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Police swoop on Ross-shire motorists and cyclists between Invergordon and Alness during Operation Close Pass

By Hector MacKenzie

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Police spoke to road users failing to give cyclists enough space when overtaking as part of campaign to improve safety.
Police spoke to road users failing to give cyclists enough space when overtaking as part of campaign to improve safety.

ROAD policing officers spoke to a number of drivers between two Ross-shire towns as part of an awareness-raising campaign aimed at all road users.

The Operation Close Pass on the B817 between Alness and Invergordon saw ten drivers and two cyclists spoken too.

Ten drivers were stopped for passing too closely to an unmarked police cyclist.

Two cyclists were also stopped for failing to allow queuing traffic to pass safely.

Close Pass is being run in conjunction with Operation Cedar, which is aimed at promoting safety for all road users, including motorists and cyclists.

The operation involves drivers who don't give enough room when passing an unmarked police cyclist being spoken to and given a demonstration on how to overtake safely using a specially designed mat.

The Highway Code states that motorists should give cyclists at least as much room as they would when overtaking a car.

Cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers, mud patches or oily, wet surfaces.

Give them plenty of room and pay attention to any sudden change in direction they may have to make.

Constable Paul Whitehead of Highland and Islands Road Policing said: “The operation provides us with a good opportunity to speak to road users to highlight our respective responsibilities and raise the awareness, both by interacting with motorists and other members of the public at the roadside and by generating wider discussion on social media.

"It is imperative that all road users, including cyclists, are aware of their vulnerability irrespective what mode of transport they are using.

"When passing a cyclist, you should ensure that you allow sufficient time and distance to do so without compromising their safety: make sure you can see far enough ahead to know it is safe to complete the overtake.

"There is room for everyone on our roads and we all have a right to be there. We encourage all road users to show consideration and respect for the safety of each other.

"We were very pleased with the large majority of vehicles giving the cyclists plenty of room."

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