Avon and Somerset Constabulary, which covers Bristol and Bath, and a population of 1.5 million, is the latest UK police force to confirm they’ll introduce a close pass operation this Spring, tackling one of the major safety concerns of cyclists – poor overtaking by motor vehicle drivers.
The decision was taken following a demo day on Friday 13 January, run by the operation’s inventors, West Midlands Police, and attended by 16 forces across England and Scotland. Greater Manchester Police, who also attended, say they are still looking into the health and safety implications of the operation, which uses a decoy, plain clothed police officer cycling to identify close passing drivers for education, or prosecution.
Edinburgh, as well as Hampshire Constabulary, which operates its road policing unit in collaboration with Thames Valley Police, confirmed to road.cc this week they will also roll out the operation.
Chief Inspector Kevan Rowlands, who is head of road safety at Avon and Somerset Police, says the operation will likely focus on the streets of Bristol and Bath, once the force has sourced the necessary cameras and education mat.
Ch Insp Rowlands told road.cc: “We have been following what West Midlands Police have done and the success they have had in their area. We went to the demonstration day and have taken the decision it is something we should be doing across the Avon and Somerset area. We will be working in partnership with our tri force roads policing unit.”*