Operation Close Pass : response to PCC

We have made the following response to the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s statement:

"The PCC's statement does not address why the Casualty Prevention Officer, in a role the PCC created earlier this year, told motorists that obeying Highway Code rule 163 was impractical. This is a very serious statement from the officer whose responsibility it is to reduce casualties. We urge the PCC to issue a statement as soon as possible that clearly states that the comments from the Casualty Reduction officer were incorrect and to provide instructions that are clear, correct and safe for drivers to follow when passing cyclists.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership, to which the PCC is a partner, has set the goal to reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions by at least 40% between 2015 and 2020. The PCC does not offer a single solution in his statement to reach this target.

The PCC says enforcement alone will not prevent casualties, and yet West Midlands Police have seen a 20% casualty reduction in one year as a result of Operation Close pass, which is an initiative focused on enforcement. It is not the only tool available or the only one that should be used, but the PCC seems reluctant to use enforcement at all. Operation Close Pass is aimed at prevention by targeting those behaviours that are dangerous before they result in a casualty."