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Near Miss of the Day 16: Police show how to overtake cyclists safely

Dorset Police launched their close pass operation this week and are getting the message across on social media

As we reported yesterday, Dorset Police, along with their colleagues in Devon & Cornwall, launched their Operation Close Pass this week.

The forces are the latest to adopt the close pass initiative rolled out last year to widespread acclaim by West Midlands Police.

> Close pass operations launched in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset

Plain clothes police officers take to the road on bikes, and radio ahead to uniformed colleagues when a driver gives insufficient space.

Footage is captured on bike-mounted video cameras supplied by Cycle Engage UK, and motorists caught in the operation are shown the safe distance to give riders with the help of close pass mats supplied by Cycling UK.

Today, Dorset Police have tweeted a video showing one motorist caught on camera giving too little room to the cyclist being overtaken, as well as another driver who overtakes safely, and the difference is clear to see.

The first incident, involving a yellow car, has a datestamp of October 2015, so wasn't filmed as part of the current operation, but it's encouraging that the force is using social media to get the point across to motorists.

And here's an informative video from Surrey Police advising motorists how to overtake someone on a bike.

Over in London, the Metropolitan Police in Winchmore Hill have also been educating motorists via Twitter about how to drive safely when sharing the road with cyclists, tweeting this graphic.

Over the years has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] or contact us via the Facebook page.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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