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8 in 10 close pass videos result in action against driver, says police force

Northumbria Police encourages people to continue to send in footage as Road Safety Week starts

On a day on which we have published the 500th video in our Near Miss of the Day series, one police force has said that almost 80 per cent of videos submitted to it showing close passes and other examples of poor driving have resulted in action being taken against the motorist involved.

Northumbria Police have today published a compilation of such videos to coincide with the launch today by the charity Brake of National Road Safety Week, and is encouraging people to upload more footage of drivers putting vulnerable road users at risk on the roads it patrols.

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, who heads the Force’s Road Safety Department, said: “Modern technology means drivers no longer need to be caught red-handed by the police at the scene of a crime to be prosecuted.

“As it stands, 77 per cent of the footage submissions we do get result in positive action being taken, whether that be a warning or a prosecution.

“But we still don’t see a large number of submissions from vulnerable road users and this week we want to appeal to cyclists to submit more footage.

“A minority of motorists are not showing the required amount of respect to other road users and that needs to change.

“Too many vulnerable road users are seriously injured or killed because they have been knocked down by someone driving in a dangerous manner.

“We have been very good at socially distancing and giving two metres space in the community and now we need to apply that logic to the roads.”

The force said that in the year to August there were 336 incidents involving cyclists in its area with 80 of those leading to serious or fatal injuries.

That reflected an 11 per cent increase in serious or fatal injuries compared to the previous year and is highest figure in the last four years, partly attributable to levels of cycling doubling during lockdown.

Chief Inspector Rennison highlighted, as a number of other forces have done, that examples of poor cycling could not be compared to, or even used as an excuse for, poor driving.

She said: “It is only a minority of drivers who drive in such a dangerous manner that they put the lives of cyclists and pedestrians at risk.

“We are not trying to demonise all motorists but the reality is when a driver behaves in a dangerous manner then it puts people’s lives at risk.

“There are occasions when cyclists behave irresponsibly on the roads but those actions seldom result in a serious collision or a death,” she added.

Indeed, a graphic circulated on social media today, taken from a new report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, starkly illustrates which groups of road users are responsible for most deaths on Britain’s roads.

It was a point emphasised by Northumbria Police in response to one reply to its original tweet.

“Ultimately we are trying to save lives and we believe encouraging more people to submit footage, whether you’re a cyclist or a driver, can help us do that,” the chief inspector added.

Footage of incidents that happen in Northumbria can be submitted to the force by visiting its website and clicking on ‘Report and Incident’.

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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