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Figures revealed as Operation Close Pass on A862 between Muir of Ord and Beauly targets cyclists and motorists


By Hector MacKenzie

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Police spoke to drivers and cyclists during the operation and said they were happy most abided by the law.
Police spoke to drivers and cyclists during the operation and said they were happy most abided by the law.

A TOTAL of 17 drivers and 11 cyclists were spoken to by police during a special day of action on a Ross-shire stretch of road.

The action was prompted by ongoing concerns about the dangerously small amount of space given to cyclists on the roads by some drivers – but also aimed to ensure riders are aware of their responsibilities too.

The day of action by road police officers was part of Operation Close Pass and the #lightup campaign. It was staged on the A862 between Beauly and Muir of Ord.

A surge in the number of cyclists on the roads since lockdown prompted the operation, to protect vulnerable road users.

During the initiative, officers spoke to 17 drivers for passing too closely to an unmarked police cyclist. These drivers were also given a demonstration on how to overtake safely using a specially designed mat.

Officers also stopped and spoke to a number of cyclists. Eleven were reminded of their own responsibilities in making themselves as visible as possible and cycling appropriately.

Officers issued these cyclists with bike lights which have been provided by Cycle Law Scotland to support the ongoing #lightup campaign.

Jodi Gordon, partner at Cycle Law Scotland said: “We are delighted to be part of this important road safety campaign because on a daily basis we see the consequences of road traffic collisions between vulnerable road users and vehicles.

“Anything we can do to help educate road users and promote the legal requirement to #lightup in order to see and be seen has got to be a good thing.”

Road policing constable Paul Whitehead said: “These campaigns provide us with a good opportunity to speak to road users to highlight our respective responsibilities and raise awareness of cycle safety.

“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 majority of vehicles which gave the cyclists plenty of room.

“We also had positive interactions with the cyclists that we spoke to.”

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