‘The driver just didn’t see me’ - cycling undercover police officer describes near miss during crackdown on motorists

Norfolk Police and Fire Service running a cycle safety operation to highlight the dangers from drive

Norfolk Police and Fire Service running a cycle safety operation to highlight the dangers from drivers passing too close. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

An police officer has described almost being hit by cars as he took part in an undercover operation aimed at targeting motorists who endangered the lives of cyclists.

PC Stuart Aldous. Pic: Peter Walsh

PC Stuart Aldous. Pic: Peter Walsh - Credit: Archant

PC Stuart Aldous was one of the plain clothes officers on bikes involved in the Operation Close Pass in Norwich on Tuesday, October 3.

As part of the operation cycling police officers, who were equipped with cameras to record evidence of driving offences, reported any offenders to uniformed police on motorcycles who then pulled the vehicle into Carrow Fire Station.

MORE: Three Norwich motorists pulled over for driving too close to undercover police on bicycles in city sting

Speaking after the crackdown PC Aldous said: 'Most of the drivers were all right.

'Most were trying to give me a wide berth.

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'I had a couple on Bracondale, one was really close.

'I could've stuck my elbow out and hit the car. It was very close.'

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'A bit further up the road I was turning left and the car was turning left as well and pulled straight in front of me.

'It was clear the driver just didn't see me.'

He added: 'Its frightening. I don't usually cycle in the city - I stay away from it.'

PC Aldous said when a bike and car are travelling along the same stretch of national speed limit road, with cyclists doing about 20mph and drivers 60mph, and there is not sufficient space then the bike can shake.

PC Aldous said that was 'scary'.

The operation saw four motorists spoken to after being caught driving too close to bikes.

Three of the drivers took up the offer of an educational briefing which included being shown a pass mat which shows the 1.5m passing distance drivers should allow when overtaking cycles.

One of the motorists refused the offer and was given a Traffic Offence Report for consideration of the offences committed.

A 19-year-old motorist was educated about safer driving and arrested on suspicion of drug driving after failing a roadside drugs test.

His car was also seized after he was found to have no insurance, no licence and no MOT.

Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: 'We've had a really good positive response from the people who have come through.

'The fact we've had low numbers says to me that actually at this time of the day we've got some really good drivers out there.

'But we've still got people we have stopped which is disappointing.'

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