Cyclists and Cycle lanes are a common sight on today’s roads. As vulnerable road users, it’s a driver’s responsibility to make allowances for them. Being ‘vulnerable’ means that means that they’re at risk of injury and worse if drivers fail to look out for them. Although this article refers mainly to cyclists, you should give the same consideration to motorcyclists too; they can also be difficult to see and can travel much faster.
In slow moving or stationary traffic, you may find riders filtering through gaps on either side of your car; this is why it’s important to use your mirrors even when you’re stationary. Make sure you know what’s around you before you move off again.
Cycle lanes have either a solid or broken white line along them. When the line is solid you MUST not enter it other than in an emergency. Where the line is broken, you should avoid entering this wherever possible; only enter it with caution, and always give priority to any riders who are using it. Don’t forget those left-hand door mirror checks!
When passing a cyclist, you should give them as much room as you can. This is particularly important in windy weather, on an uneven road or where there are sinks or potholes that the rider may suddenly change direction to avoid. They don’t normally have mirrors, they may not realise that you’re behind them, and many don’t even bother to look round.
Where riders are particularly vulnerable is at junctions. This was covered briefly in an earlier article, but I will repeat how important it is for you to look for them before you emerge. You might be able to see a car or van quite easily, but you can too easily overlook a rider tucked into the kerbside; or you may not be able to see them because of a tree or some other pavement feature.
When turning left, ensure that you don’t cut across the path of any cyclists. At normal speeds it may be unlikely that anyone will be there, but in slower moving traffic the risk is much higher. If there’s a rider about to come through on your inside then let them pass before you turn; and don’t overtake them on the approach to a junction.
If you want to get involved and learn more about cyclists & cycle lanes visit https://www.cyclinguk.org/