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"It's a sensible discussion to have": Is Jeremy Vine's idea to ban drivers from overtaking cyclists in cities a good idea?

Vine suggested: "There's a strong argument vehicles should not be allowed to overtake bicycles in cities"...

Jeremy Vine is no stranger to sparking discussions about cycle safety, and this weekend suggested drivers should not be allowed to overtake cyclists in cities, because "it's pointless".

Vine shared a video of a taxi driver overtaking him five times, only to drop back behind at the next set of traffic lights.

> Jeremy Vine: There's a strong argument vehicles should not be allowed to overtake bicycles in cities

"If you watch this clip from my commute, you'll see there is no point whatsoever in any of this driver's five overtakes — even with the roads clear," Vine tweeted.

"No complaints about the cab driver: he never passed too close. But why can't he see: even without traffic, it's pointless to overtake a bicycle in a city? The argument is that a bicycle is faster, so every single overtake he does will have to be repeated. And as you see from the film, even though he is quite a good driver, all overtaking involves a slight increase in risk.

"I think my point is that any overtake bears risk, and they should be avoided if possible, and the clip clearly establishes that motor vehicles are slower than bicycles, so it's best for him not to overtake me at all."

The idea unsurpisingly caused a fair amount of discussion and debate, with some rubishing the broadcaster's idea, and others suggesting there could be something in it.

So what do readers think?

JustTryingToGet reckons: "It's a sensible discussion to have, because the location-specific case for it can be data driven. Unfortunately there won't be a sensible discussion."

While Lukas agreed that: "Every urban cyclist knows this. And the worst is the close pass or hoot or shout and then stuck in traffic whilst we just sail past."

ShaneDG said they "would go further". "Overtaking of any kind in an urban area should be made illegal. All it does is move the driver to the next queue quicker. Also banning through-traffic from certain zones and having a very punitive congestion charge zone located at/near schools would help reduce traffic."

Paul Nevill commented: "I don't waste my time overtaking other road users if I know I'm going to have to slow down immediately afterwards if i'm in a car or on a bike."

Francis Jackson reckons a law is not required, just education. "I don't think that such a law is needed, most of the time they are just unable to overtake anyway due to amount of traffic... however, perhaps some education as to how much fuel they burn sprinting to the next set of lights..."

Not everyone agreed with Vine, however.

IanMSpencer wrote: "The trouble here is that Jeremy Vine thinks London is typical of the UK. While there are known areas where you can guarantee that a cycle will be faster than a car, the reality is that this depends on time of day and daily demand — like when school holidays magically lop 30 minutes off a commute.

"As a thought experiment, Vine makes a decent point. As a cycle campaigner, I'm not convinced he is helping."

Mike Reynolds argued: "No that is not a strong argument.. done safely it is fine and why create a bigger hatred of cyclists?"

So what do you think? Does Vine have a point? Is overtaking cyclists in cities pointless? If so, is legislation necessary?

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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