Give Cycle Space campaign

Every week in Scotland, at least four people suffer serious injuries while cycling, usually from a collision with a vehicle - and fear of road traffic is the biggest barrier to more people cycling.

Our campaign, which runs on television, radio, online and on bus backs, is directed at people who drive, reminding them why they need to follow the rules of the road and drive safely around people cycling.

Supported by Police Scotland and working with partners, the campaign highlights the Highway Code rule about passing people on bikes: when overtaking people on bikes, drivers must leave at least 1.5 metres when driving at speeds of up to 30mph and give more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

Our campaign is delivered in partnership with Police Scotland and helps to raise awareness of Operation Close Pass, an initiative to educate drivers.

Our research found that:

  • 97% of drivers agree that people who drive too closely to people cycling are putting lives at risk.
  • However, over a third admit that they don’t think of someone cycling as a person, being more focused on getting past and getting on with their journey.
  • 8/10 drivers worry they could seriously injure someone cycling if they don’t give them enough space.
  • 96% of drivers acknowledged that a vehicle getting too close would be frightening for someone cycling.

It’s breaking the law to drive carelessly and puts lives at risk.

A ‘close pass’ is when someone driving doesn’t give enough space to someone cycling.

Close passes are an everyday experience for people cycling, according to the Near Miss Project every year people who regularly cycle will “experience an event so frightening that it alone makes them consider giving up cycling.”  

Every week in Scotland, at least four people cycling suffer life-changing injuries from a collision with a vehicle. In most cases, it's the person driving, not the person cycling, at fault.

The Highway Code says that drivers must give at least 1.5 metres when driving at speeds of up to 30mph, and more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

Research shows that in collisions between bikes and vehicles, the person driving the vehicle is more often at fault, and vulnerable road users are at greater risk of injury.

Our first priority should be collision prevention, as the best way to reduce serious casualties

  • Wait at a safe distance until you have space and visibility to pass safely.
  • Don't overtake at blind corners or if there's oncoming traffic.
  • In towns and in slow-moving traffic, consider if there is any benefit to passing, especially if there are lights ahead.
  • Don’t feel pressure from the person in the car behind to pass before it’s safe.
  • Follow the Highway Code and always give at least 1.5 metres of space when driving at speeds of up to 30 mph– this will usually mean crossing into the other lane.
  • When driving at speeds of more than 30mph, give more than 1.5 metres of space