Cyclist footage reveals dangerous driving

By The Post  
Tuesday 21st September 2021 1:26 pm
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This footage shows a motorist overtaking dangerously close to a cyclist

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Video footage of cars overtaking cyclists too fast and too close has been released by the Devon and Cornwall road safety partnership, Vision Zero South West.

The video features four incidents across Devon and Cornwall which were captured on film by cyclists and submitted to Op Snap.

It comes just days after three cyclists were left seriously injured following a collision involving a car in mid-Cornwall.

Research has shown that cyclists are vulnerable to being killed or seriously injured in road collisions – however, they are responsible for very little harm to other road users.

In the 2019 Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) study ‘Who kills most on our roads’, it states: “Pedestrians and cyclists, sometimes viewed as ‘unsafe’, pose very little risk to other road users. In fatal collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists, it is almost always the pedestrian or the cyclist who dies, not the occupants of the motor vehicle.

“There were three people in motorised vehicles killed in collisions with pedestrians and cyclists in 2019. By contrast, 517 pedestrians and cyclists were killed by motorised vehicles.”

Cyclists are to be given greater priority on the roads as part of a revised Highway Code which puts greater responsibility on users of vehicles that cause the most harm.

Superintendent Adrian Leisk, Alliance strategic lead for roads policing, said the dashcam videos should send a clear message to drivers as to what is not acceptable when overtaking cyclists.

Supt Leisk said: “Vision Zero South West has identified cyclists as a vulnerable road user group in Devon and Cornwall and it’s vital we protect them from harm.

“The examples shown in the video submissions to Op Snap show vehicles travelling far too close to cyclists and often at too high speeds. All of these cases resulted in the motorists being sent on driver training courses, at their expense as an alternative to a fine and points.”

“Cyclists have a right to be free of the dangers posed by these road users. I am incredibly keen to promote safe, healthy, and sustainable travel as this helps us to reduce pressure on our NHS and address the climate emergency. The behaviours featured in these clips actively deter people, particularly younger people from cycling on our roads.

I’d like to remind drivers that when overtaking people on bicycles you must give them at least 1.5m of space and reduce your speed when doing so. The Highway Code allows cyclists to ride two abreast, another issue widely misunderstood. If it isn’t safe to overtake, please wait. Is it worth risking another human life to save a few seconds?

“If you place someone’s life in danger, there’s a strong chance you will end up being reported to us and facing the consequences.”

Almost half of the video footage uploaded to Op Snap in Devon and Cornwall comes from cyclists.

Since the start of Op Snap in Devon and Cornwall in 2019, more than 1,300 dangerous drivers have been prosecuted – and the number of submissions has increased dramatically recently.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is also chairman of Vision Zero South West and the national APCC lead for road safety.

Commissioner Hernandez said: “All road users must learn to share our public highways and treat each other with respect – there’s no excuse for anything less.

“Together with National Highways, my office has recently funded 170 dashcams to be distributed to companies across Devon and Cornwall that regularly travel around the region.

“This gives us 170 extra pairs of eyes on our roads to capture dangerous drivers and take action against them through Devon and Cornwall Police’s Op Snap initiative.

“With more people watching, the chances of bad drivers getting caught will increase. I hope this makes motorists more alert and, in turn, will make our roads safer for everyone.”

If you have witnessed dangerous driving and have video footage of the incident, you can submit your footage to Op Snap at dc.police.uk/opsnap.