West Midlands Police road safety work recognised by Cycling UK

West Midlands Police's PCs Steve Hudson and Mark Hodson receiving their award from Chris Boardman CBE. Photo: Cycling UK

West Midlands Police road safety work recognised by Cycling UK

Cycling UK gave special recognition for the work of West Midlands Police and their Operation Close Pass on Saturday 7 October at their annual Big Bike Celebration in Birmingham.

Operation Close Pass, an education and enforcement campaign targeting drivers who overtake cyclists too closely, saw the police force pulling over almost 200 offenders over the course of a year. Most of those pulled over were given on-the-spot educational input on how to overtake safely with 13 drivers prosecuted and around 350 fined. The result of the operation has seen a 20% reduction in casualties among vulnerable road users over the course of the year.

PC Mark Hodson and PC Steve Hudson, from West Midlands Police’s Road Harm Reduction Team received their award from former cycling world champion Chris Boardman MBE, who was recently appointed as Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Commissioner.

The day also celebrated achievements by Cycling UK volunteers from the last 12 months, as the cycling charity welcomed over 90 supporters and members to its Big Bike Celebration.

Chris Boardman, who presented the awards to the winners, said: “(It is) great to see a room full of so many people directly on the ground enabling people to enjoy bikes. Inspirational.”

We’re very humbled by the award, but won’t be resting on our laurels. The 20% reduction in casualties among people cycling and walking as a consequence of Operation Close Pass just gives greater motivation to continue our work.

PC Steve Hudson

PC Steve Hudson from West Midlands Police’s Road Harm Reduction Team said:

“We’re very humbled by the award, but won’t be resting on our laurels. The 20% reduction in casualties among people cycling and walking as a consequence of Operation Close Pass just gives greater motivation to continue our work.

“It’s been a team effort, not just involving the police but also the fire services and council. Mark and I are now working on improving and spreading the campaign as far and wide across the West Mids’ as possible.”

Cycling UK’s Chief Executive Paul Tuohy said:

“It’s hard to think of two officers who have done more to help raise awareness on how to drive safely around people cycling, or who have done it with such passion.

“Steve and Mark identified the problem of close passing on their patch and came up with a simple and effective operation which reduced reported close passes by half overnight. In a single year, their methods have seen a reduction in road casualties by 20%, and are now being studied and emulated across the UK and overseas. In fact, the term ‘West Midlands Police’ is now almost a byword for best policing practice among cycling circles.”

Contact information 

Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844 736 8453 or 01483 238 315 

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