As someone who experiences close passes almost every time I ride my bike, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this letter that’s just arrived from Cycling UK…
As cyclists, we all know that horrible feeling of a dangerous overtake. Close passes are intimidating and dangerous: police attribute “passing too close to the cyclist” as a contributory factor in a staggering 25% of serious collisions between cyclists and large vehicles.
Last year, Cycling UK successfully fundraised to provide ‘close pass mats’ to every police force in the UK, enabling forces from Scotland to Surrey, Wales to West Yorkshire and Belfast to Bristol to carry out close pass operations to tackle dangerous overtaking.
To build on this success, Cycling UK has now developed an innovative 360° VR ‘Too Close For Comfort’ film which will put drivers ‘in the saddle’, experiencing a close pass from a cyclist’s perspective and ensuring that every driver understands the dangers close passing poses to cyclists, even if they never cycle themselves.
Police have already told us that they believe this VR film will be a hugely impactful too to change driver behaviour, and we want every police force in the country to have access to the film, as well as the VR headset needed to view it, so they can integrate it into the educational aspect of their close pass operations.
However, with police facing years of cuts, we need your help to raise £15,000 so we can get both the film and the headsets to police forces nationwide and take a huge step forward in putting an end to close passes.
That would mean that whether you’re a local cycling campaigner running a village stall, a driving instructor with a new pupil or an employer encouraging safe driving amongst staff, these funds will make sure anyone has access to the film, creating what could easily become the widest reaching road safety educational tool ever.
Since we launched our campaign last Thursday, 177 people have pledged £3,635 towards our target. We’re a fifth of the way there – we know it’s a lot to ask, but please help us make our target by giving at least £10. We only need 1,137 of the UK’s two million regular cyclists to help us make overtaking that’s too close for comfort a thing of the past.