Motorists are urged to give cyclists more room when overtaking with a road safety campaign designed to eradicate ‘close pass’ drivers.
Motorists should leave at least 1.5m of space between their vehicle and the cyclist when overtaking at speeds less than 30mph, and this should be greater in poor weather conditions or when the car is travelling at speed.
Paul Watson, Chairman of RSGB NE, said: “I don’t believe drivers knowingly put cyclists at risk, but perhaps they’re not looking for them, or maybe they are unaware of the dangers of close pass overtaking.
“People overtaking too close to cyclists is a cause of a number of collisions, however, there may be numerous near misses that we know nothing about. We are asking all road-users to look out for each other and to help safeguard cyclists.”
Cleveland and Durham Road Policing Unit have received a Close Pass safety mat from national cycling group Cycling UK, which they will use to demonstrate to drivers the minimum space they should allow when overtaking bikes.
West Midlands Police launched the first Close Pass campaign last year to target drivers who overtook cyclists too closely. As a result, they saw a 50% drop in close pass offences in the first three months after the campaign.
The initiative was supported by Cycling UK, prompting them to launch their £12,000 ‘Too Close for Comfort’ fundraising campaign to enable specially-designed Close Pass mats to be distributed to every Police Force in the UK.