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Close-pass footage has now been used to prosecute 78 drivers, say West Midlands police

Police Scotland have paid the force a visit to see widely-praised campaign in operation

Traffic police in the West Midlands say that third-party video footage has so far result in the prosecution of 78 motorists for passing cyclists too closely.

The figure was disclosed in a message on Twitter posted last Friday by the West Midlands Road Policing Unit.

The force launched its Operation Close Pass, which has been widely praised by cycling campaigners, last month.

> West Midlands Police to use cycling officer to target close-passing drivers

The initiative calls on motorists to give people on bikes at least 1.5 metres of room when overtaking – with police warning drivers that they will be prosecuted if they fail to comply.

There have been calls for police forces elsewhere to adopt the approach, with Metropolitan Police officers in Camden in north west London and North Wales Police having said that they will follow the lead of their colleagues in the West Midlands.

> North Wales Police latest to launch close pass operation

Last week, the force said in a message on Twitter that they had also been accompanied by an Edinburgh-based traffic officer from Police Scotland who had come to see their work at first hand.

Other campaigns highlighted on the force’s Twitter feed include seizing vehicles that are uninsured, as well as enforcing speed limits, with Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell among those to applaud its approach.

This blog post from West Midlands Police sets out the type of incidents that should be reported.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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