Operation Close Pass: Successful operation carried out to ensure that Surrey’s roads are shared responsibly
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On Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May roads policing officers in Surrey carried out a successful operation to reduce the number of collisions and incidents involving cyclists, motorists and horse riders on our roads.
Officers spoke to a variety of road users to ensure that everyone shares our highways responsibly.
One of the biggest causes of conflict on Surrey’s roads is the ‘close pass’ scenario whereby a vehicle does not give sufficient space to a cyclist or rider when overtaking, or groups of cyclists that ride together in a large ‘peloton’ may not give sufficient space for motorists to pass.
On Saturday officers concentrated on the Box Hill area before moving to Shere and Newlands Corner near Guildford on Sunday. Forty-four cyclists and twenty-three motorists were stopped and spoken to over the weekend to educate them to potential hazards. Officers engaged with the road users to prevent collisions in the future and also spoke to motorcyclists who were gathered or riding together. As part of the operation a police officer in plain clothes equipped with video capability cycled as a ‘spotter’, identifying any ‘close pass’ incidents or other motoring offences as well as any offences relating to cycling or cyclists contravening the road traffic act. Officers on two marked police motorbikes were then able to locate and stop any road user who had been identified.
In addition one motorcyclist was issued with a summons for a fail to stop offence. Officers also responded to a collision where a cyclist received an injury to their arm at Box Hill, and four pedestrians were also stopped from using the carriageway. Speed enforcement activities were additionally undertaken on the A25 between Shere and Newlands Corner.
Chief Inspector Michael Hodder of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit said: “I’m pleased that the operation was successfully carried out to educate a variety of road users, especially in the Surrey Hills area where cycling is very popular. We are seeing an increase in traffic as government restrictions are eased, and many people are also still using the highways as part of their exercise routine. It’s vital that we carry out work like this to ensure that everybody is safe.
“We recognise that it’s everyone’s responsibility to share the roads safely by respecting each other. Operations such as this will continue to be carried out with all road users, because even low speed collisions involving cyclists, runners, or horse riders can lead to serious or life changing injuries. It’s imperative that disruption on our highways is kept to a minimum while making sure that road users take all necessary steps to keep each other safe”.
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