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Met Police launch close pass operation

No roadside education option for professional drivers – they’ll just be reported

"We can't be everywhere, but we could be anywhere," seems to be the tagline to the Met Police’s close pass operation, launched today. Plain clothes officers from the Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command say they will be cycling around on the lookout for tailgating, close passes and turns made across a cyclist’s path.

As with other close pass operations – such as the one pioneered by West Midlands Police or that recently announced in Northern Ireland where officers will be joining club rides – the cycling officer will radio colleagues to stop any offending driver.

The force says that the motorist will be required to provide evidence of insurance, a driving licence, pass a roadside eyesight test and have their vehicle checked for roadworthiness.

Early evidence suggests they might be in for a busy time…

Most of the time, the driver will be given a short presentation on the Highway Code rules regarding the offence and the standard of driving that they should reasonably be expected to exhibit.

Professional drivers and those who display examples of particularly bad driving will however not be offered the roadside engagement. They’ll be reported, which may lead to a court appearance.

Sergeant Andy Osborne of the Cycle Safety Team said: "We want all road users to obey the Highway Code. This tactic is about education and encouraging motorists who do not comply with the rules of the road to start doing so – for everyone's safety and protection – theirs included.

"There is a lot of traffic in the capital and we all need to share the roads and be mindful of other road users. In its simplest form, it's about being courteous to one another.

"By all road users obeying the Highway Code, collectively we can help lessen incidents of people being killed or seriously injured on the roads."

Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: "We know that safety concerns are one of the biggest barriers to cycling in London. That's why we're working hard to build high-quality safe routes to encourage even more people to cycle, and why I'm so pleased to see the Met tackling some of the dangers that we see on our roads."

We were also pleased to see that some Met Police vehicles now feature ‘stay awesome’ stickers.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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davel | 7 years ago

So, Will Norman.

What's he for, again?

Mungecrundle | 7 years ago

Seems to me that Sydney's cyclist should do the decent thing and just get off the roads. Imagine how much better the notoriously congested city traffic would flow if a large number of cyclists were able to find themselves some old and possibly unreliable cars and maybe select a day in the week to all drive. Due to their inexperience you would have to hope for no minor fender benders at critical junctions and other hot spots, but apart from those and some inconvenient breakdowns, what could possibly go wrong?

It is about time the cycling community woke up and realised that there are alternative and more socially acceptable methods of personal transport.

keninoz | 7 years ago

Meanwhile in Australia.

In NSW the police focus is on issuing infringement notices to cyclists. New penalties were introduced in 2016. These penalties range from more than AUD $100 to more than AUD $400. They include not having a properly working bell, not wearing a helmet (Australia has mandatory helmet laws) & the catch-all of "riding furiously, recklessly or negligently", the interpretation of which is open to the police officer who issues the infringement notice.

In the first 6 months, infringement notices totalling more than AUD $1.3 m were issued by police to cyclists (mostly in Sydney) & the police now conduct regular & highly organised blitzes on cyclists under codenames such as Operation Pedro.  The police don't give warnings or offer education, they simply issue the penalties.

At the same time, a new minimum passing distance law was introduced for motorists. It requires motorists to give cyclists a clearance of 1.0 metre in areas where the speed limit is up to 80 kmh & 1.5 metres in areas where the speed limit is above 80 kmh. During the same 6 month period, infringements totalling less than $5000 were issued for this offence although it seems that most fatalities involving cyclists were a result of being struck from behind by a motor vehicle.

mikewood | 7 years ago

Can we have them pointing out the solid white line rules please too??

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