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How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

Community Veteran
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How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

Posted because I saw a report in the press which came from http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/latest-news/news.aspx?id=4942

39690

I suppose the first question is - do you leave  1.5m space when passing a slow moving vehicle such as a tractor as on a country lane that would be impossible

The next question is where there is a cycle lane why should you need to leave a space of 1.5m from the edge of the cycle lane when overtaking if the cyclists is near the outside edge

I suppose the last question is what happens when you are driving along a road with stationary traffic on the other carriageway and the carriageway width is 3.7 metres so taking away the width shown and assuming that you have to stay more or less in your carriageway you couldn't overtake at all as the car width plus the clearance suggested is at least 4.25m

17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

Just enough that they can't whack your wing mirror.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

the simple answer is if there is not enough room to overtake safely then you simply don't do it.
that rule applies to bicycles, scooters, motorbikes, cars, vans, trucks, tractors, spaceships, anything.

 

if a cyclist can touch your vehicle with their outstretched arm then you are too close.
if a parked car opens their door whilst you are passing and you hit it then you are too close.
these are pretty basic highway code rules.

Minivanman
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

All well and good, but the roads around here do not allow that much space, you'd need to drive on the opposite side which invariably I have to.

 

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

same rule applies, if it's not safe to do so then you do not overtake.
Minivanman
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

And neither should they undertake, which of course they do.  

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

The specific offence of undertaking (or nearside undertake) was actually removed from the statute books with the introduction of the 1972 Road Traffic Act, and although the Highway Code advises against it, there is no specific law that prevents it.
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

So.... cyclists can now be considered to be policemen......  WOT  ?    get a life WMP.... cyclists are cyclists, not necessarily policemen disguised as cyclists...

 

it seems that the WMP have nothing better to do than to go about impersonating "ordinary cyclists" in order to ramp up their "gotcha" ratings...

 

quote from OJ`s linky..

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

"Drivers need to consider that a cyclist they are overtaking could be a police officer − and if they don’t pass them safely they could be prosecuted."

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

P.S... whatever happened to the old saying....   " A miss, is as good as a mile"  ? ? ?     whilst I do give cyclists as much room as possible,... you could say that having a "designated, or "legal" overtaking measurement would be difficult to prove, in a court of law....

 

if you did not actually hit the cyclist,.... then you have,... in effect... passed him safely... both for him,... and oncoming/other traffic on the road at that place and time...

 

Minivanman
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

So that's OK then.

Guess I'll just get one of these. 

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

A number of cyclists now have cameras on their helmets so it will not be long before we see the start of cyclists reporting car drivers getting closer that the legal gap thus potentially facing a charge and fine and points.

My advice is to purchase a essential piece of equiptment, namely a dash cam so you have at least some form of defence should you be charged.

One common thing I have seen is a large lorry or van travelling at speed with a car close behind, the van swerves out at the last minute to avoid the cyclist but the car driver has even less time to see the cyclist and has a greater chance of hitting them.

Some of the country lanes which go on for miles and are so narrow you could never pass a cyclist if you stuck to the rule.

Community Veteran
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

if the car is driving so close to the vehicle in front then the driver of the car is at fault.
if it was a tractor on the country lane, would the car driver try to squeeze past the tractor? or would they wait until it was safe to do so?

the highway code is quite clear, in that you should not do something if it is not safe to do so.

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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

@chenks76

That's true.

You only have to stand near a crossroads to see the number of drivers who fail to turn right correctly, or on a mobile phone to realise that many do not adhere to the rules of the Highway Code.

90% or more of accidents could be avoided if drivers stuck to the Highway Code

Community Veteran
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

Urgh the dreaded cyclists v drivers debate again.

To be frank I'm pretty much with chenks on it though i've not read his last post or two. Plenty of space or no overtaking.

Tractors etc are different, if you hit that with the side of your car you're not going to kill the person with zero protection.

Having been a cyclist (as have most of you despite your space for wingmirror only thoughts) I always give plenty of space and I don't overtake fast either - I'll gently accelerate past them.

 

What I would say is that down country lanes, cyclists need to avoid giving the motorist behind the "it's fine to overtake me" wave. I've seen them do that, motorist goes to overtake and then a car comes round the bend in the opposite direction. It's completely pointless cyclists (many of whom don't drive) giving motorists guidance / instructions on the road.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking


shutter wrote:

if you did not actually hit the cyclist,.... then you have,... in effect... passed him safely... both for him,... and oncoming/other traffic on the road at that place and time...

Not true on two counts:

1. If you've passed close you got lucky they didn't swerve to avoid a pothole

2. If you were going past a speed you could have tipped them off with the wind you've created


jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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salmo
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Re: How much space should you give cyclists when overtaking

Cyclists should be given a wide berth when overtaking. However on the country roads around where I live a few cyclists do not help by riding two abreast chatting away making it difficult to get past them.