ONE of the biggest causes of conflict between cyclists and motorists is the room left for one another on the road.
But can you be fined for overtaking a cyclist? Here's everything you need to know.
Can I be fined for overtaking a cyclist?
It is possible for motorists to be fined for overtaking cyclists.
Drivers are allowed to overtake cyclists that are on the road but must give them plenty of space, as outlined in The Highway Code.
Under rule 163, it says: "As a guide, leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds."
However, if motorists are caught driving too close to cyclists as they overtake them, they run the risk of being fined under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – for careless driving.
The penalty for carless driving is a fixed penalty of six penalty points and a £100 fine.
If the case is brought before the court, careless driving can see you receive anywhere from 3-9 penalty points, a fine of between 50 per cent-15 per cent of your weekly income, or even a discretionary disqualification from driving.
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In some cases the offer of a driver improvement course may be made instead of a fixed penalty or court prosecution.
In the last couple years, a number of police forces have undertaken operations and initiatives to educate drivers on the need for at least a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between cyclist and vehicles.
Do cars have right of way over cyclists?
Under The Highway Code's revamp for 2022, cyclists have now been given more power on the roads than ever before.
This is because drivers of vehicles can cause greater harm in the event of a collision – therefore they bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger to others.
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Drivers should not be cutting across cyclists, which are planning to travel ahead, when turning in or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.
Cyclists will also be given extra priority at roundabouts.
Drivers shouldn't overtake them as they make their journey around, or get too close.
Cyclists must also be allowed to move across drivers paths as they go around the roundabout.
Cyclists also have a responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.
When should cyclists ride in the road?
In previous editions on The Highway Code, the ideal road position for cyclists was never mentioned.
Usually cyclists would ride close to the kerb on the left-hand side of their lane or on cycle lanes.
Now, cyclists will be able to ride in the middle of the lane at certain times, such as on quieter roads and in slower-moving traffic.
Rule 72 of The Highway Code says: Ride in the centre of your lane, to make yourself as clearly visible as possible, in the following situations:
On quiet roads or streets – if a faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely.
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"In slower-moving traffic – when the traffic around you starts to flow more freely move over to the left if you can do so safely so that faster vehicles behind you can overtake.
"At the approach to junctions or road narrowing where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake you."
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