02 June 2016
Fine Warning for Drivers Steering Too Close to Cyclists
Motorists could soon face fines for driving too closely to vulnerable cyclists.
More than 16,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the Government to implement laws similar to France, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
Last October, the South Australian government also passed a law requiring drivers to keep to a minimum passing distance of at least one metre, increasing to 1.5 metres on fast roads.
Ministers are now considering the measures which are designed to crack down on intimidating driving and reduce collisions involving cyclists, according to a report in The Times.
If approved, it would be the first time that a passing distance between vehicles and cyclists is enforced by law in the UK.
Careless drivers currently face a maximum fine of £5,000, with minor driving offences fined at £100.
A study by the University of Westminster last year found that cyclists experience two near misses for every hour cycled during the week.
In answer to a parliamentary question, Government transport minister Robert Goodwill said: “We remain interested in the change are keeping it under review. The Highway Code already has a requirement for motorists to give cyclists plenty of room when overtaking.”
Recent surveys reveal that while 5.1 million people cycle three or more times a week, 41.4 million people never cycle at all. Sixty-seven per cent of non-cyclists believe that it is too dangerous, while 48 per cent of people who do cycle agree.
Chris Boardman, Olympic gold medal winner and policy adviser to British Cycling, said: “Rather than leave it down to individual interpretation, we would like to see specific reference made in the Highway Code to minimum safe overtaking distances when passing cyclists. It is encouraging that the minister has said that he will look with interest at the new law in South Australia. We hope that this inspires Mr Goodwill to put in place similar measures in Britain without delay.”
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