This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government
Petition To introduce a permanent, minimum passing distance when overtaking cyclists.
Cycling in the UK has become a truly popular sport and way of commuting, but we still vulnerable.In 2014 21,287 cyclist were injured in reported road accidents in the UK, 113 were killed and 3,401 were seriously injured.The Highway Code, Rule 212 states giving "plenty of room" when passing cyclists.
The lack of a clear specification may result in a personal decision what a "plenty of room" means in terms of distance. Therefore, introducing a minimum legal passing distance when overtaking cyclists will considerably reduce the number of cyclist casualties, aiding in a safe cycling practice. Suggestion of 3.28 ft (1 m) when overtaking cyclists on roads with speed limits up to and including 30mph. On roads with higher speed limits, the minimum passing distance should be 4.9 ft (1.5 m).
This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months
This response was given on 9 May 2016
This Government currently does not have plans to legislate on a set minimum space e.g. 1 metre on roads with a speed limit of up to 30mph when overtaking a cyclist.
Read the response in full
This type of legislation would be extremely difficult to enforce and the Government does not believe that it would add to the existing rules and guidance, including those set out in the Highway Code, which advises drivers to give cyclists “at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car”.
We are keeping this position under review, and are interested in learning from the experience of places where legislation of this type has been introduced. One example is South Australia, where since 25th October 2015, drivers are required to give a minimum of one metre when passing a cyclist where the speed limit is 60km/h (37.3mph) or less or 1.5 metres where the speed limit is over 60km/h (40mph). The penalty for drivers caught disobeying this rule is a $287 (£148) fine, plus a $60 (£31) victim of crime levy and 2 demerit (penalty) points. However, it will take time to understand the benefits and impacts of this legislation on cyclists and other road users.
Department for Transport