Undercover Police on Bicycles to Target Motorists Who Fail to Overtake Cyclists Safely
West Midlands police are to proactively target drivers who fail to overtake cyclists safely. In a scheme piloted in August 2016, plain-clothes officers will cycle around Birmingham and radio the details of "close-pass" drivers for colleagues in cars to intercept. At present the scheme offer drivers failing to pass a cyclist with a safe passing distance of about 1.5m (4ft 9in) a choice: prosecution, or 15 minutes’ education on how to overtake a cyclist safely.
The Highway Code requires drivers to give cyclists at least the same amount of space as they would give a car, but often this is not the case. Over four trial days ahead of the scheme’s launch 80 people were pulled over for close passes.
This tactic will now become part of police policy in the West Midlands. It is expected that after an initial three-month ‘blitz’, officers will not offer education and will then focus on enforcement action only. The police hope that by the end of this period drivers will have got the message to drive safely when overtaking cyclists.