Shoreham cycle safety crackdown targets dangerous drivers and cyclists

Sussex Police have clamped down on dangerous drivers on two and four wheels during a cycling safety operation in Shoreham.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 2:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th April 2021, 2:50 pm

During yesterday's (April 14) operation, code named Close Pass by the police, an officer posed as a cyclist to detect any offences from motorists.

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership worked together to provide education and enforcement.

Superintendent James Collis, head of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Operation Close Pass aims to promote the safety of cyclists, but also to address certain behaviour where cyclists may put themselves at risk. They are among the most vulnerable road users, and that’s why we urge all drivers to keep at least 1.5m distance when overtaking a cyclist.

An officer educating on cycle safety

“Our roads are shared by a number of different users and vehicles, and it’s imperative that everyone, whether car, bicycle or pedestrian, plays their part to reduce the number of collisions.”

Rule 163 of the Highway Code states drivers should give cyclists and motorists 'at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car'.

During the operation, two drivers were stopped and spoken to for for passing too close. Police said they 'each chose to receive education'.

Other offences detected during the day included:

- Three drivers not wearing seatbelts;

- Three drivers using their mobile phones;

- One seatbelt offence which resulted in an arrested for drug-driving while over the limit for cannabis;

- One cyclist stopped for going through a red light;

- One motorcyclist 125cc not displaying L plates;

- One motorcyclist 125cc carrying out a careless overtake;

- One Insecure load which resulted in a no tax seizure.

A number of Traffic Offence Reports were issued in respect of the above cases.

In 2020, a total of 550 collisions resulted in injuries to cyclists in Sussex, five of which were fatal.

Yesterday's operation was part of the National Police Chief Council's (NPCC) 'two-wheeled' campaign.

Sergeant Richard Hornsey, of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said: “We run dedicated operations on cycle safety in keeping with the NPCC’s calendar of events, however it is important to note that this forms part of our routine roads policing activity, 365 days a year.

“The operation was very well received by the public, and we had a number of cyclists stop and engage with us, including a family of four who had cycled from Surrey to Brighton on the Downs Link. They left very pleased with what was on offer, such as high visibility backpack covers and high visibility ankle straps.

“It is particularly relevant now, as the weather begins to improve, that all road users think about their behaviour and how it could affect themselves and others. This includes the ‘fatal five’ offences – speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt and careless driving. These are the most common causes of serious injury and fatal collisions on our roads.”

You can find more information from the Highway Code.