Unmarked Police Cyclists To Advise Scottish Drivers Over Bike Space
With the ever-increasing number of cyclists on our roads, the worry of collisions between cars and bikes is on the rise. One of the most common concerns for cyclists is a potential accident when a car attempts to overtake without leaving sufficient space.
It is therefore refreshing to see this issue being highlighted by Police Scotland. In a pilot project called Operation Close Pass, an unmarked police cyclist will be travelling the streets of Edinburgh, armed with bike mounted camera. In the event of a vehicle passing that officer too closely, the driver will be stopped. While Road Traffic Act charges are possible, the drivers will be spoken to by officers, and advised that bikes should be given as much room as a car during an overtaking manoeuvre.
The idea behind the initiative is to education drivers as to the dangers caused by cars, vans, lorries and buses passing too close to a cyclist. The Police fear that many cyclists are discouraged from using city roads for this reason, and are keen to raise awareness of cycle safety amongst drivers.
Given that the consequences for cyclists if they are struck by a car, or if they are forced from their bikes due to the close proximity, or even back draught, of a passing vehicle, this is a very positive step. It is thought that this project may be rolled out throughout the country. “Anything that helps to keep cyclists safe on the road is a good thing, “said Ross Slater of Michael Lewin Solicitors. “Far too often we see the consequences for cyclists when they are involved in a road traffic accident. Not only is there the personal injury aspect, but often the bike is damaged requiring significant and costly repair”.