Operation Close Pass aims to make cycling safer in Kenilworth - The Leamington Observer

Operation Close Pass aims to make cycling safer in Kenilworth

CYCLING should be a safer business in Keniworth thanks to a police operation.

Warwickshire Police officers and PCSO’s from Kenilworth and Rural East SNT educated five motorists during Operation ‘Close Pass’, aimed at improving the safety of the many cyclists using the roads.

During the operation in Glasshouse Lane, the initiative used a plain clothes officer on a bicycle equipped with front and rear facing cameras.

Close passes by drivers are both intimidating and dangerous for cyclists. By educating road users and raising awareness of the safe passing distance the aim of the operation was to help make roads safer for cyclists.

The officer who was on the bicycle was pleased to see that the vast majority of motorists behaved as they should, waiting and giving plenty of room to him and they were acknowledged with a wave of thanks.

Any vehicle seen to not pass with the recommended distance of 1.5 metres was pulled over to a suitable location and offered the opportunity to have a short educational input using material provided by Cycling UK and RoSPA.

Five drivers were stopped and received the optional education around safe passing distances.

PC Mark Finch said: “We want to support people who wish to cycle and to remind drivers that cyclists don’t have the same protection around them as people in vehicles so it’s even more important that other road users take extra care around them on the roads.

“During the operation, most drivers knew exactly how to pass a cyclist safely and this was great to see.

“However a few drivers were hurrying to get past and not being patient, trying to overtake when other vehicles were coming in the other direction. If they had waited a few seconds the road would have been clear and it would have been much safer for everyone. These drivers received education.

“We also interacted with other cyclists who thanked us for the operation.”

Further operations are planned on popular cycle routes across the county.

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