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bike-1549101_960_720The relationship between cyclists and motorists is strained at the best of times – and now a police force is taking action to protect cyclists even further.

Motorists in the Midlands are facing prosecution for failing to give cyclists enough room as they pass them. West Midlands Police is prosecuting 38 drivers after filming them leaving less than 1.5m between their vehicle and the cyclist they were overtaking.

It’s sure to spark debate between road users: cyclists who rightly argue that their lives are endangered when drivers of motor vehicles fail to pay attention or to give them enough space, and drivers who express frustration when they see cyclists riding erratically, or jumping red lights.

Of course, we don’t know if any police forces in the North East are planning on following this lead. While the 1.5m guide is more of a guide than a fixed limit, it does underline the importance of giving cyclists room where possible.

Over a hundred cyclists are killed on Britain’s roads every year, with more than 21,000 injured, which is far too high a number.

Our advice is this:

Drivers: give cyclists plenty of room, be patient and concentrate, especially at junctions. Remember that causing injury or death to a cyclist could not only ruin their life: it could ruin yours, too.

Cyclists: be seen, ride predictably and safely, obey all the laws of the highway code. Try to get eye contact with drivers, especially in and around junctions/roundabouts, so you can be sure they have seen you. Protecting yourself is more important than securing the moral high ground.

If everyone just respects everyone else’s journeys, concentrates, pays attention and remains patient, then there will be far fewer horrible incidents on our roads.