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Do you know how much space the Highway Code recommends leaving when overtaking a cyclist at 20mph? 30mph? 40mph? What about a horse rider or a pedestrian - do the same rules apply?
When the Hierarchy of Road Users was introduced in January 2022, they also introduced recommended safe overtaking distances – and they differ depending on your speed and the type of road user. You may have seen prosecutions for non-compliance in the press in the last few months. These distances are often bigger in reality than we think – why not measure them out so you know exactly how much space you should be leaving?
One other important element, which you’ll notice many non-advanced motorists ignore, is the requirement to wait behind the other road user if the necessary clearances are not possible. How many vehicles do you see on the road that don’t do that? It’s getting more common for cyclists and motorcyclists to wear cameras and send their footage to the police, which could lead to the drivers of the offending vehicles being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.
Before overtaking you should make sure
Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should …. give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders and horse drawn vehicles at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211 to 215). As a guide:
For the full detail of rules 162 and 163 and other Highway Code rules, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code
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