DRIVERS have been told to ‘slow down’ after it was revealed that 12 people have died on Oxfordshire’s roads in just two months.

Fire station manager Andy Ford said Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue usually respond to two fatal car accidents a month.

But coming out of lockdown, the roads have been busier and people are driving faster, said Mr Ford as police officers tried to catch bad drivers in the city centre yesterday morning.

Read: LIVE as police stop drivers

On Abingdon Road drivers were being secretly watched as they overtook cyclists at rush-hour.

The Highway Code says that drivers shouldn’t overtake a bike if they wouldn’t overtake a car at the same point.

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To put commuters to the test, an undercover police officer, dressed in normal cycling gear, rode up and down the busy main road using the cycling lanes.

He wore a camera to film drivers overtaking him while a uniformed officer named Scotty, drove behind on a motorbike watching.

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If a car drove too close, within 1.5m of the cyclist, they were pulled over by Scotty and offered ‘education’, as an ‘alternative to prosecution’.

At the Go Outdoors shop opposite the Travelodge, Liz Johnson - who heads the Thames Valley Police Joint Roads Policing Unit – asked drivers to do an eyesight test, checking they could read a number plate from 20m away.

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She said the sting works best at commuter times when there are typically more crashes on the roads because drivers are in a rush to get to work.

Mr Ford said that firefighters who arrive at the scene of ‘very traumatic’ crashes where somebody is left with life changing injuries can be left ‘frustrated’ knowing that the accident could have easily been avoided.

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He said: “They are not accidents, they are collisions because they are because of a fault.

“The majority of crashes we have are because of the road users.”

He warned: “One of the things we’re seeing increasing is people speeding. They have to slow down. We have this saying ‘drive to arrive’: it’s better to get there than not get there at all.”

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PC Johnson added that the low sun and condensation on windows at this specific time of year can block views of cyclists and pedestrians who are vulnerable on the roads.

In a poll of 253 people on the Oxford Mail website yesterday, 21 per cent said they thought our roads were safe for cyclists.

Another 40 per cent said they think Oxfordshire roads were ‘not at all safe’ and could and should be made safer.

In an emergency call 999.

To report a non-emergency crime call police on 101.