Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are taking part in a road safety operation in a bid to educate drivers and riders and help keep people safe on the roads.
The operation will take place on Thursday 3 December between 9am – 2pm along West Road, Clayton By-Pass Rood Hill, Congleton and Nantwich Road, Crewe.
Officers are running the operation alongside their partners, including colleagues at the Fire Service who will demonstrate to drivers and riders how to stay safe on the roads with close pass mats and other road safety aids.
Covert officers will ride along the identified hot spot areas while wearing body worn cameras. Uniformed officers will then be stopping any drivers identified as having driven too close to the covert officers. The drivers will then be educated on how to pass riders safely and why this is so important – with officers enforcing the law where necessary.
Riders will also be invited to stop as part of the initiative and talk to officers and the Fire Service about how to keep themselves safe on their journeys, the importance of being visible to other road users and the significance of courteous riding.
Chief Inspector for Cheshire Police’s Roads and Crime Unit, Rob Dickinson, said: “There has been a large increase of cyclists on the roads throughout lockdown and there has been an increase in the number of reports of ‘close passes’ where the safety of cyclists has been put at risk.
“This operation is about educating drivers to the vulnerability of cyclists and others riding on two wheels such as motorcyclists, and explaining the reasons why it is so important to leave enough space when overtaking. Everyone has the right to use the roads safely and we want all road users to be more considerate of each other, regardless of their chosen mode of transport”
Station Manager Andy Gray, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Manager, said: “I am really pleased to be working in partnership with Cheshire Police with this initiative as making Cheshire’s roads as safe as possible for all is vitally important to the people who use our roads.
“We will be offering education and advice to both drivers and cyclists, and will be demonstrating why it is crucial for both to be more aware of each other on the roads. Cyclists can feel extremely vulnerable when being overtaken by another vehicle, and we want everyone to feel as safe as possible on their journeys and to share the space.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “Since the national lockdown, we have seen a big increase in the number of people who have taken up cycling and there has recently been a number of fatal collisions involving cyclists in Cheshire.
“One life lost on our roads is one too many. I want cyclists in Cheshire to feel safe on the roads and for drivers to have the right knowledge. Together, I hope we can reduce the number of lives lost and prevent another family from losing a loved one.”
Cycling and Walking Champion for Cheshire East, Councillor Suzie Akers Smith, said: “Safety on Cheshire East roads is cited as the main reason why many people do not cycle, I am delighted that Cheshire Police have instigated this close pass initiative, the first step in helping the residents feel safer cycling on the roads.
“By cycling every day for short journeys, as well as it being fun, we will reduce congestion and improve our fitness – so everybody benefits.”