Motorists could soon face a fine if they pass a cyclist too closely. This measure is designed to get rid of the intimidating driving that many cyclists experience on a day to day basis.
With similar measures rolled out in other parts of Europe and Australia, government ministers are considering enforcing a minimum passing distance of at least 1 metre – though this would rise to 1.5 metres on roads with a higher speed limit.
If enforced, it would be the first time that any distance limit has been placed on cars and bicycles in the UK.
Currently, the Highway Code advises that motorists should give cyclists “plenty of room”, making sure to give extra clearance should there be high winds or a greater amount of traffic.
The move is in response to many cyclists admitting that they are put off from driving in city centres because of drivers who attempt to pass them too closely.
Passing distance regulations have already been deployed in France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.
It seems that public opinion is also in favour of the move. Over 16,000 people have signed a petition to have the law introduced.
Chris Boardman, policy adviser to British Cycling and a former Olympic gold medal winner, told the Times: “We know that many people are put off cycling when a vehicle passes too close to them.
“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.”