Police clamp down on close passes

Police clamp down on close passes

The successful operation by West Midlands Police to catch ‘near miss’ drivers could go nationwide. Fingers crossed!

As a cyclist, being overtaken by a driver with mere inches to spare is like standing inside the yellow line on a railway station platform when an intercity thunders through: it’s dangerous and intimidating. It’s bad enough if you’re a regular cyclist; if you’re an occasional cyclist, it might be enough to make you stop cycling altogether.

‘We know through our work with the Birmingham Cycle forum that close passing is the single biggest deterrent stopping more people from taking to their bikes,’ said West Midlands Police traffic officer, PC Mark Hodson, whose force last year became the first in the country to target close-passing drivers.

‘Some drivers get tunnel vision,’ he said. ‘Their only focus is on getting from A to B as quickly as possible. They don’t pay any attention to vulnerable road users and we’ve attended some horrific scenes where cyclists have been wiped out by drivers who’ve not even seen them. Drivers need to consider that a cyclist they are overtaking could be a police officer − and, if they don’t pass them safely, they could be prosecuted.’

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By Shelley

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