"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…
— Cycle Safety Team (@MetCycleCops) July 21, 2017
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.
— havebike (@havebike) July 21, 2017