Police to pull over Edinburgh drivers '˜too close to cyclists'

Drivers in Edinburgh could be pulled over by police as part of an operation to highlight how much space cyclists need to be able to use roads safely.

Operation Close Pass will see motorists who pass unmarked cars too cloesly pulled over. Picture: contributed.

Operation Close Pass will see motorists who pass an unmarked police cyclist too closely pulled over and given advice on how to do so in a safe manner.

Officers will use a specially-designed mat to show drivers how much space a person on a bicycle needs for an overtaking manoeuvre to be carried out safely.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Originally developed by West Midlands Police, the initiative is being piloted in Edinburgh with the intention of introducing the system throughout Scotland.

Police Scotland has said the close passing of cyclists is a concern, with the sense of vehicles being too near often cited as a significant disincentive to cycle.

A total of 398 cyclists have been injured in collisions in Edinburgh over the past two years, including 62 seriously, and one has died.

Pc Dominic Doyle, of the divisional road policing unit, said: “A lot of drivers see a person on a bicycle riding on the road or in a cycle lane and don’t consider that passing them closely puts all road users in danger.

“It could constitute careless or even dangerous driving and you would fail your driving test for that.

“Those drivers that we stop during this operation will be shown how closely they passed the unmarked officer by standing on our specially-designed mat.

“You should allow at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car when passing a person on a bicycle, giving consideration to the maximum speed limit and time and distance available to you.”