UK police forces to adopt ‘Give Space, be Safe’ initiative
A number of police forces across England are looking to roll out an initiative designed to actively target motorists who ignore Highway Code rules on overtaking cyclists, road.cc has reported.
First introduced by West Midlands Police in September 2016, the ‘Give Space, be Safe’ operation sees police officers saddle up to look out for motorists who do not leave the required space when passing cyclists.
In an article published on 7 February, road.cc says the West Yorkshire and Devon & Cornwall forces will adapt the scheme for use in their areas, while police in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, who work together on roads policing, and Dorset Police are considering the initiative.
This latest news follows earlier announcements, also reported by road.cc, that the Met Police, along with the forces in Avon and Somerset and East of Scotland, will trial the operation. Surrey Police are also said to be considering taking up the scheme.
Under Give Space, be Safe, police officers on bicycles pass on details of offending drivers to in-car colleagues who intercept at a designated holding point, where the driver is offered educational input on safe overtaking.
Repeat offenders, or anyone deemed to have driven dangerously close to a cyclist, is prosecuted and taken to court.
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In January, West Midlands Police reported that there had been a 50% drop in poor overtaking of cyclists by drivers since the launch of the operation.
The Highway Code states that drivers should allow vulnerable road users as much room as they would a car when overtaking.
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police told road.cc: “The trial is likely to run in the Inner North West area of Leeds in spring, focussing on areas where there are statistically more cycling collisions.
“If shown to have a positive impact on reducing casualties, then West Yorkshire Police and other authorities, who work collaboratively in an established Safer Roads Partnership, will consider a greater roll out.”
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