Cars flying past at ridiculous speeds and inconsiderate distances is a common experience for today’s road cyclists. Most learn to deal with such drivers, but all too often an actual encounter between car and bike can end in serious injury or death.
Which is why a petition for the Prime Minister to introduce legislation that all motorists must allow a minimum of 3 feet in distance between their vehicle and a cyclist that they drive past has gained 785 signatures to date.
The petition was started by Tom Amos, who wants the UK to follow suit with the 3 feet to pass law which has been introduced in 11 US states.
Tom says on the petition: “There is an American pressure group that is campaigning to introduce legislation to allow 3 foot in distance between all motor vehicles and cyclists. So far, they have managed to introduce this Law in 11 US States and also France. There is a Global movement towards the introduction of this Law. The Government is currently introducing many pro-cycling policies and this one MUST be included. It's really just a matter of when rather than if so please support this cause. Many thanks.”
As yet there is no such legal protection for UK cyclists, with motorists required to give cyclists sufficient space but the law does not specify how much that should be.
Debra Rolfe, campaigns coordinator for the CTC has said: “Three feet should be the minimum amount of space you give a cyclist. It all depends on road conditions and how fast the driver is going, and I think it’s important not to get too fixated with numbers. A driver passing a cyclist at 60mph clearly should be much further away than a driver passing at 20mph.”
The law would give cyclists a bigger piece of pavement and greater legal protection on the road as more cyclists take to the streets. And the impact of motorists giving cyclists more space more often could encourage more non-cyclists to overcome their fears on safety and take to the roads.
Many cyclists around the world, including the UK, are sporting a yellow cycling jersey which has the words ‘3 Feet Please’ printed in black letters. The shirt is designed by Joe Mizereck from Tallahassee in Florida, who earlier this year started a campaign to get as many cyclists as possible wearing them.
You must be a British citizen or resident to sign the petition and you can add your name to the petition by visiting http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/3feet2Pass/sign
The deadline to sign up by is Wednesday, January 6.