North Yorkshire Police rolls out close pass cycling mats

North Yorkshire Police has launched its close pass campaign, to educate drivers in regard to the amount of room they should allow when overtaking a cyclist.

Working alongside road safety partners 95 Alive and with the support of Cycling UK, Operation Spartan, North Yorkshire Police’s campaign to protect vulnerable road users aims to educate drivers that they should leave at least 1.5m of space, in order to safely overtake a cyclist.

Launching the campaign at York Sport Village cycling track, North Yorkshire Police will be the first force in the UK to use a close pass mat, which has been developed and funded by Cycling UK’s Too Close for Comfort kickstarter appeal. The mat clearly depicts the amount of room drivers should use when carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre.

The crowd sourcing appeal raised £14,500 through donations from Cycling UK members and 970 organisations, enabling Cycling UK to provide every police force in the UK access to a close pass mat, to form part of their own safety campaign.

TC Michelle Bergstrand from the Major Collision Investigation Unit said: “Following the success of the Tour de Yorkshire, we have seen an increase in the number of cyclists on our roads. By the nature of cycling, cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users and Operation Spartan aims to ensure that drivers are aware of the fact they need to leave sufficient space when passing a cyclist.

“370 cyclists were injured on our roads in 2015, with four cyclists sadly losing their lives. We believe that everyone should use the roads with care and consideration towards each other and Operation Spartan will take every step necessary to increase the level of safety for all and reduce the number of cyclist who are killed or seriously injured on the roads of North Yorkshire.”

Cycling UK’s head of campaigns and communications David Murray added: “We’re really pleased to see North Yorkshire Police roll out the first of our close pass mats – particularly as Cycling UK’s spiritual home of Harrogate sits squarely in their patch. Over the rest of May we’ll be donating these mats to every force in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as we aim to make it a summer of safe cycling on all our roads.”

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