Posted on Wednesday 13th September 2023 in Cyclists, Drivers, Education and Training, News, Speed

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) joined Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) working together in Partnership with West Sussex Fire and Rescue to provide a day of education and enforcement. The engagement was held at East Grinstead’s Fire Station – on Wednesday 13th of September, between 07:30-11:30am. Operation Safe Pass, highlights the importance of keeping at least the distance of another car (1.5m) away. This activity was aimed to increase awareness among road users. We were also joined by an East Grinstead Town Councillor who supported the delivery of vital road safety messaging.

SSRPs Programme Delivery Officer, Tom Hart, led the operation with the support of a Casualty Reduction Officer (CRO), an RPU Motorcyclist, and an RPU Sergeant who rode a pedal cycle. During the operation, the plain-clothed Sergeant, 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!

We are Cycling UK, is a charity that supports and enables millions more to cycle. They support Road Safety Partnerships in creating a country where cycling is a safe and popular mode of transport for people of all backgrounds and abilities, and a reduction of traffic congestion. Cycling UK has championed the cause of cycling for more than 140 years. They promote all forms of cycling, protect the interests of existing and would-be cyclists, and inspire people across the UK to discover the joys of cycling.

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

In just a few hours, the team detected:

11 drivers were pulled over for further discussion, 5 of whom were pulled into the Fire Station car park for extended discussion and 6 received words of advice roadside.

Of the 11 offences, 5 related to the close passing of a cyclist (mixed genders – car drivers x 3, HGV driver x 1, camper van driver x1);

5 x no seatbelt (HGV/ LGV Driver)

1 x mobile phone (HGV Driver)

In addition to these interactions, various members of the public spoke to us regarding local concerns, one of whom was a cyclist who had the opportunity to discuss these with the Local Authority representative.

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).

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.

73 Notice of Intended Prosecutions (NIPs) and 163 Educational Letters were sent out in August 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 during SSRPs Safe Pass Event, in East Grinstead, with the support of Sussex Police’s Roads Policing Unit and West Sussex Fire and Rescue, is available here on our website over in our gallery!

Check it out👇

Photo Galleries | Sussex Safer Roads Partnership