Sir Michael Fallon's written a letter apologising to the mum of a Tamworth soldier - who was killed by a roadside bomb.
West Midlands Police Cyclists To Target 'Close Passing Drivers'
Police are to use officers riding bikes to identify and catch ``close-pass'' drivers who endanger cyclists.
West Midlands Police force is thought to be the first in the country to proactively target motorists who flout laws requiring them to give cyclists at least the same space as vehicles when overtaking.
Anyone encroaching inside a safe passing distance ï¿½' widely considered to be a minimum of 1.5 metres ï¿½' runs the risk of being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.
The new operation will see officers in plain clothes saddle up on some of Birmingham's busiest routes, including Hagley Road, Pershore Road and Bristol Road.
Under the initiative - which was trialled over four days last month - police cyclists radio through details of ``close-pass'' drivers for colleagues in cars to intercept at a designated holding point.
Drivers will be offered road-side educational input on safe overtaking but repeat offenders ï¿½' or anyone deemed to have driven dangerously close to a cyclist ï¿½' could be prosecuted and taken to court.
West Midlands Police traffic officer and cyclist Pc Mark Hodson said: ``As a police force we must do our upmost to protect vulnerable road users and show that anyone who puts them in danger through poor driving will be dealt with.
``Cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces or obstacles like drain covers so it's important to afford them plenty of room when overtaking.
``We know that close passing is the single biggest deterrent stopping more people from taking to their bikes.
``Drivers need to consider that a cyclist they are overtaking could be a police officer ï¿½' and if they don't pass them safely they could be prosecuted.''
David Cox, chairman of trustees at charity UK Cycling, said: ``We are delighted that West Midlands Police is to actively target close-pass drivers.
``The outcome will mean greater safety for everyone who cycles or would like to use a cycle for everyday trips.''
A Black Country man's been jailed for life for stabbing his partner. Ronald Cooke attacked Tina Billingham at their home.
The family of 20 year-old Callum Lees, who was stabbed to death at a house party in Solihull, have paid tribute as they appeal for his killer to come forward.
The binmen strike in Birmingham by members of Unite the union has been suspended.
Recently Played Tracks
On Radio: James Merritt
1am - 6am
Text 'HEART' to 82122
Now playing: The best feel good music
Deposit £10 to get a £40 Welcome Bonus - That's £50 to play bingo, slots and more!*
Over 50 tracks to make you feel-good. New album out now...
Find your local four day weather report here.
What's happening on the roads where you are?
Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.
Find out more about some of the companies advertising on Heart.
Get some great ideas on how to advertise your business on radio, online and on mobile.