CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Cycling News

Operation Close Pass in Edinburgh

(389 posts)
  • Started 3 months ago by nedd1e_h
  • Latest reply from I were right about that saddle

  1. nedd1e_h
    Member

    <Redacted>

    POLICE SCOTLAND - CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS - EAST

    Edinburgh City; Fife; Forth Valley & The Lothians and Scottish Borders Divisions
    During & Outwith Office Hours – 0131 311 3423

    Launch of Operation Close Pass...

    ...Monday 24th April for the launch of a new road policing initiative promoting cycle safety.

    Operation Close Pass will see drivers pulled over for passing too closely an unmarked police cyclist or any other concerning or illegal driving behaviour. The officer will be capturing footage on a bike-mounted camera should any action need to be taken.

    The drivers will be given advice using a specially commissioned road mat which has been funded by Cycling Scotland with further support from Road Safety Scotland. Any offences will be dealt with appropriately.

    The initiative is being piloted in Edinburgh, having been originally developed by West Midlands Police, with the intention of rolling it out across Scotland. Many people are deterred from cycling in Edinburgh for fear of being passed too closely, and failing to give people on bicycles as much room as you would give a car when passing puts all road users in danger and could constitute careless or even dangerous driving.

    Members of the media will be able to watch the operation take place, and speak to Chief Superintendent Andy Edmonston, Head of Road Policing, Police Scotland; PC Dominic Doyle, Edinburgh Divisional Road Policing Unit who has spearheaded the initiative in Scotland; and Keith Irving, Chief Executive, Cycling Scotland.

    Footage and images captured by the camera from previous operational work will be made available to TV broadcasters upon request, and will be available on the Edinburgh Division Facebook page for all other media to link to later on Monday 24th April.

    Previously (West Midlands Police just raised the bar):
    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=16847&page=4#post-245926

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. Stickman
    Member

    Let's hope they commit to it and do it properly.

    Also that they don't have the same media problems when explaining the distances marked out on the mat. Some reporting of it elsewhere ended up saying that cyclists should stay 0.75m from the kerb.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. Luath
    Member

    So action only taken against drivers passing an unmarked police cyclist? No mention of any facility for rest of us to submit footage of close passes?

    @Stickman I agree that the mat isn't entirely helpful. Lots of people interpret it to mean that a cyclist should never be more than 75cm from the curb, which is, of course, nonsense. That's why I decided not to contribute to any of the funding requests related to having it rolled out more widely.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. fimm
    Member

    There's an interesting blog about that mat from "Beyond the Kerb" here.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. Yep. I saw one of the anti-cycling knuckle-draggers on Twitter the other day claiming that cyclists must ride no further than 75cm out from the kerb.

    It's really not a helpful aid - it should have said "At least 0.75" in big letters on that mat.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Footage and images captured by the camera from previous operational work will be made available to TV broadcasters upon request, and will be available on the Edinburgh Division Facebook page for all other media to link to later on Monday 24th April.

    "

    Could be interesting.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. Frenchy
    Member

    So action only taken against drivers passing an unmarked police cyclist? No mention of any facility for rest of us to submit footage of close passes?

    To be fair, we've already been able to submit footage to them. They're just of the opinion that it's generally not worth prosecuting, since they don't believe a conviction is likely.

    As part of Operation Close Pass, Police Scotland will also apparently be issuing guidance to officers on how to deal with such complaints from the public, and are currently investigating the feasibility of having an online submission for footage from helmet cameras - there are apparently significant IT issues to deal with.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. gibbo
    Member

    @fimm

    There's an interesting blog about that mat from "Beyond the Kerb" here.

    The cycling UK video on the blog (which the blogger is criticising) does a poor job in many areas.

    In particular, they refer to the 1.5m as "recommended minimum overtaking distance."

    I thought the 1.5m is the law. If it isn't the law, then what exactly are the police going to do?

    Nag drivers?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. Min
    Member

    It seems obvious to me from the context that drivers should pass no less than 1.5m from a cyclist and that cyclists should be no less than 0.75m from the kerb. That is probably what the designers thought too but you can never underestimate the stupidity of people who only see what they want to see.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. fimm
    Member

    1.5m is not the law, I'm pretty sure of that. I don't think there's any legal passing distance in the UK.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. Luath
    Member

    @Frenchy thanks for the clarification. London Met police have a beta system in place to allow online submission of video footage of road traffic incidents including close passes:
    https://beta.met.police.uk/report/report-a-road-traffic-incident/

    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. gibbo
    Member

    If there's no legal passing distance, then how do police/courts decide what "could constitute careless or even dangerous driving?"

    Wouldn't it be too subjective to result in a prosecution?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  13. nedd1e_h
    Member

    what "could constitute careless or even dangerous driving?"

    This is subjective anyway, as it defined as "driving that falls below (or far below) the standard expected of a competent driver"

    Which is the reason that hardly anyone gets prosecuted for it, even after they've killed someone.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. ih
    Member

    @gibbo @fimm Rule 163 of HC says - give at least as much room as when overtaking a car, and an accompanying photo looks as though it's about 5 ft, which would be your 1.5 m. It's not a law though. I can see why they've gone for that formulation rather than a set distance, but it does make enforcement difficult. A pass by a vehicle at 50mph would feel pretty close at 1.5m whereas a slow overtake in a line of traffic might feel ok at a bit less than 1.5m. Another problem with the markings on the mat is that the 1.5m seems to be measured between the bike's tyre line and the car's side; when you consider the width of the cyclist's shoulders, panniers etc and the vehicle's wing mirror, that will reduce that 1.5m considerably.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  15. fimm
    Member

    You do need to read the "Beyond the Kerb" blog. The West Midlands policemen did think about what they were doing. They didn't expect their campaign to go national in the way that it did. They designed the mat as a tool to help them talk to the bad/careless/thoughtless drivers that they wanted to communicate with, not as something that would define where everyone should be on the road at all times.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  16. acsimpson
    Member

    Driving up Telford Road on Monday afternoon we passed a cyclist maintaining a steady pace relatively close to the kerb, almost as if they were expecting drivers to pass them without changing lanes.

    We didn't think much more of it until we saw a huddle of 4-6 police officers at the Western General entrance... and then a police motorbicyclist at the pub's entrance. I wonder if the three things were linked and this was a training exercise for next weeks launch.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  17. Frenchy
    Member

    Did anyone see the mat or speak to the police about this today? I didn't, but wasn't looking out for it.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  18. urchaidh
    Member

    Tweet from @EdinburghPolice showing their mat, no numeric measurements marked on it and no reference to the distance between cyclists and kerb.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  19. Baldcyclist
    Member

    Wife phoned to say this was happening (already knew from here) as she'd heard about it on the radio. Apparently reported that 13 motorists spoken to in an hour.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  20. LaidBack
    Member

    Radio Scotland lunchtime news had some feedback on this. Some anger towards cyclists in general with same old complaints. One new observation though is that there are more of us so don't need encouragement. These will be the drivers who use close passes to frighten new riders off the road.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  21. chdot
    Admin

  22. chdot
    Admin

    "

    CMPG - Road Policing (@Trafficwmp)
    24/04/2017, 1:24 pm
    @snevinoj It's all subjective, but a car at 30mph min 1.5mtr, extra distance to be given when speed or vehicle size is increased.

    "

    https://twitter.com/trafficwmp/status/856483899274407936

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    "

    DumfriesGPolice (@DumfriesGPolice)
    24/04/2017, 12:20 pm
    Today @EdinburghPolice launch #OpClosePass - here PC Kerr of our local Roads Policing Unit officer demonstrates a safe overtake of cyclist

    http://pic.twitter.com/RqSExBBa7J

    "

    Posted 3 months ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Edinburgh Police (@EdinburghPolice)
    24/04/2017, 11:54 am
    Ch Supt Andy Edmonston @polscotrpu at the launch of #OpClosePass today #RoadSafety

    http://pic.twitter.com/qbRtybJvom

    "

    Posted 3 months ago #
  25. Frenchy
    Member

    Made the mistake of glancing at the comments on the EEN and on facebook - they're just as you'd expect.

    I do somewhat appreciate the irony of complaining about pavement cyclists as part of a complaint about an effort to make the roads safer for cyclists, though.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  26. mgj
    Member

    would be good if the police advice took weather conditions into account too; a safe passing distance when there is a strong crosswind might be much larger than when it is still.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  27. Kim
    Member

    Although there is no minimum passing distance in law, passing to close to a vulnerable roads is classed as Driving Without Due Care & Attention, and so can be prosecuted.

    Also worth going back and taking a look at the WMP Traffic blog which started the whole thing off. It is great to see the it was a evidence based initiative from the start.

    However, whilst I applaud this approach to driver education, it is never going to be a substitute for proper infrastructure.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  28. gibbo
    Member

    Apparently reported that 13 motorists spoken to in an hour.

    If we assume it takes around 4 minutes to talk to a motorist, then that suggests that, as soon as they've finished with one, there's another breaking the law.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  29. mgj
    Member

    Infrastructure cannot (in the next 30 years at least) be everywhere, so driver education (and enforcement) must be the priority

    Posted 3 months ago #
  30. nedd1e_h
    Member

    I do hope the police will run this at rush hour and not only the quiet hours of the day (as they did today)...

    Posted 3 months ago #

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