Police launch safe cycling campaign for road users

The mat supplied to police forces to help educate drivers has been supplied by Cycling UK. Credit: ITV West Country

Police forces in the region have teamed up for 'Operation close pass', which is aimed at making sure both cyclists and drivers share the road safely.

There are, on average, 13 cycling fatalities across the South West every year.

Avon & Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Police say too many drivers don't leave enough space between their car and the cyclist when trying to pass them - putting lives at risk.

A mat clearly detailing how much space a driver should leave for a cyclist has been supplied to police forces across the UK by Cycling UK, in an attempt to make cycling a safer and more appealing way to get around.

Police have asked cyclists and motorists to contribute footage of 'near misses' to help them identify dangerous areas and target their operations.

Although the system is open to all road users, they say more than 80% of reports have come from cyclists.

Mark Evans says cycling can sometimes be a dangerous pastime. Credit: ITV West Country

Inspector Kevan Rowlands, who is the head of road safety at Avon & Somerset Police said:

The message the police forces aim to get across is that most of the time cycling in the South West is safe, but there's room to help drivers and cyclists to take responsibility for themselves and be considerate of each other. They also say that the appropriate enforcement action will still be taken in a case of a careless road user.