Road Safety News

Operation Close Pass switches focus to Falkirk

Wednesday 11th October 2017

Road policing officers in Forth Valley, Scotland, have carried out a weekend of action in Falkirk as part of Police Scotland’s Operation Close Pass.

Police Scotland’s version of Operation Close Pass, first launched in April 2017, follows the same template as that used by several police forces across England - with plain-clothed police officers saddling up to identify motorists who do not leave the required space when passing cyclists.

The officers pass on details of offending drivers to in-car colleagues who intercept them at a designated holding point.

Last weekend’s activity in Falkirk involved two plain clothed officers cycling on bikes which were fitted with recording equipment.

On 7 October, 10 vehicles were stopped after four close passes, four aborted overtakes, one sounding of the horn and one verbal confrontation with a cyclist.

The following day, five vehicles were stopped following four close passes and an undertake.

All the drivers involved were spoken to at length by uniformed officers, with a focus on education, and shown a visual representation of the passing distance required when overtaking a cyclist.

Sgt David Ross of Forth Valley's Road Policing Unit said: "Keeping vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, safe is a priority for Forth Valley's Road Policing Unit and we continue to do so through a combination of educational activity and enforcement measures.

"It's vital that we continue to proactively intervene to keep all road users safe and that all drivers recognise the importance of giving cyclists space. However, be assured that we will take enforcement action wherever necessary."

Category: Cyclists, Enforcement.




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Keith : Cyclists passing slow moving or stationary traffic on the left is called filtering and is part of level 3 Bikeability training. I assume you are not referring to this? It does say not to pass large vehicles at the head of a junction where they may turn left. Otherwise, last time I looked at my car I had two wing mirrors.

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I would question the sanity of anyone who rides a cycle on a public road. There needs to be a concerted push for segregated/protected lanes on primary & secondary routes. The vast majority of vehicular traffic wonít give other traffic the safe space or consideration on the road, never mind cyclists?

Again this is down to poor training, enforcement & reluctance to take away the privilege of holding a driving license. The poor standard of everyday driving skills by all road user groups in the UK is shocking! Whilst successive governments shy away from doing anything meaningful to rectify this (as they are terrified of losing votes) the carnage on our highways will increase...
Sandy Allan, Aberdeen

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So that's what the police in "my" area have been doing :-)
Andrew Fraser Stirling

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Following this initiative, an arbitrary figure has been presented, adopted and actioned on by the police for the safe overtaking of cyclists. It is the same as the distance that should be given to vehicles overtaking parked vehicle should a car door be opened.

Anyone found overtaking cyclists under this distance is being warned or reported for summons for driving without reasonable consideration.

Is it therefore going to be the case that any driver failing to give this adopted and now recognised safety distance could now be used to further prosecute drivers who fail to give that same distance whilst overtaking parked vehicles.

Only stands to reason that as now a distance has been accepted and acted upon that it could be further used for close and dangerous passes to any and all parked vehicles.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

Keith, I am sure they will. On a recent Close Pass initiative in Ipswich the Roads Policing chaps ticketed a cyclist for going through a red light, which is another of their questionable behaviours.
David, Suffolk

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Hopefully we can expect Falkirk Police to report and talk to those cyclists that put themselves in danger by passing closely on the left. Such action by cyclists surely is a contributory factor in causing some car drivers to be placed in a position that could be deemed as endangering the cyclist.

Agree (8) | Disagree (3)