Alex Bowden November 29 2017
After initially rejecting such a move citing a low number of cyclist fatalities in the region, South Yorkshire Police has now confirmed that it has a dedicated team of officers running a close pass operation in the region.
The force’s initial response to a suggestion that it undertake such an initiative was to reject it on the grounds that resources were “carefully deployed to target specific activity”.
It went on to claim that, “deaths involving cyclists in South Yorkshire are nowhere near the levels that they are in the West Midlands or other parts of the country.”
Analysis of official road casualty statistics by road.cc showed that compared to the West Midlands, and adjusting for the relative size of the populations, more cyclists are killed or seriously injured in South Yorkshire each year.
Following significant pressure from campaigners the force reconsidered its position, announcing in August that it would run a trial close-pass operation.
In September, The Star reported that officers had not taken action against a single motorist during that first month. Cyclists suggested that the decision to carry out operations with uniformed police on bikes might explain the lack of success.
Local campaign group Cycle Sheffield yesterday tweeted that covert operations are now underway.