Undercover police officers on bikes deployed on London's roads to catch motorists endangering cyclists

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Undercover police officers will be deployed on London’s roads to catch motorists who endanger cyclists.

Plain clothes officers wearing video cameras will be sent out to accident black spots in a bid to crackdown on drivers who drive too close to cyclists or cut them up. 

Scotland Yard has launched the programme to focus on motorists driving dangerously but will also pull up cyclists who misbehave, with one senior officer warning: “We can’t be everywhere, but we could be anywhere.”

The Met said: “Cycle Safety Team officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command will go to any location, at any time, on any borough, based on intelligence and complaints, to ensure drivers properly obey the rules of the road.”

The officers, riding unmarked by bikes donated by BMW, will target three common driving offences including tailgating cyclists, turning across their path and unsafe overtaking or close passes.

“If officers encounter a driver committing any of these offences, they will identify them to a nearby, marked police motorcycle rider who will stop and engage with them,” the Met added.

“In line with any police roadside stop, the driver will be required to provide evidence of insurance, a driving licence, pass a roadside eyesight test and have their vehicle checked for roadworthiness.” 

The driver will be reminded of the Highway Code rules regarding the offences and professional drivers will be reported and may have to appear in court, as will motorists guilty of “particularly bad driving”.

Sergeant Andy Osborne, Cycle Safety Team, said: “We want all road users to obey the Highway Code. This tactic is about education and encouraging motorists who do not comply with the rules of the road to start doing so – for everyone’s safety and protection – theirs included. 

“There is a lot of traffic in the capital and we all need to share the roads and be mindful of other road users. In its simplest form, it’s about being courteous to one another.”

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “We know that safety concerns are one of the biggest barriers to cycling in London. That’s why we’re working hard to build high-quality safe routes to encourage even more people to cycle, and why I’m so pleased to see the Met tackling some of the dangers that we see on our roads.” 

Camden borough officers conducted a similar trial last year in which a police sergeant disguised himself in plain clothes and cycled a loop around the town and Primrose Hill.

Uniformed officers were stationed at busy junctions to check for drivers who were not allowing him a safe passing distance.

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