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Motorists face prosecution for driving too close to cyclists
Motorists who endanger cyclists by getting too close to them will be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention under a new scheme.
West Midlands Police have begun proceedings against 38 motorists for what is known as close passing – giving cyclists less than a metre-and-a-half of room.
Police officers on bikes equipped with cameras are patrolling busy roads and radioing ahead to patrol cars when they film bad driving, with most offenders being given roadside advice.
Traffic officer and cyclist PC Mark Hodson said: “As a police force we must do our utmost to protect vulnerable road users and show that anyone who puts them in danger through poor driving will be dealt with.
“Cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces or obstacles like drain covers so it’s important to afford them plenty of room when overtaking.”
More than 21,000 cyclists were injured on Britain’s roads in 2014, with 113 killed.
Champion triathlete Constantine Mamole (pictured) was badly injured when he was knocked off his bike by a car two years ago.
Now back at work at his Kings Of Cycling shop in Leeds he has made a full physical recovery, but says he is too anxious to train on the road and has not raced since.
“It affects your professional life, your personal life, you become a different person,” he said.
“It has a massive impact on any cyclist.”
Source: Sky News

TOUGHER PENALTIES for drivers caught using mobile phones at the wheel.

Jimi Beckwith
by Jimi Beckwith
19 September 2016

Drivers caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel will now be hit with six points on their licence and a £200 fine.

The Department for Transport has been planning a crackdown on the offence for some time now, and previously suggested that a four-point and £150 penalty would deter drivers.

The new penalties are double the previous ones, and the introduction of the tougher legislation comes just days after an RAC survey found a considerable rise in mobile phone use behind the wheel.

Read more about the RAC’s findings here

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “we need to take responsibility for our actions and as drink or drug driving has become socially unacceptable, so must using mobile phones at the wheel.

“It may seem harmless when you are replying to a text, answering a call or using an app, but the truth is your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others.”

Here’s why you shouldn’t use your mobile phone behind the wheel

In 2014 and 2015, the DfT found that the use of a mobile phone behind the wheel contributed to 43 fatal accidents in 2014 and 2015. The government is also introducing a high-profile Think! campaign to accompany the higher penalties, to raise awareness around the new penalties, and the dangers of committing the offence.

The transport secretary also said that he aims to make using a phone at the wheel “socially unacceptable, like drink driving or not wearing a seatbelt.”

The government formerly planned four-point penalties, read more here

The road safety spokesman for the RAC, Pete Williams, said: “The Government’s swift action to the findings in the RAC Report on Motoring shows they understand just how dangerous it can be to use a handheld mobile phone at the wheel. However, it is just as important that laws are seen to be enforced, and the decline in the numbers of dedicated road traffic police has only heightened the feeling that those who use a handheld phone while driving simply get away with it.”

“We hope we will see an immediate change in driver behaviour and an end to anyone using a handheld mobile phone while driving.”

The tougher penalties will come into play in the first half of 2017.