Kenilworth motorists advised on how to safely pass cyclists


Warwickshire Police officers and PCSO’s from Kenilworth and Rural East SNT educated five motorists and interacted with numerous cyclists during Operation ‘Close Pass’ on Friday 14 June 2024 aimed at improving the safety of the many cyclists using the roads.

During the operation in Glasshouse Lane, Kenilworth, the initiative used a plain clothes officer on a bicycle equipped with front and rear facing cameras. 

Close passes by drivers are both intimidating and dangerous for cyclists. By educating road users and raising awareness of the safe passing distance the aim of the operation was to help make roads safer for cyclists.

The officer who was on the bicycle was pleased to see that the vast majority of motorists behaved as they should, waiting and giving plenty of room to him and they were acknowledged with a wave of thanks.

Any vehicle seen to not pass with the recommended distance of 1.5 metres was pulled over to a suitable location and offered the opportunity to have a short educational input using material provided by Cycling UK and RoSPA.

Five drivers were stopped and received the optional education around safe passing distances. 

PC Mark Finch said “We want to support people who wish to cycle and to remind drivers that cyclists don’t have the same protection around them as people in vehicles so it’s even more important that other road users take extra care around them on the roads.

“During the operation, most drivers knew exactly how to pass a cyclist safely and this was great to see.

“However a few drivers were hurrying to get past and not being patient, trying to overtake when other vehicles were coming in the other direction.  If they had waited a few seconds the road would have been clear and it would have been much safer for everyone.  These drivers received education.

“We also interacted with other cyclists who thanked us for the operation.

“Whilst Operation Close Pass plays a part in helping to educate road users, we are also encouraging cyclists and drivers to refresh their knowledge of the Highway Code and to self-educate as there are some great materials available online.”

Cycling UK have produced a Too Close for Comfort video to show drivers what it’s like to be close passed so non cyclists can understand it from a cyclist’s perspective.

Tips and advice for both drivers and cyclists is also available from RoSPA

Members of the public can also help improve road safety in Warwickshire by reporting and submitting digital footage showing potential traffic offences as part of Operation Snap.

Further operations are planned on popular cycle routes across the county.

Left to right: PC 1817 Amy Jones, PC Mark Finch and PCSO 8638 Olivia Arnold.  Also part of the Op Close Pass team but not pictured is PCSO 6223 Ed King.