Birmingham trucker fined for driving too close to cyclist after undercover police operation

A Birmingham trucker has become among the first motorists prosecuted for driving too close to a cyclist after an undercover police operation. Plain clothes officers have been riding bikes in Birmingham and the Black Country in a bid to snare drivers putting lives at risk. West Midlands Police[1] has revealed the unnamed trucker, 60, was among the first motorists taken to court after the operation to protect riders from “close-passes”.

He was handed fines and costs totalling ?1,038 and given five points on his licence for the unsafe manoeuvre on Tipton’s Park Lane West in November last year. He was found guilty following a trial at Birmingham Magistrates Court[2].

The Highway Code says drivers should give the same room as when overtaking another vehicle which is about 1.5-metres or an open car door's widthThe Highway Code says drivers should give the same room as when overtaking another vehicle which is about 1.5-metres or an open car door’s width

West Midlands Police’s[3] #GiveSpaceBeSafe scheme was launched last September and sees plain clothes cops pedalling the region’s busiest roads on the lookout for motorists who pass too close for comfort. Almost 200 offenders have been pulled over during the operation.

Most have been allowed on their way after being given advice. However, 13 drivers went on to be prosecuted and two had licences revoked at the roadside for failing eyesight tests. The force has also prosecuted more than 300 offenders using helmet and dash-cam footage provided by members of the public.

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PC Mark Hodson, from the Central Motorway Police Group[4] (CMPG), said: “This was a clear case of a close-pass.

The cyclist was nearly forced into the kerb and the actions of the truck driver could easily have caused a very serious collision. He maintained his innocence, though, and has now been convicted in court. “Our advice to drivers overtaking cyclists and other vulnerable road users like horse riders is to be patient, plan your overtake, and give plenty of room.

The Highway Code says drivers should give the same room as when overtaking another vehicle which is about 1.5-metres or an open car door’s width.

“A few seconds delay to ensure a safe overtake is nothing compared to the consequences of a poorly planned and executed overtake can be.”

References

  1. ^ West Midlands Police (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Birmingham Magistrates Court (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ West Midlands Police’s (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ Central Motorway Police Group (www.birminghammail.co.uk)

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