Motorists in Camden who don’t give cyclists room when overtaking could be given short shrift from the long arm of the law from now on. That’s accoring to Sgt Clarge of the Camden Town with Primrose Hill police station. He has tweeted to say his team will be copying the new zero tolerance approach to close-passes announced by West Midlands Police. "If you drive in Camden give cyclists room," said Sgt Clarge, adding the ominous hashtag #couldbepolice.
Cycling UK has called the West Midlands Police force’s approach to close-passes of cyclists the “best ever cyclist road safety initiative".
The West Midlands Traffic Police Unit recently introduced the initiative attended by unofficial "cycling Csar" Chris Boardman, representing British Cycling. Boardman fronts the video below about "how to overtake cyclists".
"Close passes of cyclists, sometimes called near misses, put riders at risk and put other people off cycling," said an earlier statement from Cycling UK.
"West Midlands Police is the first force in the country to fully appreciate this and commit to a bold and intelligence-led enforcement operation to protect vulnerable road users."
Other police forces are also looking closely at the initiative. Adam Pipe, road policing’s casualty reduction at
Essex Police told a member of the Colchester cycling campaign:
"We continue to monitor developments of the new cycle safety initiative recently introduced by West Midlands Police which attracted excellent national coverage."
He added: "West Midlands Police are looking to prosecute offenders using section 3 of the Road Traffic Act where a driver would be deemed to be driving without due care and attention and this will be determined by a given set of circumstances with the guidance of 1.5meters as you refer to being very much the bench mark set to which their service would look to potentially take positive action.
"As with a range of road traffic matters I am confident that a number of prosecutions will be challenged by offenders and ultimately the courts will make a determination and judgement on each case based upon the evidence presented.
"Essex Police has for a number of months been trialling a new method of reporting road related incidents especially occasions where our most vulnerable road users have been involved. The trial involves all road related incidents being directed to my investigation team where we will look to investigate and take positive action where appropriate. At present the force receives approximately 300 road related reports of poor road user behaviour each month with a significant number having visual evidence such as dash cam footage and the scheme has already led to successful court prosecutions, referrals onto educational courses, fixed penalty conditional offers and warning letters being issued."