I have to admit I’m a fair weather cyclist….I cycle to and from work every day during the summer – unless it rains! I know from first hand (and bitter) experience how cyclists seem to be invisible to most motorists. Taxis and buses are the worst offenders whilst trucks are usually more thoughtful. But, you can see the way things are going when you read this story. Regardless what your personal thoughts are about cyclists, the law is toughening when it comes to making dangerous manoeuvres involving bikes. This was the case when a 60 year old truck driver was prosecuted for riding too close to a bike. He was caught by plain clothes police officers in a scheme titled ‘Give Space Be Safe’. He is one of the first ever people to be prosecuted for overtaking a cyclist in an unsafe manner.
Plain-clothed West Midlands Police officers cycled around Birmingham and the Black Country in a bid to snare drivers creeping too close to bikers as part of the force’s ‘Give Space Be Safe’ scheme. Apparently he denied the charges but was found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Courts at the end of June.
After pulling over nearly 200 offenders the police have successfully prosecuted 13 motorists including the trucker. He received fines and costs totalling £1,038 and five points on his licence. More alarmingly were the two motorists who had their licences revoked after failing to pass a standard eyesight test!
As professional road-users you’ll already know that the Highway Code promotes patience when passing cyclists, horses and other slow moving road users, making sure there is sufficient room to manoeuvre safely without causing a danger to the obstacle or someone approaching in the other direction. Most important is to ensure the overtake is carried out with at least 1.5 meters of clearance between your vehicle and the road user you are passing.