Alex Bowden October 4 2017
Two more forces have introduced versions of the close pass operation pioneered by West Midlands Police. Four Norwich motorists were pulled over by Norfolk police yesterday, while Suffolk police are running an operation in Ipswich today.
Operation Close Pass involves plain clothes police and community support officers out on bikes identifying drivers who don’t allow enough room when overtaking; who follow too closely; or who ‘left-hook’ by overtaking and then turning left across their path.
The police cyclists are equipped with cameras to record evidence of driving offences. If one occurs they report it to uniformed officers on motorbikes who will be operating within the area.
PC Stuart Aldous was one of the officers on a bike for the initial operation in Norwich yesterday.
He told the Eastern Daily Press that while most drivers had tried to give him a wide berth, he’d experienced a couple of scary moments.
“I had a couple on Bracondale, one was really close. I could’ve stuck my elbow out and hit the car. It was very close.
“A bit further up the road I was turning left and the car was turning left as well and pulled straight in front of me. It was clear the driver just didn’t see me.”
He said the incidents were frightening, adding: “I don’t usually cycle in the city – I stay away from it.”
Four motorists were spoken to after being caught driving too close. Three took up the offer of roadside education using Cycling UK’s close pass mat. One refused and was given a Traffic Offence Report for consideration of the offences committed.