A Cambridge police crackdown on motorists passing cyclists too closely ended up with officers instead turning their attention to cyclists riding without lights. Referring to close-passes, a police spokesman said of officers, that “so far they’ve not seen it as a problem.”
Cambridge News reports that a close-pass enforcement day was held 18 months ago and according to the minutes of a recent meeting, Cambridgeshire police's Sergeant Ian Wood told the city's east area committee that it “had not yielded the results expected.”
The minutes state that, “police had been looking at motorists passing cyclists too close on Mill Road bridge, but had ended up giving advice to unlit cyclists.”
Speaking in a private capacity, Roxanne De Beaux of Cambridge Cycling Campaign (CamCycle) pointed out that the close-pass crackdown, “was to have been over more than one day, and to have included news coverage and education, and she was to have been told about it in advance."
In response to this, a Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “Det Insp Nick Skipworth has invited Roxanne to go on an insight patrol to work with officers to identify dangerous driving relating to close passes. In the work officers have done so far they’ve not seen it as a problem.”
De Beaux also pointed out that some police forces have made provision for cyclists to upload video evidence of close passes via their websites and suggested that Cambridgeshire police could do something similar.
The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Andy Coles, said that if there was a wish to deal with issues relating to cycling and risk, it would be necessary to ensure that it did not clash with other local priorities when these were being set.
According to the minutes, an unnamed councillor then requested that enforcement action be taken against cyclists riding through red lights and not being lit at night, urging Camcycle to “impress on cyclists the importance of visibility.”