The Lancashire Road Safety Partnership has teamed up with the county’s police force to join other areas of the country by launching a ‘close pass’ campaign.
‘Safe Pass’ is designed to encourage motorists to give more space when overtaking pedal cyclists – at least 1.5 metres.
Signs will be erected on specific roads across Lancashire that are popular with cyclists, reminding drivers to take care and give as much space as possible when overtaking.
In addition, a mat (see pic) and cycle demonstration will be rolled out at events and key locations across Lancashire during the summer in an effort to help people visualise the 1.5 metre suggested distance.
Lancashire Police is encouraging members of the public to get involved at these events, at which they can also learn more about road safety in general.
Under the ‘close pass’ scheme developed by West Midlands Police in 2016, plain-clothed police officers saddle up to identify motorists who do not leave the required space when passing cyclists.
The officers on bicycles pass on details of offending drivers to in-car colleagues who intercept them at a designated holding point.
Other areas of the country where a close pass initiative has been introduced include:
- Merseyside – Operation Safe Pass (July 2017)
- North East – spearheaded by Road Safety GB NE (July 2017)
- Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Police (June 2017)
- North Yorkshire – Operation Spartan (May 2017)
Sgt Patrick Worden, roads policing, Lancashire Police, said: "We recognise the vulnerability of pedal cyclists on our roads and want to work with the public to encourage motorists to give cyclists extra room and ‘pass safely’.
"We must have mutual respect on the roads and it is vital cyclists are afforded the same rights and protection as any other road user.
"Our advice is simple, if you cannot overtake without leaving a minimum space of 1.5 metres, then hold back at a safe distance and be patient. A suitable overtaking opportunity will soon present itself."