Be aware of safe bike passing space: PSNI and charity

The PSNI and sustainable transport charity Sustrans have jointly released an image of a safely-positioned cyclist as part of a campaign for the safe use of bicycles on roads.

Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 12:40 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:04 pm
Picture illustrating the the recommended safe distance when passing a cyclist on the road. From Sustrans and the PSNI.

The PSNI and charity Sustrans have jointly released an image of a safely-positioned cyclist as part of a campaign for the safe use of bicycles on roads.

The charity said the recommended safe distance when passing a cyclist on the road is 1.5m (4.9ft) – including roads.

It also said the picture shows the cyclist around a metre (3.2ft) from the kerb, necessary to ensure a visible position to other road users.

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The cyclist is pictured using a bus lane in Belfast during the rush hour when there is a queue of traffic in the outside lane.

Karen Mawhinney, Sustrans’ Cycling & Walking Team Manager said: “We continually hear of, and experience, near misses and dangerous passing by motorists overtaking cyclists too close. We are therefore pleased that the PSNI are taking this road safety issue seriously and are working with us to educate and inform the general public.

“Our Bike Life report shows that only 30% of Belfast residents, whether they cycle or not, think cycling safety is good[1]. We need to encourage more people to travel actively to reduce congestion and improve people’s health, and a vital part of that is ensuring people feel safe to cycle on our roads.”

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech said: “Cyclists are among the most vulnerable people on our roads. We all have to share the road and we urge all drivers to allow at least 1.5m, as much as you would give another car, when passing a cyclist.

“Equally we would urge cyclists to follow the rules of the road and always signal to drivers when considering a manoeuvre.

“Up to now the police focus has been to educate drivers and cyclists about their behaviour but where circumstances warrant a more robust approach, we have a range of Fixed Penalties and prosecution options to deal with the offenders.”

The Republic of Ireland’s transport minister Shane Ross is currently bringing forward legislation to have a minimum passing distance of motorists overtaking cyclists defined in law.

This followed a safety campaign by cyclist advocacy groups in the Republic.