New Government proposals could mean that motorists would receive an on the spot fine of up to £5,000 for driving to close to cyclists.
Transport minister, Robert Goodwill has already shown himself as being “interested” in this new proposal to help tackle hazardous driving practices.
It is interesting to note that similar practices are already used in Australia and other European countries in an effort to improve road safety for cyclists.
If the proposal comes into force, it would be the first time in the UK that the distance between a vehicle and a bicycle becomes specified in law.
Currently, the only guidance is from the Highway Code which states that a motorist should leave “plenty of room” when overtaking a cyclist.
The Government of South Australia last year passed laws that meant all motorists must give cyclists 1.5 metres of clearance if they are overtaking at speed.
In a written response to a parliamentary question, the transport minister said: “The introduction of a legally enforceable minimum passing distance between cyclists and other vehicles in South Australia is relatively recent.
“As a result, there is limited information available regarding the impacts both positive and negative following this change in the law.
”As with other changes of this type introduced overseas, we remain interested in the change and are keeping it under review.”
Last year the Department For Transport released figures that stated cyclists were 17 times more likely to be killed on the roads than those travelling in other vehicles.
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