Drivers reminded: overtaking too closely 'puts lives at risk'

A still from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership video showing a cyclist being overtaken too closely by a vehicle

A still from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership video showing a cyclist being overtaken too closely - Credit: Safer Essex Roads Partnership

Drivers are being asked to give more space and slow down to protect cyclists.

The Safer Essex Roads Partnership has released several clips of footage sent to the Extra Eyes team.

The clips show drivers navigating around cyclists, but too closely.

All of these incidents resulted in the drivers being prosecuted, and having to sit an educational course or receiving points and a fine.

The Extra Eyes team has received over 200 close pass submissions this year. Almost a third resulted in a prosecution.

Adam Pipe, Head of Roads Policing in Essex, said: “In March 2021 we received 131 Extra Eyes submissions from car drivers and 74 from cyclists, despite there being proportionately fewer cyclists on the road.

"This gives you an idea of how strongly cyclists feel in terms of their safety on the road.

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“Where digital evidence highlights, Essex Police will not hesitate to take action against those who drive carelessly or dangerous near cyclists and fail to give sufficient space when passing.

“We all have places to be and we all deserve to arrive safely. Please share the road considerately and be patient with other road-users.”

The Highway Code requires that drivers “give cyclists at least as much room as you would a car when overtaking”.

Cycling UK says that most police forces interpret the overtaking space to mean at least 1.5m, the width of a car, at speeds of up to 30mph.

And they say that cyclists may have to move out to avoid potholes or debris on the road. Cycling UK says that passing closer than 1.5m puts lives at risk.

“Be patient around cyclists and pedestrians, give them plenty of space and time, and use eye contact to indicate that you have seen them. Use your indicators when performing any manoeuvre or changing lanes.

“Even the smallest lapse in concentration could mean you fail to see a cyclist, with tragic consequences.”

Stuart Johnson, Vice-Secretary of Colchester Cycling Campaign, said: "Close passing by cars is dangerous, frightening and puts people off cycling. Please give people on cycles plenty of space when passing.”

Submit footage of poor or dangerous road-user behaviour to https://saferessexroads.org/driving-complaints-2020/