7th Jul, 2022

Operation Close Pass sees police tackle nearly 200 drivers

Ross Crawford 26th Aug, 2021

ALMOST 200 motorists have been stopped by police for potentially risking the safety of other road users.

Officers from West Midlands Police have once again been carrying out regular Operation Close Pass action to reinforce the dangers of driving too close to riders and causing a collision.

185 motorists were pulled over across the region between July 29 and August 11 in a series of days of action where routes of concern – including Blossomfield Road in Solihull and Foleshill Road in Coventry- were highlighted in partnership with West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

Almost 30 people were reported for driving offences, ranging from driving without due care and attention to driving without insurance.

Others were educated around the dangers of not keeping at a safe distance – a minimum of 1.5 metres – when travelling past cyclists, by Road Casualty Reduction Officers from WMFS.

West Midlands Police were the pioneers of Close Pass in 2016 and since then road casualties amongst cyclists have dropped dramatically, falling from 124 in 2017 to 88 in 2020, while cycle journeys actually increased.

Sgt Jon Butler, from the Road Harm Prevention team, said: “Operation Close Pass enables us to speak to road users and educate them on the dangers of overtaking too close.

“While in the most serious cases, we won’t hesitate to prosecute those who recklessly put lives at risk.

“I would encourage all road users who see anyone falling below acceptable driving standards to report this, with camera footage, via our online portal.”

Deborah Fox, head of demand management at TfWM said: “Across the West Midlands, we have an ambition to increase cycling to five per cent of all journeys by 2023.

“To do this, we are working hard to create safe spaces for people to cycle, increase their confidence and access to bikes and help them feel safer on the roads.”

The police online report portal is accessible at: https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/close-pass-cycling

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