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New cycle camera trial underway

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A new cycle camera trial is being carried out by Devon County Council to help improve safety for cyclists.

The County Council has enlisted the help of Ride On, the bike recycling charity in Exeter, as well the Exeter Cycle Campaign, Met Office, RD&E Hospital and Exeter Science Park to try out the helmet-mounted video cameras to capture footage of dangerous driving.

Footage of vehicles passing too close to the cyclists will be uploaded to the Devon and Cornwall Police Operation Snap dashcam portal. Since August last year Operation Snap has received 195 submissions from cyclists, and police have been able to take positive action in 57.4% of those cases.

If the trial proves successful, the scheme could be rolled out to other major employers and the wider public.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes
Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “This trial is being undertaken because we’ve seen lots of reports of motorists not knowing the safe distance to leave when overtaking cyclists and they pass too close to them. If they’ve witnessed driving that’s dangerous, they have the reassurance that they can upload their footage to Operation Snap

“The cameras look like helmet-mounted lights, so they’re not particularly noticeable, but we want motorists to know that close passes are potentially being recorded. We don’t want this to be confrontational – we’re hoping it prompts everyone to think about others on the roads and leads to safer roads for us all. It’s really an opportunity to educate motorists about close passes and other incidents of dangerous driving for cyclists.”

Sam White, from Ride On, said: “I’ve been using the camera for a few weeks now and I think it could be a valuable tool to document some of the dangers from motorists that you are occasionally faced with when getting around by bike.”

Richard Kent-Woolsey, Manager of Force Road Traffic Collisions, Tickets and Prosecution Office for Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “Devon & Cornwall Police wish to encourage all road users to use Op Snap and welcome submissions from cyclists. We celebrate the cyclist as sustainable travel, recognise cyclists as part of the vulnerable road user group and consider their safety as non-negotiable.

“Cyclists continue to be a significant contributor to Devon & Cornwall Police Op Snap and in the last six months police have been able to take positive action with 112 cases that would otherwise have been missed. I thank all those that have taken time to upload their footage to Op Snap and helping to make our roads a safer place.”

To find out more about Operation Snap go to the Devon and Cornwall Police webpages.