Bath & North East Somerset Council, in partnership with Avon & Somerset Police, is launching a campaign aimed at improving the safety of cyclists.
A highly visible display on a bus is to be used to raise awareness of the space motorists need to give cyclists when overtaking. It serves as a reminder that our roads are as much for cyclists as they are for cars, vans and lorries.
Over the last five years there’s been a significant reduction in the number of people injured in road traffic collisions across Bath and North East Somerset. However, the number of cyclist casualties has remained relatively consistent over this period.
This campaign supports a recent initiative by Avon and Somerset Police, ‘Operation Close Pass’, which has seen plain clothes police officers on bicycles identifying drivers that pass dangerously close, who have then been stopped by colleagues in uniform and offered roadside advice on how to pass cyclists safely.
Councillor Mark Shelford (Conservative, Lyncombe) Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “As a cyclist I all too often witness drivers not giving cyclists the time or space necessary to complete their journeys in a safe manner.
Drivers should give cyclists at least the same amount of space as vehicles when overtaking, which is 1.5 metres or approximately a car door width. We want to encourage people to use sustainable forms of transport, such as cycling, but cycling on our roads needs to be safe and all road users need to work together to achieve this.”
Chief Inspector Kevan Rowlands, Head of Road Safety at Avon and Somerset Police said: “Since the beginning of 2017 we’ve received more than 350 reports of near misses, which suggests that people aren’t aware of how much space they should leave when overtaking, or perhaps choose to ignore this advice. Anyone failing to leave enough space puts cyclists at risk and could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.”