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One in three drivers don’t give cyclists enough space when passing claims survey

Cycling Scotland also finds that two thirds of motorists aren't aware of penalties for close passes...

One in three motorists do not give cyclists sufficient space when overtaking and are unaware of the penalties for failing to do so, according to Cycling Scotland.

The national cycling organisation is urging motorists to give bike riders at least 1.5 metres space, with its campaign coinciding with the clocks going back yesterday.

It also comes ahead of a consultation into proposed changes to the Highway Code closing tomorrow, with a number of cycling organisations urging that a 1.5 metre minimum passing distance being incorporated.

Currently, Rule 163 of the Highway Code says that drivers should “give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.”

Cycling Scotland also found that nearly two in three drivers, 64 per cent, were not aware that a close pass on a cyclist could result in their licences being endorsed with three penalty points,

That’s despite a number of police forces throughout the UK, including Police Scotland, regularly mounting patrols to tackle motorists who overtake cyclists too closely.

Originally pioneered by West Midlands Police’s road policing unit which launched its award-winning Operation Close Pass in September 2016, such initiatives have since been rolled out by police forces across the country.

Typically, a plain-clothes officer on a bike will radio ahead to uniformed colleagues when a driver has made a close pass, with the motorist then stopped and educated about the correct distance to allow with the help of a ‘close pass’ mat, many of which were supplied to forces following a successful crowdfunding campaign by the charity Cycling UK.

In cases of particularly poor overtaking, or where the motorist refuses to be educated by officers, drivers can also be referred for prosecution.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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