How many pass too close? Too many near killer drivers!

At the moment it seems to me that drivers (no matter what they are driving) pass too close most of the time. Note that academic research seems to support my experience

This makes me very angry!

I would say that at best when I am on a bike only 1 in 10 overtaking manoeuvres  feels safe. The rest of the time it is one of the following (sadly often an even more dangerous combination of these):

  • they are too close
  • visibility makes it dangerous (typically overtaking around a blind bend)
  •  they have to slam on their brakes immediately after overtaking because of stationary traffic or a junction
  • they cut in dangerously soon
  • they try to bully you by crowding behind you and revving their engine
  • they are speeding dangerously
  • they just don’t seem to be in control
  • they are using their mobile phone
  • they accelerate from behind me just as I am stopping because a traffic light is going to red

Given that ones of these “mistakes” by a driver could so easily kill me, my wife or one of my sons this fills me with dismay and anger.

  • Why do drivers not care about the lives of people I love?
  • Why do drivers only think of themselves?
  • Why is a total gain of zero seconds worth so much  more than someone’s life? Remember that in most cases drivers will not be delayed at all by overtaking a cyclists safely because they will still quickly catch the vehicle in front.

If you find a person on a bike swearing at you, shaking their fist at you, hitting your car then it is probably because in your reckless, greedy, selfish stupidity you have nearly killed them or someone they love.

What gap is needed?

1. I want a minimum of a 1 metre gap (that is more than 3 feet) from the outside of your wing mirror to the outside of my handlebar. If you are doing more than 30 mph then I want a bigger gap. If you are doing more than 40 mph then I want a gap the same width as your vehicle.

2. I want to be able to continue on my way without being forced to brake because you have cut me up or braked suddenly because there was no where for you to go.

My Simple DEMANDS

1. If you find you have overtaken a person on a bike without leaving a 1metre gap then stop, get out of the vehicle, post your license back to DVLA and never drive again. Your incompetence is putting people in mortal danger. You have no right to a license to kill.

2. If you can’t overtake without leaving a huge gap then don’t overtake! WAIT!!!

3. If the road in front of a cyclist is not visible, or is not clear, if there is a queue in sight or a junction then WAIT!! Do not overtake.

4. If in any doubt whatsoever then brake, wait, do not overtake.

If you keep to this simple advice then you are much less likely to murder someone which I think we can agree is a good thing.

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  1. I guess u had an incident? as a fellow cyclist I have the same experience daily and m at a loss as to why… I feel as though I should respond but need to mull it over.

  2. I agree, but also know that even it was law it wouldn’t make any difference unless it was enforced (did *you* know its actually illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone whie driving? who’d have thought it!).

    On my commute there is a narrow stretch, followed by a blind right bend, followed by a long straight bit which goes up to some traffic lights. Everyone knows the traffic lights are there – its not like they went up overnight. And yet the number of times I get closely overtaken on the blind bend, only for me to then filter past them thirty seconds later as they are sitting in the queue for the lights.

    Or – the other morning someone squeezed past me – at speed – as I overtook a parked car on the approach to a junction. The junction was fifty yards ahead. There were two cars sitting at it waiting to exit onto the main road. Its weird – like, sitting behind the wheel of a car removes their ability to anticipate what it going on ahead.

    • A 1 (or better 1.5) metre passing law would bring the issue to drivers’ attention. If it were properly enforced it might even change behaviour. Currently the police ignore even clear evidence of extremely close passes. – one might hope this would change.

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