Undercover officers to catch drivers who overtake cyclists too closely in Scotland

Credit: PA

Drivers who overtake cyclists too closely could be pulled over by undercover police officers and cautioned for dangerous driving in Southern Scotland.

It's part of a new policing operation which will see Police Scotland deploy plain-clothes officers on bikes to snare motorists who put cyclists at risk.

If caught, the driver will be spoken to by police, and "if someone is unreceptive to education then they will be cautioned for careless or dangerous driving and receive a court summons", said a statement from Cycling Scotland.

Figures show at least three cyclists per week suffer serious injuries on Scotland's roads.

Research from the Near Miss Project, led by the University of Westminster, has also suggested that every year people who regularly cycle in the UK will "experience an event that is so frightening that it alone makes them consider giving up cycling".

Credit: ITV News

Drivers could face three points on their license and be fined £100, or receive a criminal conviction for more serious offences.

Denise Hamilton, communications chief at Cycling Scotland, said: "Every week in Scotland, at least three people are seriously injured while cycling.

"Dedicated cycling lanes, separated from road traffic, are the number one priority to make our roads safer for cycling and as we build this network, we need more education and enforcement.

"The Give Cycle Space campaign educates drivers about leaving at least a car's width when passing people on bikes, supported by Police Scotland's Operation Close Pass.

"With more people taking up cycling in the last year, it's more crucial than ever that we improve safety on our roads."