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Cambridge police close-pass crackdown saw no drivers stopped – officers instead gave advice to cyclists without lights

Officers on the lookout for close passes have “not seen it as a problem”

A Cambridge police crackdown on motorists passing cyclists too closely ended up with officers instead turning their attention to cyclists riding without lights. Referring to close-passes, a police spokesman said of officers, that “so far they’ve not seen it as a problem.”

Cambridge News reports that a close-pass enforcement day was held 18 months ago and according to the minutes of a recent meeting, Cambridgeshire police's Sergeant Ian Wood told the city's east area committee that it “had not yielded the results expected.”

The minutes state that, “police had  been  looking  at  motorists  passing  cyclists  too  close  on  Mill  Road  bridge, but had ended up giving advice to unlit cyclists.”

Campaigners fear that Cambridge's 'Uber for Bikes’ hire bicycles WON’T have lights

Speaking in a private capacity, Roxanne De Beaux of Cambridge Cycling Campaign (CamCycle) pointed out that the close-pass crackdown, “was to have been over more than one day, and to have included news coverage and education, and she was to have been told about it in advance."

In response to this, a Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “Det Insp Nick Skipworth has invited Roxanne to go on an insight patrol to work with officers to identify dangerous driving relating to close passes. In the work officers have done so far they’ve not seen it as a problem.”

De Beaux also pointed out that some police forces have made provision for cyclists to upload video evidence of close passes via their websites and suggested that Cambridgeshire police could do something similar.

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Andy Coles, said that if there was a wish to deal with issues relating to cycling and risk, it would be necessary to ensure that it did not clash with other local priorities when these were being set.

According to the minutes, an unnamed councillor then requested that enforcement action be taken against cyclists riding through red lights and not being lit at night, urging Camcycle to “impress on cyclists the importance of visibility.”  

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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26 comments

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
1 like

be interesting to see what the at fault ratios are.

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beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
0 likes

1. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedal cyclists on roads or pavements

Question 1 – 5 seriously injured pedestrians.

2. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements

Question 2 – 0

 

- strange, I nearly always seem to come off worse when I hit a pedestrian

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jh27 replied to beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
0 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:

1. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedal cyclists on roads or pavements

Question 1 – 5 seriously injured pedestrians.

2. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements

Question 2 – 0

 

- strange, I nearly always seem to come off worse when I hit a pedestrian

I have yet to collide with a pedestrian, I tend to give pedestrians a wide berth whenever I can, not least because I suspect I'll come off worse (unless it is a particularly frail pedestrian).

The nearest miss I've had was on on one of the cycle superhighways, riding a Boris bike on a visit to London. Dozy old woman stepped off the pavement without looking. Ordinarily I would have anticipated it and moved further out into the road(not an option on the cycle superhighway), instead I had to rely "brakes" (if you can call them that) on the Boris bike. That said, given the weight of the Boris bike, I doubt I would have come off worse, or even noticed the collision.

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jh27 | 6 years ago
1 like

1. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedal cyclists on roads or pavements

Question 1 – 5 seriously injured pedestrians.

2. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements

Question 2 – 0

3. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles on roads or pavements

Question 3 – 29 seriously injured pedestrians; 3 fatalities.

4. Number of occupants of motor vehicles killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements

Question 4 – 0

5. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles on roads or pavements

Question 5 – 45 seriously injured pedal cyclists.

6. Number of occupants of motor vehicles killed or seriously injured in collisions with cyclists on roads or pavements

Question 6 – 0

7. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles during the hours of darkness.

Question 7 – 11 seriously injured pedal cyclists

8. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles during the hours of darkness which did not have adequate lighting.

Question 8 – 1 seriously injured pedal cyclist.

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brooksby replied to jh27 | 6 years ago
0 likes
jh27 wrote:

1. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedal cyclists on roads or pavements Question 1 – 5 seriously injured pedestrians. 2. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements Question 2 – 0 3. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles on roads or pavements Question 3 – 29 seriously injured pedestrians; 3 fatalities. 4. Number of occupants of motor vehicles killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements Question 4 – 0 5. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles on roads or pavements Question 5 – 45 seriously injured pedal cyclists. 6. Number of occupants of motor vehicles killed or seriously injured in collisions with cyclists on roads or pavements Question 6 – 0 7. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles during the hours of darkness. Question 7 – 11 seriously injured pedal cyclists 8. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles during the hours of darkness which did not have adequate lighting. Question 8 – 1 seriously injured pedal cyclist.

Thank you- makes more sense laid out like that:-)

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dodpeters | 6 years ago
0 likes

“police had  been  looking  at  motorists  passing  cyclists  too  close  on  Mill  Road  bridge, but had ended up giving advice to unlit cyclists.” and urging Camcycle to “impress on cyclists the importance of visibility.”  This is despite their own evidence showing that 10/11 cyclists hit by cars at night had adequate lighting. Do they really think that unlit cyclists are a problem?

 

REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 Ref No: C FOI-2017-00852

 

I write in connection with your request for information received on 31 March 2017.  I note you seek access to the following information:

 

1. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedal cyclists on roads or pavements

2. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements

3. Number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles on roads or pavements

4. Number of occupants of motor vehicles killed or seriously injured in collisions with pedestrians on roads or pavements

5. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles on roads or pavements

6. Number of occupants of motor vehicles killed or seriously injured in collisions with cyclists on roads or pavements

7. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles during the hours of darkness.

8. Number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles during the hours of darkness which did not have adequate lighting.

 

I am required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) to handle all requests in a manner that is blind to the identity of the requestor.  Any information released in response to a request is regarded as being published and therefore, in the public domain without caveat.

 

With reference to your recent enquiry and in response to your questions I can confirm the following:

 

Response

 

Question 1 – 5 seriously injured pedestrians.

 

Question 2 – 0

 

Question 3 – 29 seriously injured pedestrians; 3 fatalities.

 

Question 4 – 0

Question 5 – 45 seriously injured pedal cyclists.

 

Question 6 – 0

 

Question 7 – 11 seriously injured pedal cyclists

 

Question 8 – 1 seriously injured pedal cyclist.

 

The numerical data presented in this response is an un-audited snapshot of un-published data sourced from "live" systems and is subject to the interpretation of the original request by the individual extracting the data. 

Avatar
kitsunegari | 6 years ago
1 like

I face a close pass every single day of my commute to work. Every single day.

I've also never seen a policeman or traffic cop whilst on my commute to work, so I'd like to know how they actually measured it.

As for Mill road, it isn't physically possible for cars to pass cyclists without passing too close at rush hour. Not physically possible.

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stevemaiden | 6 years ago
1 like

Urban roads with flow at 30mph are not the main danger - it's cars passing too close on country roads and overtaking you into blind corners. Every Force should have video upload facilities for evidence gathering. 

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Butty | 6 years ago
1 like

Perhaps they confused metres with feet.

It's an easy mistake to make.

Every pass was then within tolerance. 

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embattle | 6 years ago
0 likes

Close passes are concerning and scary for some but they are actually fairly rare in most places.

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beezus fufoon replied to embattle | 6 years ago
2 likes
embattle wrote:

Close passes are concerning and scary for some but they are actually fairly rare in most places.

where I ride, almost every pass is close - law of averages I guess

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LegalFun | 6 years ago
1 like

They just need to sit on the top deck of a park and ride bus to see how often the bus tailgates cyclists to less than a bike length!
 

Most of the close passes I have experienced in Suffolk (less than 30 miles away) have been when overtaking parked cars or on country roads. I'm moving nearer cambridge soon, and I dont want to be hearing news like this 

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brooksby | 6 years ago
2 likes

If they saw no close passes at all, then they must have had their eyes shut! I don't believe that every driver there passed wide and carefully...

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burtthebike replied to brooksby | 6 years ago
4 likes
brooksby wrote:

If they saw no close passes at all, then they must have had their eyes shut! I don't believe that every driver there passed wide and carefully...

I'm assuming here, but I suspect that the police were wearing hi-viz and were obviously watching cars, so all this proved is that drivers behave better when they know that the police are watching them.

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mikeymustard replied to burtthebike | 6 years ago
4 likes
burtthebike wrote:
brooksby wrote:

If they saw no close passes at all, then they must have had their eyes shut! I don't believe that every driver there passed wide and carefully...

I'm assuming here, but I suspect that the police were wearing hi-viz and were obviously watching cars, so all this proved is that drivers behave better when they know that the police are watching them.

I can only agree, having been the surprised "victim" of a very considerate motorist the other day who waited until the road was completely clear to overtake me, only to discover they were being followed by a police motorcyclist!

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cbrndc | 6 years ago
0 likes

See my post in the Manchester article on the same subject.  Nuff said.

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HarrogateSpa | 6 years ago
4 likes

Knobs.

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huntswheelers | 6 years ago
4 likes

Time really for Cambs Police to realise that there are other roads away from the City.....   along a 2 mile stretch yesterday on a out town road..... 3 close passes on me....like really close passes... they are looking in the wrong place.... as usual....  5 mobile phones used too on that 8 mile ride.... 

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dodpeters | 6 years ago
4 likes

It's a reasonable approach if more people are being killed by cyclists than by cars. Why not send them an FOI request to find out...

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Edgeley | 6 years ago
6 likes

WMP (and now Greater Manchester Police) are using plain clothes policemen on bikes.   Are Cambridgeshire, or are they just positioning a rozzer in full view on the pavement somewhere where they can see up the road and hoping that there is a) a bike and b) a car passing too close, just in the right place.  If the latter, then it is, technically speaking, a pile of shit.

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Ush | 6 years ago
3 likes

Are Cambridgeshire police applying the knowledge, methodology and expertise built up by West Midlands Police which involves a police cyclist paired with other officers?  Or are they doing something completely different?

 

If Cambridgeshire police are not drawing upon the succesful model developed by their colleagues in WMP then what justification are they offering for how they are approaching this problem?

 

As budgets contract and fiscal austerity constrains the resources available to police forces it is important that they seek and apply best practices.

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jhsmith87 | 6 years ago
3 likes

I don't think any driver would be stupid enough to overtake a cyclist on mill road bridge. Not only is it narrow/20mph limit but it's a flippin bridge! Mill Rd is a particularly interesting road to cycle on, I try to avoid it if possible & this is coming from someone who has been cycling ont he roads ever since I passed my cycling profficiency test at school

 

Due to the extension of the cycle lane on Hills Road (Long Rd end) I have recently started using a "rat run" that others use to cut the corner off. This route involves two of the "give way" road structures. Literally no car gives way & passes very close! I would hate to be a cyclist lacking in confidence...

 

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.184022,0.1378577,3a,75y,74.24h,83.49t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s3HEMnJoqQ-7Wb3qYX9Z5MA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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burtthebike | 6 years ago
7 likes

Clearly the police observing the close passes were not cyclists.  Perhaps they need to get on their bikes, in plain clothes, and experience the problem first hand?

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AWP | 6 years ago
6 likes

I'm not sure Mill Road bridge is a hot spot for close passes? It tends to be a slow road anyway and the bridge is narrow enough that cars will not attempt an overtake if traffic is coming in the opposite direction. I would love a police officer to accompany me on my cross-country commute from Cambourne. The practice of close passes seems to be getting a lot worse, especially over the last 12 months. I am genuinely concerned it's just a question of time before I'm involved in an incident and that's just plain wrong.

 

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martib | 6 years ago
5 likes

Hmm sounds familiar to the minutes of our Town Council meeting which recently stated that there was going to be another clampdown on cyclists riding on pavements (to be fair you don't see that many). Yet there never seems to be clampdown on the plethora of vehicles I see parked on pavements or anything to stop the idiots that drive like dicks, to make the roads safer for cyclists & pedestrians. A few months back I got close passed by a car who was avoiding a Police car coming the other way, needless to say the Police Woman in the car just ignored it and carried on

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KevM replied to martib | 6 years ago
4 likes
martib wrote:

A few months back I got close passed by a car who was avoiding a Police car coming the other way, needless to say the Police Woman in the car just ignored it and carried on

I was almost wiped out right confront of a police van yesterday and when I got his attention to ask what he was going to do about it he just shrugged his shoulders at me.

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