A road safety campaign ‘Give space, be safe’ trialled by West Midlands Police that aimed to reduce cycling accidents and stop motorists overtaking cyclists too close on the road is to be rolled out across the country by other police forces.
The scheme was launched last September and involved police officers in plain clothing cycling on busy roads to capture motorists who pass too close. The motorists are stopped after the offence and can participate in on-the-spot educational input regarding safe overtaking. Specially designed floor mats to explain safe distances are used to help.
If the educational input is refused, or the motorist’s behaviour was deemed particularly hazardous, they can be taken to court and charged with a driving offence.
West Midlands Police has executed 9 outings so far and a total of 130 motorists have been pulled over for dangerous overtaking. Since the scheme was introduced there has been a dramatic drop to halve the number of close passes reported to West Midlands Police.
The success of the scheme has been picked up by forces across the UK and another 16 police forces are now looking at adopting the scheme in their area.
PC Mark Hodson from West Midlands Police commented, “Within a week of us announcing the initiative cyclists were telling us things hadn’t only improved, but improved considerably… there will always be close passes but they have become a rarity rather than commonplace. And the feedback we’re getting from the drivers pulled over is almost wholly positive. They are recognising their mistake and taking on board our advice on safe passing.”
Cycling UK is also pleased with the initiative and how this has been introduced and welcomed by cyclists, motorists and the wider police forces in the UK. Speaking of the campaign, Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety Officer, Duncan Dollimore, commented, “Cycling UK knew West Midlands Police were on to a winner when they rolled out their “Give Space, be Safe” campaign… that’s why we backed it from the start. It’s a cost effective initiative that has proved highly effective at changing dangerous driving behaviour.”
Freeclaim Solicitors are specialist cycling accident compensation solicitors. We deal with many claims where cyclist are needlessly injured when motorists pass too close to them and leaving them with sometimes serious, life changing injuries. Any initiative that looks into combating this problem with motorists is welcomed by Freeclaim Solicitors and we look forward to hearing the results from other police forces of the success of the initiative.
If you are a cyclist who has been injured after being knocked from your bike by a motorist, speak to one of our specialist cycling accident compensation solicitors about starting a claim. Our expert solicitors are here to help you through the process and will fight for the maximum amount of compensation available to you. Start your claim today by calling FREE on 0800 612 7340 (open 24 hrs).