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'Targeting cyclists will have more benefit because drivers aren’t causing any accidents' say Dundee Police after rejecting close pass operation

In 2017 a Dundee cyclist suffered a close pass by a police van on a blind bend

Dundee Police say they cannot justify rolling out a close pass operation because, “there aren’t drivers driving close enough to cause the cyclists to have an accident.” Tayside commander Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd claimed that targeting cyclists would have more benefit.

Yesterday we reported how councillors in Stirling had responded to a police close pass operation similar to that pioneered by West Midlands Police by calling for more enforcement on ‘inconsiderate’ cyclists.

In Dundee, the roles are reversed with councillors calling for police to tackle dangerous overtaking and police refusing to carry out a close pass operation.

Close pass operations typically involve plain-clothes officers on bikes equipped with cameras radioing ahead to alert uniformed colleagues of close passes or other instances of poor driving.

The Evening Telegraph reports that when the measure was proposed by Councillor Mark Flynn, Chief Superintendent Todd replied: “There aren’t drivers driving close enough to cause the cyclists to have an accident. Targeting (cyclists) will have more benefit than targeting drivers that aren’t causing any accidents – such as those running red lights. But it is being kept under review.”

Flynn, however, does believe that close passes are a problem. “Speaking to people over the years, many are put off cycling by the fear of vehicles overtaking too closely. I believe Operation Close Pass [would] help to achieve a more cycle friendly environment.”

The Dundee Cycling Forum added: “Despite dangerously close passes being a problem in Dundee, police in Tayside have steadfastly refused to take up Close Pass.

“There is no evidence for police to say that [it isn’t an issue]. The number one reason people do not cycle is fear of traffic. It is not an exaggeration to say that close passes – especially those by large trucks or buses – are truly terrifying.

“We would welcome the opportunity to scrutinise the police’s evidence.”

Todd responded: “We do record information about collisions and the causation factors and it currently remains that there is insufficient evidence to support claims that close passes of cyclists in Dundee result in collisions.”

Instances of close passes in Dundee are certainly not unheard of. In 2017 one cyclist suffered a close pass on a blind bend delivered by an officer at the wheel of a police van.

“I heard an engine approaching from behind but didn’t expect anyone to pass on a blind corner,” said David Evans. “Seeing it was the police was surprising. There was all manner of silly driving going on – overtaking on a blind corner, a close pass and into oncoming traffic. It was ill judged.”

A police spokesperson said the force would “look into the matter and establish the circumstances”.

It was later reported that an enquiry had been carried out and the force said that the officer responsible had been identified and given “appropriate advice.”

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

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26 comments

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Muddy Ford | 4 years ago
2 likes

I'm glad I don't live in Dundee. He could have said they are not planning to support this initiative because they don't have sufficient evidence in the area to suggest it is necessary. However, he went further to demonstrate hatred and contempt for cyclists with his response. If he is representative of police mindset then any cyclist injured or worse will be treated as if it was their fault. No investigation, no pursuance of dangerous drivers...just a dead cyclist written off as causing their own demise.  He is a wanker.

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Fish_n_Chips | 4 years ago
0 likes

Next week Dundee Police target racism and sexism by stopping to search more black women... laugh

What a bunch of numpties.

Hey Dundee police, guess which finger we're pointing up?

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jashem | 4 years ago
1 like

For him to understand what it's like to suffer a close pass he should spend a couple of hours riding a bike around Dundee centre.

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quiff | 4 years ago
2 likes

So depressing. Talk about missing the point.

I was going to say it's unsurprising that there's no data reporting "driving too close" as a cause of collision because it's self evident that if there's a collision you've got too close. However, "too close to a cyclist, horse or pedestrian" does seem to be one of the prescribed contributory factors that the police can report. See last page of this (don't know if it's still current): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa....

Misguided it may be, but if his force is reporting a lot of code 301 collisions (RLJs etc) and none where "too close" is a contributory factor, then I can see how you might feel pressure to put the money where the stats are. Just underlines how enlightened some other forces are.

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Philh68 | 4 years ago
1 like

Was superintendent Todd the one driving that van? It would explain a lot…

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grumpyoldcyclist | 4 years ago
2 likes

Chief Superintendent Todd replied: “There aren’t drivers driving close enough to cause the cyclists to have an accident. Targeting (cyclists) will have more benefit than targeting drivers that aren’t causing any accidents – such as those running red lights. But it is being kept under review.”

 

So how about targeting drivers for the five people (on average) that they kill every day of the year? Or instead, how about targeting drivers for the 450 people (on average) they put in hospital every day of the year? Or how about targeting the 1.25 million uninsured drivers estimated to be on the road?

If you targeted drivers for those reasons, then as a byproduct, you might reduce the amount of close passes. Yet you still won't do anything at all.

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CyclingInBeastMode replied to grumpyoldcyclist | 4 years ago
3 likes
grumpyoldcyclist wrote:

Chief Superintendent Todd replied: “There aren’t drivers driving close enough to cause the cyclists to have an accident. Targeting (cyclists) will have more benefit than targeting drivers that aren’t causing any accidents – such as those running red lights. But it is being kept under review.”

 

So how about targeting drivers for the five people (on average) that they kill every day of the year? Or instead, how about targeting drivers for the 450 people (on average) they put in hospital every day of the year? Or how about targeting the 1.25 million uninsured drivers estimated to be on the road?

If you targeted drivers for those reasons, then as a byproduct, you might reduce the amount of close passes. Yet you still won't do anything at all.

it's about 65 or so seriously injured a day, with about 160,000 minor injuries + the 24500 KSIs, yet muppets like him think people on bikes are a bigger problem, he's simply an outright liar and a deluded fool who should resign or be removed from his very well paid post!

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nniff | 4 years ago
4 likes

Dundee Police could get their stats up by prosecuting Todd for fraud - drawing his pay under false pretences. 

 

Anyone who can state “We do record information about collisions and the causation factors and it currently remains that there is insufficient evidence to support claims that close passes of cyclists in Dundee result in collisions.” for the record is clearly unfit to hold any public post of repsonsibility.

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Nikotine | 4 years ago
2 likes

We seem to all be commenting on these types of things again and again, yet nothing changes. I'm trying to imagine how all of this ridiculousness will ever get better, which I just don't see happening, especially as the population in general is becoming uncontrollable. As much as I used to laugh and enjoy Jeremy Clarkson, I just watched TG where he makes a "funny" advert about earn more and grow up and buy a car - so much of society watches TP and just larf at him, but he's influenced people to become careless, arrogant morons. I truly don't see any of this getting better, and that is very worrying. I don't want to be hit by a car because some twat relates to TP. Maybe a seriously done, and interesting cycle show might help things - the cycle show was pants.

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hawkinspeter replied to Nikotine | 4 years ago
3 likes
Nikotine wrote:

We seem to all be commenting on these types of things again and again, yet nothing changes. I'm trying to imagine how all of this ridiculousness will ever get better, which I just don't see happening, especially as the population in general is becoming uncontrollable. As much as I used to laugh and enjoy Jeremy Clarkson, I just watched TG where he makes a "funny" advert about earn more and grow up and buy a car - so much of society watches TP and just larf at him, but he's influenced people to become careless, arrogant morons. I truly don't see any of this getting better, and that is very worrying. I don't want to be hit by a car because some twat relates to TP. Maybe a seriously done, and interesting cycle show might help things - the cycle show was pants.

I think that Top Gear is/was more of an expression of the beliefs of some petrol-heads and to a certain extent exaggerated those beliefs for comic effect. It might have bolstered some opinions as well, but the hate towards cyclists was already there.

I think the solution is for data-driven policies rather than the bunch of random emotion-driven policies we end up with. Probably the first step is to stop voting in the demagogues that we seem to end up with. Don't listen to what they say, just watch what they do.

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ktache | 4 years ago
2 likes

Once they actually get out of their cars, walking about or especially on bicycles, they will notice quite how many "distracted" drivers there are out there.  But of course drivers do no wrong, never cause no deaths or serious injuries or nothing.

Cyclists are obviously the real problem.

 

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wycombewheeler | 4 years ago
2 likes

someone needs to explain the accident triangle to this numpty, eliminate near misses to prevent accidents.Dundee police, don't tolerate shit dangerous driving as long as the drivers are lucky.

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Grahamd | 4 years ago
0 likes

Think he must have a second job working for the Dundee tourist board promoting this cycling nirvana.

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alchemilla | 4 years ago
7 likes

"targeting cyclists will have more benefit..."  to whom?  Not to the cyclists being terrorised on the roads, nor to the drivers who will remain ignorant or unconcerned about the effect of their driving. Perhaps he means it will be of more benefit to the police, who can produce the figures to prove how many "bad" cyclists there are.

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Nikotine | 4 years ago
3 likes

Another example of the police being institutionally inept. Not sure why we pay their wages. Shameful.

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asbwilson1994 | 4 years ago
3 likes

Have cycled through Dundee once and had more than my fair share of close passes. The city also has what I would consider the most daunting road layouts for cyclists of any UK city. 

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atgni | 4 years ago
11 likes

A collision would not be a close pass.
You'd struggle to make this drivel up.

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Pilot Pete replied to atgni | 4 years ago
5 likes
atgni wrote:

A collision would not be a close pass. You'd struggle to make this drivel up.

Sadly, so so true. Is this copper actually competent enough to hold the position he has been appointed to? If he can’t think that for himself he is truly inept. Just how many collisions (and likely deaths of cyclists) does he need before he would consider close passing to be an issue. What a clown.

PP

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dodpeters | 4 years ago
4 likes

Do the numbers of people killed or seriously injured by motorists and cyclists support their assertions? The police don’t seem to be providing any evidence despite that normally being an important part of their work.

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burtthebike | 4 years ago
7 likes

“There aren’t drivers driving close enough to cause the cyclists to have an accident. Targeting (cyclists) will have more benefit than targeting drivers that aren’t causing any accidents – such as those running red lights. But it is being kept under review.”

Perhaps there aren't many cyclists because they've been deterred by all the close passes?  Given the probably low numbers of cyclists and the huge numbers of drivers, it is inconceivable that targetting cyclists would have more benefit.

We can only hope that Chief Superintendent Todd's employment will be kept under review.

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congokid | 4 years ago
16 likes

“We do record information about collisions and the causation factors and it currently remains that there is insufficient evidence to support claims that close passes of cyclists in Dundee result in collisions.”

This isn't about 'collisions', this is about close passing by motorists that intimidates vulnerable road users from using roads they're legally entitled to be on.

Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd needs to wise up or give the job to someone more competent than him.

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SculturaD | 4 years ago
9 likes

Target the victim, the vulnerable meanwhile let the perpetrators, guilty off scot free.

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Bigneilsmith | 4 years ago
4 likes

Can't remember the last time I saw a Police Scotland officer walk or cycle on the streets - they drive everythwere! So, you gotta love the Police know best attitude.

As policing has become more professionaised the years, it seems to me that they choose what the issues that they want to focus on, and provide them with the greatest professional satisfaction, and mostly ignore what commnunities actually want?

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OldRidgeback | 4 years ago
7 likes

I never much liked Dundee anyway. There's another reason not to go.

If you want to visit/stay in a Scottish city, there's Edinburgh and Glasgow. Sorry, but I don't like Aberdeeen or Dundee and Inverness is boring.

Yes, I'm biased.

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Glov Zaroff replied to OldRidgeback | 4 years ago
0 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

I never much liked Dundee anyway. There's another reason not to go.

Where do you live? 

 

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the little onion | 4 years ago
11 likes

Institutionally anti-cyclist

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