Positive 2023 results for Extra Eyes

Over 1,000 close passes were reported by cyclists in 2023.

Last year, cyclists reported 1073 close passes through the Extra Eyes service, which is run by the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP). The simple process is designed to allow road users to report careless and dangerous road use, by uploading video footage.

In total, cyclists logged 1279 reports through Extra Eyes, with 84% of the reports being for close passes.

The largest number of reports came from drivers, who made 2816 reports, of which 1885 (67%) were for careless or inconsiderate driving.

Of the reports by cyclists, 56% were taken forward by Essex Police, which will have resulted in prosecution or the offer of a driver improvement course, 7% resulted in an advice letter being sent and 35% resulted in no further action.

Of the reports by drivers, 35% were taken forward by the police which will have resulted in prosecution or the offer of a driver improvement course, 3% resulted in an advice letter being sent and 53% resulted in no further action.

There were also 934 reports by pedestrians, 28 by motorcyclists and 36 by horse riders.

Will Cubbin, Partnership Manager for SERP, said: “We are very satisfied with the figures for 2023’s Extra Eyes initiative, and we continue to praise the public for playing their part, in the continued shared aspiration for Vision Zero– no deaths or serious injuries on our roads, by 2040. Whilst we would like all dangerous, or poor, road user behaviour tackled directly, Extra Eyes has a strict legal criterion around the quality of dash cam footage, so sadly, it isn’t always possible to process complaints. We ask Essex road users to check out the criteria on our website, to support a satisfactory outcome.”

A spokesperson for Colchester Cycling Campaign, Stuart Johnson, praised Essex Police for improvements in the service during 2023.

He said: “In the first quarter of 2023, we were dissatisfied with the high number of advice letters that the police were sending in response to close passes. We were dubious that these were effective and called on the police to take more robust action against careless and dangerous drivers. Since March, we have seen a large drop in the number of advice letters and a big increase in the numbers of drivers being sent on driver improvement courses which we believe are likely to be a more effective way to improve driving behaviour and reduce the risk to road users.”

Stuart added: “We are sure that everyone who cycles would rather not feel they have to have a camera fitted to capture careless and dangerous driving. While a minority of drivers put vulnerable road users at risk, we recommend considering fitting a camera and making use of Essex Police’s Extra Eye’s service to report driving that puts other people in danger.”

For more information on Extra Eyes, visit: www.saferessexroads.org/extra-eyes

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