Give Cycle Space campaign
It’s a careless driving offence to close-pass someone cycling and puts lives at risk. You can get three points on your driving licence and be fined £100, or receive a criminal conviction for more serious offences.
Our annual Give Cycle Space campaign, supported by Police Scotland, runs on television, radio, online and on bus backs. It highlights the legal consequence to drivers of close passing, based on our research which showed this was the biggest motivator for change.
Our 2021 research showed us:
- Nine in ten drivers in Scotland say motorists who close-pass people who cycle put lives at risk,
- More than six in ten said people would be more likely to cycle than drive if they felt safer on Scotland’s roads.
- And 57 per cent agreed that more people cycling instead of driving would help Scotland tackle the climate emergency.
Some key points to remember when passing people on bikes:
- Always give at least a car’s width of space (1.5 metres) – this will usually mean crossing into the other lane.
- 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.
In March 2019, 73% of people in Scotland didn't know you could get three points on your licence and a £100 fine. We repeated our research in February 2020 and awareness had improved by 9% but there’s still a long way to go to educate people about close passing and to change behaviour.
Every week in Scotland, at least three people cycling suffer life-changing injuries and in most cases, it’s the person driving, not the person cycling, at fault.
Close passes are an everyday experience for people cycling, according to the Near Miss Project every year people who regularly cycle will “experience an event so frightening that it alone makes them consider giving up cycling.”
With more people cycling, it’s more important than ever that Scotland’s roads are safe for everyone.
Making our roads safer for cycling requires a combined approach of engineering, education and enforcement.
Our campaign is delivered in partnership with Police Scotland and helps to raise awareness of Operation Close Pass, an initiative to educate drivers.
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