SERP launches initiative to protect vulnerable road users

08.09 | 7 September 2018 | | 6 comments

Authorities in Essex have launched a new campaign to educate drivers on how to safely pass cyclists and horse riders.

Operation Safe Pass, organised by the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, follows the successful blueprint set out by West Midlands Police’s Operation Close Pass – with an additional focus on passing horse riders.

As part of the first Operation Safe Pass on 6 September, plain clothed Bikeability instructors saddled up in Colchester to look out for motorists who do not leave the required space of 1.5m when passing cyclists.

One motorist was detected passing at an unsafe distance and was escorted by Essex Police to a checkpoint to be educated on the optimum passing distance.

Adam Pipe, head of roads policing at Essex Police, said: “We have listened to the cycling community – a road-user group we wish to encourage for a variety of reasons including health benefits and sustainable transport.

“Everyone has the responsibility to share the road and everyone has a part to play in keeping all road users safe.

“We often forget that the majority of cyclists and horse riders are also motorists and sometimes the lines get blurred. Ultimately, it does not matter what form of transport you use. We all have the right to feel safe on Essex roads.

“While it is encouraging that on this occasion only one motorist was found passing too closely, we know that cyclists and horse riders experience close passing quite frequently.

“We hope these operations will help educate road users about our joint responsibility to share the road safely and considerately.”



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    Hopefully it goes without saying (well SERP haven’t mentioned it) that the higher the vehicle’s speed, the more you increase the passing space. Passing a cyclist at 1.5m may be okay at urban speeds, but on say rural roads where upwards of 30, 40 mph will be likely, pass as wide as possible (full width of c/way) or slow right down as a courtesy – no cyclist wants a vehicle passing him/her at 50 mph at a distance of just 1.5m.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (2)

    0.75m + 1.5m = 2.25m. Lane width = 3.65m means unless a vehicle is less that 1.5m wide that to overtake results in driving in the opposite traffic lane. If no overtaking a bus carrying say 40 people could be delayed as well as other vehicles.

    Has Adam Piper listened to pedestrians and so done something about cycling on the footway and through pedestrian crossing signals?

    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

    Will the police be providing feedback and data on the number of cyclists that are identified and educated about passing closely up the left hand side of vehicles.

    Cyclists squeezing up the inside of vehicles will in theory be deliberately placing the undertaken vehicle in a compromised and unsafe position and facing prosecution.

    Agree (3) | Disagree (2)

    Sorry Raymond it doesn’t take into account where the cyclist is in relation to the kerb or centre of the road. Many cyclists are now being instructed to ride centre of the carriageway in order to prevent them from the dangers of being overtaken.

    Perhaps drivers and pedestrians, in fact all road users should all be required to read and be assessed on their knowledge if the Highway Code as all they need to know is in that booklet. Including courtesy, care, consideration and caution.

    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

    That doesn’t follow Raymond – the requirement of the driver is not that they must be no more than 0.75m + 1.5m from the kerb. If the cyclist is too far out, then either they will not be passed at all, or, if the c/way is wide enough and clear, there’s no reason why the driver couldn’t still give the required 1.5m or more clearance.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

    that’s fine, as long as the cyclists stay 0.75 metres from the kerb, If they don’t, then they will get overtaken closer than the recommended 1.5 metres.

    Raymond Smith
    Agree (2) | Disagree (4)

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