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TOPIC: Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles

Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles 19 Jul 2017 23:04 #3100

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[Original article]

Increased police focus on enforcing safe passing of cycle riders by drivers of cars and trucks, originally associated with West Midlands Police, is gradually spreading to other forces, including the Met. It has now been taken up by police in Winchmore Hill ward, who will be doing more to educate drivers.

Earlier this month, at the N21 Fancy Fair, Clare Rogers and Hal Haines of Better Streets for Enfield spoke to PCSO Antony Rivas from the Winchmore Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Team.  A good choice, as Antony not only cycles on patrol, but does all the cycle training for the Enfield Metropolitan Police Service.

One subject they discussed was the Close Pass Initiative that originated with police in Birmingham. This involved the police pulling over drivers who passed plain clothes officers on bikes too closely – in other words, by less than 1.5 metres – and educating them. They produced a mat showing what the safe passing distance is, and how far from the kerb someone riding a bike should be (75cm). Both distances come as a surprise to many drivers.

overtaking a bicycle

PCSO Rivens and his colleagues will be doing their bit to enforce the "close pass" rules, and the latest bit of kit issued to the Met will come in very handy.  This is a body-worn camera, which records video and audio in 30 second loops. If an incident kicks off, you press the central button twice and the camera stores the last thirty seconds and keeps on recording.

PCSO Rivens has been using Twitter to explain how drivers and riders should position themselves on the road, as shown in the graphic below (produced by a Twitter user @lstwhl)

how to overtake cyclists lstwhl

 (Click on the graphic to enlarge)

In summary, on a road with a single lane in each direction, drivers should only overtake bicycles when they can move into the empty opposing lane.  There is no requirement for bicycles to keep to the left and cyclists are perfectly entitled to ride abreast - in fact, doing so makes it easier for cars to overtake.

 

The next open meeting will be on 28th October 2017, when our speaker will be Stefan Dickers, Special Collections and Archives Manager at the Bishopsgate Institute. He will present a history of street photography in the East End of London, from the 1850s to the present day.
The East End of London has played a central role in the development of photography where the social conditions of the area and its people have fascinated generations of photographers in their work. Using the extensive collections on London History held at Bishopsgate Institute, this talk will explore the development of street photography from the 1850s, when fledgling photographers attempted to catch the flourishing docks and shipyards of the Isle of Dogs, to the work of their contemporary counterparts.
Stefan Dickers is Special Collections and Archives Manager at the Bishopsgate Institute and looks after its numerous collections on London History. He started at the Institute in 2005 and has previously worked in the archives of the London School of Economics and Senate House Library.

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Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles 20 Jul 2017 09:21 #3101

Tempted to get front & rear cycle cams to test whether Winchmore Hill police are true to their word re prosecuting drivers like West Mids did (excellent case since the lorry driver exhibited every ounce of arrogance and ignorance to be expected).

My only question is, as a resident I fall within Winchmore Hill police catchment, but my cycle route takes me into central london - if I get close passed down near Finsbury Park do the Winchmore Hill guys still take an interest??

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Police now enforcing safe driver behaviour around cyclists London-wide 24 Jul 2017 23:02 #3125

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Unbeknown to me, when I wrote the report above about police in Winchmore Hill taking steps to improve driver behaviour around ryclists, the Met had already issued a press release, under embargo until last Friday, announcing that the Space for Cycling initiative was being introduced throughout London. The statement began with a warning: "We can't be everywhere, but we could be anywhere".

Cycle Safety Team officers from the Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command will go to any location, at any time, on any borough, based on intelligence and complaints, to ensure drivers properly obey the rules of the road.

The officers will now be working be in plain clothes, wearing video cameras and riding unmarked bicycles donated by BMW, to identify and deal with the offences that most deter people from cycling:

Unsafe following (tailgating)
Unsafe overtaking (close passes)
Unsafe turning (left or right turns across the cyclists path)

If officers encounter a driver committing any of these offences, they will identify them to a nearby, marked police motorcycle rider who will stop and engage with them.

In line with any police roadside stop, the driver will be required to provide evidence of insurance, a driving licence, pass a roadside eyesight test and have their vehicle checked for roadworthiness.

The driver will be reminded (through a short presentation) of the Highway Code rules regarding the offences and the standard of driving that they should reasonably be expected to attain (in particular, rules 126, 163 and 179,180 & 182).

Rulse 163 of the Highway Code is completely unambiguous about how to overtake a bicycle, including the image beRule 163 in the Highway Codelow, which is captioned "Rule 163: Give vulnerable road users at least as much space as you would a car".



The complete MPS press release is online at news.met.police...ety-252101 .

For some clarification about rules of the road in relation to cyclists, see ukcyclelaws.blo...lists.html .

Be aware also that police officers don't necessarily have to be at the scene of the crime to detect it. In the West Midlands police have been successfully prosecuting close pass offenders using evidence recorded on cyclists' head-cams and drivers' dashcams - see www.transportxt...ss-drivers

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Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles 25 Jul 2017 11:59 #3126

Wonderful.

Might leave us with no taxi or bus drivers though!!

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Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles 26 Jul 2017 17:09 #3130

Harringay MPS currently running a twitter survey for worst affected streets. Hopefully Enfield will be as pro-active.

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Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles 06 Feb 2019 12:19 #4376

Mike Reid Mike Reid's Avatar
there are some real problems with that graphic, firstly it promotes riding three abreast which contravenes the Highway code (rule 66).
Secondly, especially in London if cyclists ride in the centre of the lane it will often be impossible to overtake them safely due to parked cars. How about some sensible give and take? Yes, cars should leave a proper gap, but you cannot do that if cyclists hog the middle of the road or illegally ride in three abreast groups.

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Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles 06 Feb 2019 13:33 #4377

Firstly it isn't "illegal" to ride three abreast but in any case for everyday cycling commuting it never happens. I doubt it happens when big groups go out but sometimes appears that way as staggered pairs look like three abreast. The only time a cyclist goes in the middle of the lane (not road) is to protect them from someone trying to overtake in the wrong place - eg where there is no room. If you rode a bike you would be amazed at how often people try to squeeze through a non existent gap. My safety is improved by "taking the lane" and I won't go back to cycling in the gutter. I am not sure I get your point about not being able to overtake in London due to parked cars. If there isn't enough room to overtake then don't overtake - you are sort of confirming that we need the police to carry out these sorts of operations. What would you consider a proper gap. I would say 1.5 m away from my handle bars at 30 mph would be safe. You "might" be able to reduce that at lower speeds but it would depend on circumstances. The average lane is 2.5 - 3.2 m. My bike is 0.8m and I ride 0.75-1m out from the kerb. You car is 2m wide so you do the maths - moving into the other lane as per the photo seems a pretty good rule.

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Police advice to drivers on how to overtake bicycles 06 Feb 2019 17:17 #4378

Mike Reid wrote: there are some real problems with that graphic, firstly it promotes riding three abreast which contravenes the Highway code (rule 66).
Secondly, especially in London if cyclists ride in the centre of the lane it will often be impossible to overtake them safely due to parked cars. How about some sensible give and take? Yes, cars should leave a proper gap, but you cannot do that if cyclists hog the middle of the road or illegally ride in three abreast groups.


Mike, your post perfectly exemplifies the problem - driver ignorance creates dangerous roads.

Firstly, the HC creates a deliberate distinction between should/should not and must/never. The latter are law, the former advisory. Hence there is nothing illegal about riding two or three abreast.

In fact, the reason police forces amongst others recommend it (e.g. Surrey), it because if you are genuinely interested in overtaking SAFELY then it makes it easier. Bunched up cyclists become the same road massing as a car. Therefore over take them as a car (i.e. move into the other lane). A long string of single file cyclists takes much longer to pass and inevitably will be done too close creating greater danger.

Secondly, "taking the lane", is also police advice. For essentially the above reasons. Your choice to drive does not give you the right to demand that everyone else travels in the gutter. Drivers cannot be trusted to overtake safely therefore cyclists are advised to take the lane (NB: lane, not road) especially approaching pinch points.

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