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Video: Tasmanian public information film finds ingenious way of informing public about safe passing distances

Tasmania has had new rules about safe passing distances since February

A new public information film from Tasmania has an innovative way of getting across its message about what constitutes a safe passing distances when overtaking a cyclist. After first depicting a series of everyday scenes in which people find themselves within someone else’s personal space, it then demonstrates how far away a driver should be when passing someone on a bike.

Tasmania has had a minimum safe passing distance since February. A safe space is considered to be one metre between the motorist and the cyclist on roads up to and including 60km/h, and 1.5 metres on roads above 60 km/h. Drivers are allowed to cross a centre line to pass a cyclist when it’s safe to do so.


The UK doesn’t currently have a minimum passing distance law. The Highway Code says only: “give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car” without stipulating what that distance should be.

In Europe there are minimum passing distances in a number of countries. In France the rule is that motorists need to give cyclists a minimum of 1m in towns and 1.5 on other roads. Germany and Spain also go for 1.5m.

A three-foot rule has been introduced in many US states. The difficulty of enforcing this has led to the development of a handlebar-mounted ultrasonic detector which is now being employed by the Chattanooga Police Department in Tennessee.

BikeBiz editor, Carlton Reid, recently produced a video in which Chris Boardman explained how to safely overtake a cyclist. The video, also featuring cycling club Exeter Wheelers and master driving instructor Blaine Walsh, demonstrates how much room a cyclist or group of riders need, and why they might need it.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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