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London police campaign targets dangerous driving

cycling LondonA campaign launched by the Met Police in London is putting officers back on bicycles. The difference between the mid-twentieth century version of the ubiquitous bobby on the bike and the uniformed one of 2017 is that the latter are undercover.

Met officers in plain clothes are getting on their bikes for a programme designed to improve safety for the tens of thousands of cyclists who use London’s streets every day. The campaign has been nicknamed space for cyclists. Officers are targeting drivers who pass too close to cyclists when overtaking.

Other no-noes are tailgating bicycles or cutting in front of cyclists. Officers are at first concentrating on known accident blackspots and locations which have received numerous driving related complaints. Officers are using video cameras to record any incidents of inconsiderate or dangerous driving.

The officers then alert uniformed motorcycle officers who track the errant drivers down. Any motorists who are flagged down have to pass roadside eyesight tests and face having their vehicles checked over. The Met says serious incidents of dangerous driving will land the offenders in court.

Officers are also showing drivers they stop the part of the  Highway Code which says when passing cyclists they need to allow them at least as much room as they do for cars or other vehicles. In the first days of the campaign late last week, officers pulled over a bus driver who gave a cyclist less than a foot of breathing space and a driver in a car which had no tax, insurance or valid MOT certificate.

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