Police officers are taking to their bikes to teach the dangers of driving too close to cyclists.

Plain-clothes officers on cycles will use bike-mounted cameras to catch motorists who get too close for comfort.

Offenders will then be pulled over further along the road and spoken to about their driving.

It comes as a survey found 73% of those asked were not aware the practice could result in three penalty points.

Cycling Scotland, which commissioned the YouGov research, is raising awareness of the risks to cyclists in a new nationwide campaign.

The poll of more than 1,000 Scots found most did not know the potential consequence of failing to leave at least a car’s width when passing a bike.

Police will demonstrate the safe passing distance, widely considered to be at least 1.5m (5ft). A similar scheme was successful in West Midlands

The body has received the backing of Police Scotland, which stressed that driving too close is classed as careless driving and is punishable with a minimum penalty of three penalty points and £100 fine.

Cycling Scotland chief executive Keith Irving said: “People who cycle regularly are likely to experience a ‘very scary’ close pass incident every couple of days and cycling casualties are increasing, in line with cycling’s growing popularity.

“Every week in Scotland, at least three people cycling suffer serious, potentially life-changing injuries, usually from a collision with a vehicle.

“Our new TV ad campaign shows how it can feel to be close passed and increases awareness of the legal consequences for people driving too closely to someone cycling.”

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