By Jonny Long
Four people have been prosecuted after police in Sheffield undertook a close pass operation on a hazardous section of road in their area.
They've also posted their ride to Strava, showing they rode 40 miles in just over two hours, saying their sixth close pass sting saw better driving than in previous instalments, yet still resulted in four prosecutions.
"Who thinks this is a great place to overtake? Traffic coming the other way will be doing 50mph if it's obeying the limit," Sheffield police tweeted, before showing a motorist doing exactly that, with a safe place to overtake only being 10 seconds further up the road. They were issued a Traffic Offence Report.
Their Strava ride includes four images showing instances where vehicles passed them too closely on their route into Sheffield city centre.
Members of the public heralded the initiative in the comments, agreeing that it was a "dodgy" stretch of road, and others saying the perilous route was their usual commute into work.
"Thank you for continuing to do these operations. Hopefully, they will make a difference and perhaps encourage other Sheffield area teams to also take part," another said.
Operation Close Pass was launched in 2016 by West Midlands Police, the goal being to identify and educate drivers who pass too closely to cyclists.
Plainclothes officers are equipped with helmet cameras and use video evidence to educate motorists at the side of the road as well as prosecute repeat offenders. Members of the public are also able to submit video evidence.
West Midlands Police say they've seen a 20 per cent reduction in the number cyclists killed or seriously injured in the first year of the initiatives, with 13 drivers prosecuted and hundreds of others fined or given points on their licence.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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