Leicestershire Police officers are preparing to start enforcing the force’s Safe Pass campaign, by undergoing training this week.
The campaign was launched in mid-May and particularly targets motorists by urging them to leave a safe distance when overtaking cyclists on the roads in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
For two weeks, starting Monday 10 July, the force will carry out spot checks, filming motorists as they pass and, if they are too close, flagging the drivers down for a discussion about the possible danger they put the cyclist in. Filming will be done by a plain-clothes officer riding the bike and using a body-worn camera.
Inspector Paul Crewe said:
We will be out on rural and urban roads but won’t be announcing the locations beforehand.
“The officers involved are undertaking an advanced cycling qualification to ensure they are safe and will also be trained in using the cameras so that filming is consistent and fair when it comes to any decisions about enforcement. The best outcome will be that we don’t have to stop anybody because the motorists have left enough space – recommended at one and a half metres.”
Motorists will be filmed as they overtaken and if it’s not possible to speak to them at the location, the officers will be able to make follow-up enquiries.
The force launched the Safe Pass campaign with a video demonstrating safe and unsafe overtaking and emphasising the vulnerability of cyclists, whatever their age and ability. It is endorsed by racing and Olympic gold medal cyclist Chris Boardman MBE.
Motorists who are proven to persistently overtake too closely, or who cause injury or death could face prosecution for dangerous driving. The maximum penalties are:
- causing death by dangerous driving, custodial sentence of up to 14 years
- causing death by careless driving, custodial sentence of up to five years
The force is currently considering the most effective way that members of the public can report incidents of dangerous driving or unsafe overtaking.
Source:: Leicestershire Police News