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Highlands and Islands road policing officers spoke to a number of drivers during Operation Close Pass in Nairn to highlight the importance of giving enough space when safely passing cyclists – 10 drivers were stopped for passing too closely to an unmarked police cyclist

By Ian Duncan

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The police operation in Nairn.
The police operation in Nairn.

Traffic police officers spoke to a number of drivers yesterday during the latest Operation Close Pass on the A96 Inverness Road in Nairn.

Ten drivers were stopped for passing too closely to an unmarked police cyclist.

Operation Close Pass is being run in conjunction with Operation Cedar which is aimed at promoting safety for all road users, including motorists, cyclists alike and the increase in the amount of vulnerable road users as government lockdown restrictions begin to ease. Physical distancing was fully adhered to during the event.

The operation involves drivers who do not give enough room when passing an unmarked police cyclist being spoken to and given a demonstration on how to overtake safely using a specially designed mat.

Road Policing Constable Paul Whitehead said: "We are constantly working to make Scotland's roads safer for everyone. The operation provides us with a good opportunity to speak to road users to highlight our respective responsibilities and raise the awareness, both by interacting with motorists and other members of the public at the roadside and by generating wider discussion on social media."

It is imperative that all road users, including cyclists, are aware of their vulnerability irrespective what mode of transport they are using. When passing a cyclist, you should ensure that you allow sufficient time and distance to do so without compromising their safety: make sure you can see far enough ahead to know it is safe to complete the overtake.

There is room for everyone on our roads and we all have a right to be there. Officers encourage all road users to show consideration and respect for the safety of each other.

PC Whitehead said: "We were very pleased with the large majority of vehicles which were giving the cyclist plenty of room. All road users should be able to travel safely & we hope that activity like Operation Close Pass will encourage everyone on the roads to consider how their behaviour could change for the better.”

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