Video shows Devon and Cornwall drivers dangerously overtaking cyclists

Video footage of cars overtaking cyclists too fast and too close has been released by the Devon and Cornwall road safety partnership, Vision Zero South West.

The video features four incidents across Devon and Cornwall which were captured on film by cyclists and submitted to Op Snap.

It comes just days after three cyclists were left seriously injured following a collision involving a car in Cornwall.

Research has shown that cyclists are vulnerable to being killed or seriously injured in road collisions – however, they are responsible for very little harm to other road users.

In 2019, The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) study ‘Who kills most on our roads’ found that pedestrians and cyclists, sometimes viewed as ‘unsafe’, pose very little risk to other road users.

In fatal collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists, the study found that it is almost always the pedestrian or the cyclist who dies, not the occupants of the motor vehicle.

Research has shown that cyclists are responsible for very little harm to other road users. Credit: Vision Zero South West

In 2019 there were 3 people in motorised vehicles killed in collisions with pedestrians and cyclists. By contrast, 517 pedestrians and cyclists were killed by motorised vehicles.

Superintendent Adrian Leisk, Alliance strategic lead for roads policing, said the dashcam videos should send a clear message to drivers as to what is not acceptable when overtaking cyclists.

Supt Leisk said: “Vision Zero South West has identified cyclists as a vulnerable road user group in Devon and Cornwall and it’s vital we protect them from harm.

“The examples shown in the video submissions to Op Snap show vehicles travelling far too close to cyclists and often at too high speeds.

"All of these cases resulted in the motorists being sent on driver training courses, at their expense as an alternative to a fine and points.

“Cyclists have a right to be free of the dangers posed by these road users.

“If you place someone’s life in danger, there’s a strong chance you will end up being reported to us and facing the consequences.”

Almost half of the video footage uploaded to Op Snap in Devon and Cornwall comes from cyclists.

Since the start of Op Snap in Devon and Cornwall in 2019, more than 1,300 dangerous drivers have been prosecuted – and the number of submissions has increased dramatically recently.

In the first six months of 2021, Devon and Cornwall Police received 779 submissions through Op Snap – of which 408 cases saw notices of intended prosecutions issued and 144 cases resulted in an official police warning.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall said: “All road users must learn to share our public highways and treat each other with respect – there’s no excuse for anything less.

“Together with National Highways, my office has recently funded 170 dashcams to be distributed to companies across Devon and Cornwall that regularly travel around the region.

“This gives us 170 extra pairs of eyes on our roads to capture dangerous drivers and take action against them through Devon and Cornwall Police’s Op Snap initiative.

“With more people watching, the chances of bad drivers getting caught will increase. I hope this makes motorists more alert and, in turn, will make our roads safer for everyone.”