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Police get tough with drivers to protect cyclists

The operation will be carried out during July and August.
The operation will be carried out during July and August.

Police officers across the north and north-east will be carrying out special patrols over the next two months in response to cyclists’ safety concerns.

Figures released last week by Cycling Scotland illustrated growing frustration among cyclists who feel drivers aren’t leaving enough room when overtaking them.

With many more cyclists on the roads amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Operation Close Pass will run during July and August.

It will involve unmarked police cyclists taking to the roads, supported by colleagues who will stop drivers who afford too little space when overtaking.

Officers will use a specially designed mat to show motorists how much space a cyclist should be given.

The Highway Code states motorists should give cyclists at least as much room as they would when overtaking a car.

According to Cycling Scotland statistics, however, more than two-thirds of people don’t know they can get three points on their driving licence for driving too close to a cyclist.

Sergeant Peter Henderson, from the force’s road policing division in Inverurie, said: “It is imperative all road users, including cyclists, are aware of their vulnerability, irrespective of what mode of transport they are using.

“When passing a cyclist, you should ensure you allow sufficient time and distance to do so without compromising their safety – making sure you can see far enough ahead to know it is safe to complete the overtake.

“There is room for everyone on our roads and we all have a right to be there.”

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