ACT Policing is sending a warning to all Canberra motorists who do not leave enough room when overtaking cyclists, with a crackdown announced on Friday.
Officers will be conducting compliance checks in coming weeks and months targeting safe passing distances on ACT roads.
ACT road laws state drivers must leave at least one metre when passing a cyclist when travelling up to 60 kilometres per hour and drivers travelling faster must leave at least 1.5 metres when passing.
Drivers in the ACT can cross double lines to pass a cyclist if safe to do so.
ACT Policing's detective acting station sergeant Marcus Boorman said after the introduction of safe passing distances police had focused on education but would now be more strictly enforcing compliance.
He said a recent study showed 14 per cent of ACT drivers were not leaving enough space when passing cyclists.
"Canberra you're on notice. The next cyclist you drive past could be a police officer and if you're not doing the right thing there will be consequences," Detective Boorman said.
"[Officers] will not be in police uniform, so they will look like any other cyclist.
"Fines and demerit points may be issued if you do not leave enough room."
Pedal Power ACT chief executive Ian Ross welcomed the announcement and highlighted the importance of leaving enough room when passing cyclists.
"You can feel the wind and the suck of a car as it moves past you, you get buffeted on the road," Mr Ross said.
"I wouldn't want to put my kids on a bike and have them experience a close pass on the road, it's a terrifying thing."
In the last two years, four cyclists have lost their lives on ACT roads.
Mr Ross said this campaign was a first for Australia and hoped it would be as successful as similar campaigns in the United Kingdom which saw a 20 per cent reduction in cycling deaths and serious collisions.
"It lets people in Canberra who are riding bikes know the police have our backs," Mr Ross said.
Detective Boorman highlighted cyclists face a high risk of serious injury or death if struck by a motor vehicle and called on all Canberrans to promote road safety.
"Slowing down [to pass a cyclist] and reducing your trip time by a couple of seconds could save a life," he said.
"One death on the roads is one too many."
Detective Boorman also emphasised the need for cyclists to follow the road rules to keep all road users safe.
"Whilst we are conducting this operation if we see any cyclists that are not doing the right thing there will be consequences," he said.
"Don't pick and choose when you're a cyclist and when you're a pedestrian."