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Motorists and cyclists: share the road

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

With motoring costs ever increasing, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of cyclists.

Getting back on to a bike after ten years or so can be a nerve racking experience. The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) offers these handy 'Dos and Don'ts' for anyone dusting off their old bike and also for motorists, who must share the road with the growing number of cyclists of all abilities.

Car drivers....

DO overtake with care, not too close and not too fast. Whizzing past cyclists within a foot of their handlebars may feel perfectly safe, but it doesn't for the cyclist

DO leave cyclists enough 'wobble room' when passing them - cyclists may have to move out slightly to negotiate drains, potholes, smashed glass and other debris. They don''t want to be squeezed into the gutter

DO check the door mirror and the blind spot before opening the driver's door after parking to avoid knocking down a cyclist

DON'T sound the horn when near them

DON'T cut up a cyclist passing on the nearside when turning left, and don't overtake then turn left across their front wheel

DON'T drive into the 'advanced stop area' for cyclists at lights: it is against the Highway Code

Cyclists....

DO establish eye contact (in a non-aggressive way) with drivers emerging from junctions, particularly if they are turning right

DO position the bike to avoid being knocked off if a parked car door swings open

DO stop at red lights - this is a major irritation for drivers who see the law being flouted

DO undertake some cycle skill training, some employers offer this as a staff benefit

DON'T forget to check the bike lights, spare batteries and wear a good high visibility jacket/vest. See and be seen

DON'T abuse the zebra crossing. When riding along the nearside of the carriageway, do not swing onto the zebra to cross the road: drivers won't be expecting that, and the risk of being hit is greater