A CLAMPDOWN on motorists who fail to give enough space when overtaking cyclists is set to start in Herefordshire.

Since 2017, 12 cyclists have been killed and 185 injured in crashes across West Mercia.

Operation Close Pass is designed to target those motorists who ignore the Highway Code rules when overtaking cyclists, a West Mercia Police spokesperson said.

The operation will be using a number of police officers and PCSOs on cycles equipped with video cameras who will be travelling throughout the force area.

Motorists who do not leave enough space when overtaking will be recorded and the offence dealt with. Drivers can be prosecuted for careless driving with 3 points on their licence and a £100 fine.

Also read:

Currently the Highway Code states that drivers should allow vulnerable road users as much room as they would a car when overtaking and this campaign advises a safe overtaking distance of 1.5m.

With the Highway Code due to be updated this year, proposed overtaking rules may be implemented that mean drivers should leave a 1.5-metre space if driving under 30mph but at least two metres if driving over 30mph, with larger vehicles required to give two metres at all times.

The initiative is due to start this week in Worcestershire and will be rolled out across Shropshire and Herefordshire over the coming months.

Chief superintendent Paul Moxley, West Mercia Police Force Operations, said: “Cycling has always been popular within West Mercia due to our fantastic countryside and many commuters are now choosing to use their bikes to get to work as a sustainable form of transport.

"We saw the number of cyclists increase over lockdown and with encouragement nationally for this to continue we have a duty to those that cycle on our roads to ensure this is done as safely as possible. All of the offences recorded will be processed appropriately and we hope this will lead to a wider education of motorists and ultimately reduce the amount of collisions and improve the safety for those choosing to cycle.”