which illustrates the safe passing distance.
Anyone refusing road side education will receive a fixed penalty notice of £100 and three points on their licence for the offence of ‘driving a vehicle without reasonable consideration of others’.