New figures from Avon and Somerset Police published this week show that a third of all reported road traffic collisions in 2018 involved a cyclist or motorcyclist.

The force has announced that it is issuing cameras to both uniformed and plain-clothed police officers on bikes to target areas where cyclists are put in danger.

Drivers passing unsafely will be caught on camera and issued with either an educational letter or a notice of intended prosecution, depending on the nature of the incident.

Avon and Somerset Police will compliment this with full ‘Close Pass’ operations over the coming months. Plain-clothed officers on bikes are equipped with video cameras to target drivers carrying out dangerous manoeuvres around them.

Drivers are stopped and then offered roadside education or, in the most serious cases, reported for an offence which could lead to six points on their licence and a £200 fine.

Figures from Avon and Somerset Police show that a third of all reported road traffic collisions in 2018 involved a cyclist or motorcyclist.

There were a total of 2,707 injury collisions recorded by the force, of which 879 involved a road user on two wheels.

This week, Avon and Somerset Police is supporting the NPCC’s (National Police Chief’s Council) ‘2Wheels Campaign’ to raise awareness of the dangers faced by cyclists and motorcyclists.

Police are using the 2Wheels Campaign to highlight the importance of road users reporting incidents of near misses online, in order to help get a clearer picture of what’s going on and identify if there is a need for some targeted work to be done to prevent a serious collision happening.

Avon and Somerset Police advice for road users

Think about your arm span – Close passes are not only really intimidating, but also dangerous. If you’re in a vehicle, passing too close to cyclists is a contributory factor in too many serious collisions between cyclists and larger vehicles. Motorists should leave 1.5 metres when they overtake. Struggling to remember the distance? It’s slightly less than the arm span of an average adult.

Get to grips with defensive riding – Adopting defensive riding techniques can help those on two wheels safeguard themselves against other road users’ error and reduce the chances of a collision. Make yourself visible with high-visibility clothing and position yourself on the safest part of the road to make yourself more visible to other road users. Reducing speed enables riders to see round bends and stop more easily if necessary.

Report incidences of near misses online – So we can get a clearer picture of what’s going on and identifying if there is a need for some targeted work to be done to prevent a serious collision happening. Any road user can report a near miss and upload dashcam footage (where there has been a potential road offence) on our website here: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/nearmiss