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Road Safety

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Give Space Be Safe

All road users have the right to be able to use the highway safely, and this Spring the Influencing Travel Behaviour Team are trialling a new ‘Close Pass’ initiative in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police to help remind drivers of this and improve safety on our roads.


What is close Pass?

The close pass initiative was launched by West-Midlands police in 2016. West Midlands Police PC Wilson, who helped develop the initiative, has written a blog post about it.

A non-uniformed police cyclist, equipped with specialist front and rear mounted cameras, will identify vehicles that have passed too closely. The cyclist will then radio the details of the vehicle for in car colleagues to intercept the driver at a designated holding point where they will be offered a road-side educational input on safe overtaking delivered jointly by council road safety staff and police officers. Drivers will also be provided with a leaflet giving them further advice and information. The trial will also be accompanied by outdoor messaging and social media updates with tips and advice for all road users.​


When is it happening and where?

The first trial in Leeds is due to launch in early May on the A660 in the Headingley area of Leeds.


Why is it happening?

Cyclists are still over represented in the casualty data for Leeds. The A660 running through Headingley has the highest rate of cycle casualties in the region with 88 accidents involving cyclists in the last 5years. This is a trial, but the hope is that by encouraging drivers to think about safe passing distances and their general driving behaviour around cyclists, they will look more actively for them in the future, thus reducing the number of collisions.


How to pass safely:

  • Rule 163 of the Highway Code states that you should ‘give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car’
  • 1.5 metres is the recommended minimum clearance, but at higher speeds a full car width’s clearance is recommended

For more information on driving safely around cyclists, visit www.someones-son.co.uk. British Cycling have recently launched a series of smart commuter videos. Watch one on road positioning here:

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Contact us

For further information you can email us at road.safety@leeds.gov.uk


Report a general highways problem

You can report a general highways problem to us by using the Report a general highways problem form.​​


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