Undercover police catch 20 drivers overtaking cyclists too closely

Police carrying out a close pass operation in Portsmouth in a week-long crackdown in October
Police carrying out a close pass operation in Portsmouth in a week-long crackdown in October

Police promoting safety messages at Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth

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Drivers have been caught overtaking cyclists too closely, police have said.

Hampshire police ran a cycling campaign targeting drivers who put riders at risk.

In Portsmouth seven drivers were caught in Hilsea during the rush hour last week.

All of the drivers opted for a brief education session instead of being prosecuted for careless driving.

Officers caught six in Southampton and seven in the New Forest.

While officers were in Portsmouth they spoke to more than 150 cyclists about lights and clothing – with 15 cyclists handed fixed penalty notices for not having lights.

Sgt Rob Heard said: ‘The week’s activities were a great success. We have seen a marked improvement with drivers giving plenty of space and time when overtaking cyclists.’

‘We have not only been targeting poor driving behaviour, we have also been targeting cyclists and other road users whose behaviour may make them more at risk of being involved in a collision.

‘Our focus has been about encouraging all road users to share the road together, abide by the law and give consideration to all when using the road.

He added: ‘A close pass not only presents danger to the cyclist but it’s also intimidating.’

Cycling UK provided mats to show drivers the safe overtaking distance.

Sam Jones, the organisation’s campaigns coordinator, said: ‘Close passing of people cycling is a regular occurrence on our roads, but one which Cycling UK believes is rarely down to malicious driver behaviour, just a lack of understanding of the dangers of overtaking too closely.’