A police operation in Tiddington designed to improve the safety of cyclists in Warwickshire has seen officers speak to 58 motorists this week.
During National Bike Week (6th-14th June) police launched a three day operation called ‘Close Pass’ in which plain clothed officers rode bikes equipped with front and rear facing cameras.
The officers rode more than 75 miles during the three days and any vehicle seen not to observe the recommended 1.5m distance was pulled over and provided with information from Cycling UK and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Thirty-five drivers were stopped and received the optional education around safe passing distances. A further 20 drivers were stopped and words of advice given due to the speed they were driving and three drivers received Traffic Offence Reports for having no insurance.
Sergeant Leanne Mason said “We are seeing unprecedented numbers of cyclists on Warwickshire’s roads, and as part of our ongoing commitment to road safety, officers have been running Operation Close Pass to raise awareness and educate both drivers and cyclists about safe passing distances to help reduce the number of cyclists killed or injured on the region’s roads.”
Four cyclists were killed and 24 seriously injured on Warwickshire’s roads in 2019, with 11-15 year-olds and 45-55 year-olds most affected age groups.
Sergeant Mason added “Operation Close Pass plays a part in helping to reduce these numbers, but we are also encouraging cyclists and drivers to refresh their knowledge of the Highway Code and to self-educate as there are some great materials available online.”
Warwickshire Police is also supporting Cycling UK’s #TooCloseForComfort campaign by asking drivers to #TakeExtraCare when overtaking cyclists and to leave plenty of space.
Cycling UK have produced a Too Close for Comfort video to show drivers what it’s like to be close passed so non cyclists can understand it from a cyclist’s perspective.
This is available to view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kgPt-lNYGY
Tips and advice for both drivers and cyclists is also available from RoSPA at https://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/cyclists/sharing-the-road.pdf
Members of the public can help improve road safety in Warwickshire by reporting and submitting digital footage showing potential traffic offences as part of Operation Snap by visiting https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/operationsnap
Further operations are planned on popular cycle routes across the county.