The Bike Hub levy fund has commissioned a "public information film" on how to safely overtake cyclists. SPACE is a co-production with British Cycling and stars Chris Boardman and master driving instructor Blaine Walsh. The film was produced by BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid.
The video went online last night and has already racked up over 21,000 views. Today it has started to be promoted on social media by police forces. It will also be sent to driving instructors by the Driving Standards Agency. Motoring.co.uk is also be promoting the film today.
The video highlights rule 163 of the Highway Code which states that motorists should give cyclists (and pedestrians and equestrians) as much space as they would give a motor vehicle when overtaking. YouTube is littered with footage of awful, close overtakes of cyclists (and other vulnerable road users) and the new video aims to tackle this with cold, hard facts.
Olympian Chris Boardman starts the video by reminding drivers that “People on bicycles are flesh and blood, they’re mums and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.” He stresses that motorists need to “give them plenty of space when overtaking.”
He also talks about the “dynamic envelope”, or wobble room that cyclists need on the road.
““Cyclists do not ride in a perfect straight line, they have to make slight side to side adjustments in order to stay upright. The space a cyclist takes up while moving is known as the “dynamic envelope” … You should think of this dynamic envelope as an exclusion zone around the cyclist … a zone you must not enter.”
The video also stars master driving instructor Blaine Walsh. He said: “Overtaking is one of the riskiest things you do when you’re driving and it’s critical to get it right, for your safety and for the safety of others. Sadly, you don’t have to search too hard on YouTube to find some incredibly close and dangerous overtaking of cyclists.”
Walsh talks about following the Highway Code: “Rule 163 says “give cyclists at least as much space as you would a car.”
He’s then shown driving behind a group of cyclists, and overtakes them safely when the road becomes clear.
“There. Job done. I’m safe, they’re safe.”
While the video majors on how to overtake a group of cyclists, Boardman reminds viewers that what works for overtaking a pack of racing cyclists also works for passing everyday cyclists.