“Hypocritical” police condemned after van driver almost hits cyclist


POLICE Scotland have been accused of hypocrisy after footage showed one of the force’s vans race past a cyclist in wet weather with just inches to spare.

The force recently cracked down on motorists who drive too close to cyclists by putting an officer on a bike and stopping anyone who came within the safe passing distance of 5ft.

So David Evans was shocked when he was almost knocked off his bike by a police van which roared past him in heavy rain.

Police Scotland is now investigating the footage, which was filmed in Dundee on Thursday morning.

Mr Evans, 31, was commuting from his home in Monifieth, Angus, to Dundee when he had the close call.

The video shows the Mr Evans cycling in the very wet conditions and on a bend when a car approaches in the opposite direction.

A police van appears from behind him and comes terrifyingly close to avoid colliding with the car.

A spokesman for campaigning website Scotland’s Worst Driver’s said: ““Passing a cyclist that close is not only dangerous, but frankly quite stupid, even more so with the conditions of the road.

“Police Scotland have been talking about Operation Close Pass for a while now and you would think every officer would be aware of the 1.5m rule not to mention the sheer hypocrisy of ‘do as I say not as I do’.

“Perhaps this officer should have the ‘chat on the mat’.”

Mr Evans, a data analyst at the University of Dundee, said: “The van was surprisingly close, especially on a blind bend. It was slightly disconcerting but it was no surprise to me on that bend, I’ve seen quite a lot of idiots there.”

He added: “It’s ill judged but it’s not necessarily indicative of all of the police. It’s an isolated incident, most police I see are courteous and considerate drivers. But, like I say, it was ill-judged.”

In April this year, ‘Operation Close Pass’ was launched in Edinburgh to “highlight the space cyclists need for everyone to use our roads safely.”

Police Scotland’s website went on to say: “Operation Close Pass will see drivers who pass an unmarked police cyclist too closely pulled over and given advice using a specially designed mat which shows how much space a person on a bicycle needs when overtaking them.”

At the time of Operation Close Pass’ launch, PC Dominic Doyle from the Divisional Road Policing Unit said: ““A lot of drivers see a person on a bicycle riding on the road on in a cycle lane and don’t consider that passing them closely puts all road users in danger.

“It could constitute careless or even dangerous driving and you would fail your driving test for that.”

Police Scotland said: “Tayside Division will look into the matter and establish the circumstances.”