Scottish Police Target Drivers Getting Too Close to Cyclists in the Inventively Named Operation Close Pass

By Shabana Arif on at

Scottish police have taken to their bikes to catch motorists who drive too close for comfort. The plain clothes officers are the perfect bait to catch drivers who don't leave the required safe passing distance of 1.5 metres when overtaking.

"People who cycle regularly are likely to experience a 'very scary' close pass incident every couple of days and cycling casualties are increasing, in line with cycling's growing popularity," Cycling Scotland chief executive, Keith Irving, told BBC News.

He went on to say that at least three cyclists per week are involved in accidents with vehicles that leave them with "serious, potentially life-changing injuries" as a result.

Operation Close Pass follows a survey that revealed that 73 per cent of drivers are unaware that passing too close to cyclists is an offence that is punishable by three points on a driver's license, and a £100 fine.

Offending drivers will be pulled over by Scotland's police once the undercover 'cyclist' recovers enough from their near-miss to radio ahead to their colleagues.

An informative lecture will ensue that involves such handy learning tools as a big mat demonstrating the distance they should have allowed when overtaking. Any drivers that don't take the lesson seriously enough will be cautioned for dangerous driving and given a court summons.

In England, outdoor cycling is declining with people opting to plant themselves on the seat of indoor bikes instead, where there's no chance of a car getting anywhere near them.

And it's just as well, what with driverless cars showing as much disdain for cyclists as their manned counterparts in the Netherlands.

Featured image: West Midlands Police