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Leicestershire Police may invite cyclists to send in video of dangerous passes

Dangerous drivers may need to be more careful if they are to avoid prosecution

Leicestershire Police may invite cyclists to send them footage of dangerous drivers in a clamp down on close passing.

The force is looking at how video submissions could be made, following similar initiatives from other forces.

Eric Ludlow, of Leicester Cycling Campaign Group told the Leicester Mercury: "These days many cyclists have cameras and record (their journeys).

"West Midlands Police and the Met, in London, already accept third party video footage from cyclists and it is encouraging that Leicestershire will do the same."

The police officers have also made a video about the Safe Pass initiative to educate drivers.

Narrated by 14 year old police cadet Keira Pibworth, who was also involved in the filming, the 90 second video has been timed to coincide with the run-up to school holidays, when more cyclists will take to the roads for leisure or because they are cycling to work during better weather.

The force will stage a crackdown on behaviour in early July, in an operation lasting two weeks.

Inspector Paul Crewe, of Leicestershire Police, said: "Providing motorists with the information they need to make a safe pass is a crucial part of this campaign.

"Our aim is to make the roads safer for cyclists by educating motorists about the distances they need to leave when overtaking, as well as getting them to think about the risks involved before they start to pull out.

"It appears that most instances of dangerous overtaking are going unreported, which helps to explain why we don't have an accurate picture of how big the problem is.

"However, nationally there is a growing awareness and we have a responsibility to inform and warn motorists of the dangers and potential penalties involved."

Chris Boardman, who has given his backing to the film said: "It's great to see Leicestershire Police launch this initiative.

"Close pass education projects such as this are becoming the norm rather than the exception within police forces across the country, and are extremely useful to explain that cyclists are not just obstacles in the road to get around but people - sons, daughters, mothers and fathers.

"Bad driving affects us all no matter how we choose to travel and this sends a message that people's safety is being taken seriously."

In January we reported how West Midlands Police said that helmet- and dash-cam footage provided by road users is now of such high quality that motorists accused of dangerous close passes are tending to admit their offences without question.

A total of 130 motorists were pulled over during nine outings of a West Midlands Police road safety initiative operation, with eight prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.

One driver’s licence was immediately seized after they failed a road-side eye test.

The #GiveSpaceBeSafe scheme was launched by the force last September and sees plain clothes cops pedalling the region’s busiest roads on the lookout for motorists who pass too close for comfort.

Offenders are offered an on-the-spot educational input on safe overtaking using a specially designed floor mat.

But anyone who refuses to take part in the tutorial − or is deemed to have committed a particularly hazardous overtaking manoeuvre − can expect a date in court.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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