Footage will be used by Avon and Somerset Police to educate and possibly prosecute drivers

Off-duty officers from Avon and Somerset Police will carry cameras while out cycling, with footage being used to prosecute drivers as part of a “close pass” initiative.

Kevin Rowlands, the head of road safety at the force, said that a number of officers had volunteered to carry cameras while cycling in their own time, with the footage being used to educate and possible prosecute drivers who dangerously pass the off-duty officers.

The move is part of a wider Operation Close Pass initiative with plain clothes officers on bikes used to target motorists not giving cyclists enough room when passing.

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“Drivers should give cyclists at least the same amount of space as vehicles when overtaking which is 1.5 metre, or approximately a door width,” Rowlands told the Bristol Post.

“Anyone failing to leave enough space puts cyclists at risk and could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.

“I know cyclists behave badly too but that poor behaviour is less likely to result in death or serious injury than poor behaviour by the drivers of cars and other motor vehicles.”

Operation Close Pass was developed by West Midlands Police in 2016, with the force calling it a “huge success” and a number of other police forces, including Avon and Somerset, rolling it out in other parts of the country.

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The scheme sees plain-clothed police officers ride along busy streets, radioing in to colleagues about drivers who fail to give them enough space when overtaking.

Drivers are then pulled over further up the road where officers educate them about how much room they should give cyclists, while any deemed to have driven dangerously may be prosecuted.