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Give Cycle Space

Cycling Scotland has launched a month-long campaign to urge drivers to give space to people on bikes. Key facts include:

– Nine in ten drivers in Scotland say we should protect people cycling[1].

– 96% of drivers agree that a vehicle getting too close must be frightening for people cycling.

– 96% of drivers in Scotland agree that people who drive too closely past people cycling are putting lives at risk.

– 89% of drivers admit to being frustrated passing someone on a bike at time, highlighting the importance of cycle lanes separated from vehicle traffic for greater safety and harmony of all road users.

– More than a third (39%) of people living in Scotland don’t always leave a car’s width when overtaking someone cycling.

– 71% of people agree that if more people cycled instead of driving, then it would help Scotland tackle the climate emergency. (an increase of 14% since 2021)

– Every week in Scotland at least four people cycling suffer serious, life-changing injuries, usually from a collision with a vehicle.[2]

Some key points to remember when passing people on bikes:

– Always give at least 1.5 metres of space when driving at speeds of up to 30mph – this will usually mean crossing into the other lane.

– When driving at speeds of more than 30mph, give more than 1.5 metres of space.

– Wait at a safe distance until you have space and visibility to pass safely.

– Don't overtake at blind corners or if there's oncoming traffic.

– In towns and in slow-moving traffic, consider if there is any benefit to passing, especially if there are lights ahead.

– Don’t feel pressure from the person in the car behind to pass before it’s safe.

The Give Cycle Space campaign is supported by Police Scotland. Police Scotland is conducting Operation Close Pass in locations across Scotland to educate drivers about giving space.

Cycling benefits our health and happiness - to encourage more people to cycle, we need them to feel safe. Find out more:

[1] Source: face-to-face interviews with 507 people living in Scotland, a representative sample of people who drive and don’t cycle, conducted by research company Progressive (April 2022). [2] Source: Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2020.


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