Si wrote:No point in having law changes if they are not going to be policed (eg mobile phone laws). Thus, to me the motion is a halfway measure, not likely to do much good, could even cause harm......"you asked for a law change, we gave you a law change, our job is done, no need for anymore effort". To make it worth anything it also needs a commitment to campaign to have it policed and publicised fully.
On the other hand, where we do see a bit of rigorous policing of close passing (e.g. the WMs), they seem to be getting on with it without a law change.
I can see your point and agree that any law without enforcement if not as effective. However, the act of creating a law will create (hopefully) some publicity and that will help spread the message to drivers. Like the "no smoking with kids in your car" - not been enforced at all (Police even said it could/would not be enforced before it was introduced) yet it has got a message out there reinforcing that exposing children to cigarette smoke is a bad thing for them so I'd still expect the law reduced cigarette smoke exposure (in cars) for children even though it has never been enforced.
Working on the assumption that most drivers do not want to put the fear of God into cyclists and want to treat them with consideration, I assume that most/many close passes are through driver ignorance rather than deliberate intimidation. So something that gets the message to those drivers will hopefully improve things. As for those who do close pass to deliberately intimidate then on the rare occasions they are adequately observed such a law would make prosecution easier.
As for "you asked for a law change, we gave you a law change, our job is done, no need for anymore effort", you could say that about any law and it depends on whose saying it. If that happens then as with so many things if that does happen and it proves insufficiently effective then it needs reviewing and updating. Or maybe the Police need to have the profile of the law raised within their ranks. This sort of thing is what we contribute to organisations like the CTC/CUK for.
As for rigorous Policing, I think we need sustained nationwide action rather than one Police force deciding to have a splurge for a bit on it (i.e. the South American policing model does not really help improve things on any long term basis). And the current funding/resource constraints the Police are operating under would make sustained rigorous Policing unlikely.
So if there are better alternatives (because I don't consider "just enduring them" as a sensible way forward) maybe the CTC/CUK should have said they would setup e.g. a working group/committee/something to look into the impacts of such a law and possible effective alternatives - rather than just rejecting the motion.
I'm working on the basis that the current situation is not acceptable and is perceived as a danger and is discouraging new and existing cyclists. A hidden sentence in the Highway Code will be a complete waste of time and totally ineffective. The only idea I've heard that might happen is a law change. I'm certainly open to alternatives but I've not yet heard any. My desire is to stop these scary/dangerous passes and "doing nothing" isn't working.