Operation Safe Pass, Day of Action – April 2023

Posted on Wednesday 19th April 2023 in Cyclists, Education and Training, Motorcyclists, News, Pedestrians, Speed

Multiple motoring offences were detected by police during an operation to raise awareness of cycle safety.

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) joined Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) working together to provide a day of education and enforcement. The activity was held on New Church Road, Hove – on Tuesday 18th of April, between 08:00-11:00, to mark Operation Close Pass day of action highlighting the importance of keeping at least the distance of another car (1.5m) away. This location was selected due to our data showing us that 50% of those killed and seriously injured on this road have been cyclists. This activity was aimed to increase awareness among other road users.

SSRPs Programme Delivery Officer, Tom Hart led the operation with the support of 3 Casualty Reduction Officers (CRO’s), Sussex’s Community Speedwatch Officer, an RPU Motorcyclist, and an RPU Sergeant who rode a pedal cycle. During the operation, the plain-clothed officer on the bicycle was able to identify dangerous passes, leading to those individuals being intersected by an RPU officer to educate drivers on the dangers of overtaking cyclists closely. Passing too closely to cyclists when overtaking risks lives – imagine it was your friend, family, or loved one on that bike.

Updates to the Highway Code in 2022 include a requirement for vehicle drivers to ensure a minimum gap of 1.5 metres when passing a cyclist at speeds of up to 30mph, and more space at higher speeds (rule 163).   

Throughout the morning, various members of the public joined our stand at St Leonard’s Church to discuss a variety of road safety issues, including vehicle height restrictions, Community SpeedWatch, cycle safety, and pedestrian visibility. 

In just a few hours, the team detected:

13 drivers and/ or riders were pulled over for further discussion, 6 of whom were pulled into the Church car park for extended discussion and 7 received words of advice roadside.

Of the thirteen offences, 6 related to the close passing of a cyclist;
2 x speeding;
3 x e-scooter;
1 x no tax, and
1 x mobile phone.

Among these offences included a failure to stop, as well as a vehicle driving with illegal tyres. The majority of close passers stated that they were unaware of the distance required to safely pass a cyclist, and guidance was provided with a demonstration in the car park.

If you have dashcam or helmet-cam footage showing somebody driving dangerously or recklessly in Sussex, you can upload it directly via Operation Crackdown.

Operation Crackdown is a secure online portal for reporting and submitting video evidence of suspected moving traffic offences witnessed by the public. Any footage submitted to Sussex Police as part of Operation Crackdown should not be posted on social media, footage that is in the public domain may have an adverse effect on any subsequent proceedings.

Those found to be committing a driving offence will be prosecuted.

71 Notice of Intended Prosecutions (NIPs) and 165 Educational Letters were sent out in March 2023!

Please do not contact Sussex Police on 101, 999 or online regarding a submission, as they will not be able to advise you on its status.

We want to make the roads of Sussex as safe as possible.

Please visit www.operationcrackdown.org for more information.

Our album of images taken on Operation Close Pass day of action, in Hove with the support of RPU, is available here on our website over in our gallery!

Check it out👇

Photo Galleries | Sussex Safer Roads Partnership