One third of drivers put cyclists at risk

Cyclist on rainy street.

Keep your distance – you could be risking lives.

One third of us don’t leave enough of a gap when driving past cyclists, putting other road users in danger and risking hefty penalties.

The Department for Transport is now considering changes in the law to help improve safety for cyclists.

Leaving a safe gap

Shocking statistics reveal over 85% of cyclists who lost their lives on UK roads between 23 March and 22 April were involved in an accident involving another vehicle.

This highlights the urgent need for increased awareness around road safety.

As well as being a risk to life, failing to leave a 1.5-metre gap around cyclists could land you with three points on your licence and a minimum fine of £100 for careless driving.

Insurance premiums can also be affected, with costs increasing as much as 25% for drivers who rack up six or more points on their licence.

However, research from Cycling Scotland found 64% of drivers aren’t aware of the penalties for cutting too close to cyclists on the road.

Having said this, it’s not all down to drivers. Data from National Accident Helpline shows that over half of cyclists aren’t up to date with the Highway Code.

In fact, 68% of cyclists said they didn’t think they needed to leave space while cycling past parked cars, despite the danger of doors opening.

Furthermore, 59% said they didn’t think they needed to obey all traffic signs and signals.

Greg Wilson from Quotezone commented on the risks.

He said: “With so many people taking up cycling during lockdown a greater number of cyclists on the road may be relatively inexperienced, so making sure drivers make room has never been so important.

“We recommend that drivers take their time, keep their distance and use the 1.5-metre rule when it comes to cyclists – that way we can ensure we all stay safe on the road.”

Changes to driving law

A Department for Transport investigation could see laws change to help improve safety for cyclists.

Proposed new changes would introduce a new road hierarchy, putting greater responsibility on the road users who could do the most harm.

Changes would also advise drivers to give priority to cyclists at junctions when travelling straight ahead.

Noticed more bikes on your morning commute? Use our top safety tips to help keep pedestrians and cyclists safe on the roads.

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