Passing distance includes the riders body?

Haitch
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Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby Haitch » 29 Aug 2019, 2:18pm

I’ve just had this years membership card drop through the door and on the back of the card it was attached to there’s a photo showing the 1.5m passing distance. I’ve never thought about it before but the diagrammatic overlay on the photo seems to suggest that the 1.5m is from the centre of the cycle’s wheel. Surely it should be from the outer edge of the cyclists body?

Can anyone clarify what it should be?

image.jpg

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gaz
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby gaz » 29 Aug 2019, 5:22pm

Welcome to the forum. Existing 25 page thread for you to wade through. I'd doubt that there's anything to add :wink: .
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Mike Sales
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby Mike Sales » 29 Aug 2019, 5:33pm

Since it is never actually measured in real life, and has so never been used in a prosecution, I think that it is an academic question.

1982john
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby 1982john » 29 Aug 2019, 8:59pm

Mike Sales wrote:Since it is never actually measured in real life, and has so never been used in a prosecution, I think that it is an academic question.


There have been close pass prosecutions

Mike Sales
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby Mike Sales » 29 Aug 2019, 9:09pm

1982john wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Since it is never actually measured in real life, and has so never been used in a prosecution, I think that it is an academic question.


There have been close pass prosecutions


I would be surprised if a measurement was used in evidence, especially to the precision which could distinguish between the centre line and, say, the shoulder.
Isn't the 1.5m. a recommendation and not specified in any law (in this country)?

Haitch
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby Haitch » 29 Aug 2019, 9:25pm

Thanks for the responses (and link to previous thread - I shall go and wade!) the question was as much about how we promote the distance as anything.

1982john
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby 1982john » 29 Aug 2019, 9:33pm

Mike Sales wrote:
1982john wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Since it is never actually measured in real life, and has so never been used in a prosecution, I think that it is an academic question.


There have been close pass prosecutions


I would be surprised if a measurement was used in evidence, especially to the precision which could distinguish between the centre line and, say, the shoulder.
Isn't the 1.5m. a recommendation and not specified in any law (in this country)?


It's a good question I don't know how they determine in court the measurement. It's likely that the passes are so close that it would not make any difference where you measure from.

I'm not sure if the 1.5m distance went from a recomendation to a law last year with the changes?
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Mike Sales
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby Mike Sales » 29 Aug 2019, 9:45pm

1982john wrote:
It's a good question I don't know how they determine in court the measurement. It's likely that the passes are so close that it would not make any difference where you measure from.



Quite. It would also seem difficult to determine the exact distance in a transient event, to a legal standard. The equipment to establish it is not commonly used, to say the least.
I have not heard that there has been any recent change in the law. It would surely have been discussed in this forum.
My impression is that the exact distance was decided by the campaigners, as a reasonable compromise to recommend.

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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby Psamathe » 29 Aug 2019, 9:52pm

I thought the 1.5m was only a "recommendation" and that the law was vague to the point where I thought drivers would be prosecuted under dangerous driving rather than "less than 1.5m". But I might be wrong or out of date on this

Operation close pass seems a bit ambiguous. Some signs suggest from shoulder e.g.
Image, others like the CTC mats OP quotes seem to be centre line. My personal opinion is that inconsistency and ambiguity is a bad thing because it does not send such a clear message. And yet the conflicting instructions are used togetherImage

Personally I think it absolutely should be 1.5m clear air between closest points of car and cyclist i.e. none of this centre line - I've always regarded the centreline mats as CTC not paying enough attention as they were created as a "me too" effort to become part of a campaign started by the Police.

Ian

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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby Mike Sales » 29 Aug 2019, 9:59pm

Psamathe wrote:I thought the 1.5m was only a "recommendation" and that the law was vague to the point where I thought drivers would be prosecuted under dangerous driving rather than "less than 1.5m". But I might be wrong or out of date on this

Operation close pass seems a bit ambiguous. Some signs suggest from shoulder e.g.
Image, others like the CTC mats OP quotes seem to be centre line. My personal opinion is that inconsistency and ambiguity is a bad thing because it does not send such a clear message. And yet the conflicting instructions are used togetherImage

Personally I think it absolutely should be 1.5m clear air between closest points of car and cyclist i.e. none of this centre line - I've always regarded the centreline mats as CTC not paying enough attention as they were created as a "me too" effort to become part of a campaign started by the Police.

Ian


At least 1.5m., yes. Presumably it is an attempt to be more precise than the notoriously vague H.C. recommendation. I expect you are correct about the C.T.C. motivation. It is a pity that the police attempt to be more precise is itself not well defined. If we ever have a law I hope it is more rigorously drafted.

drossall
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby drossall » 29 Aug 2019, 11:28pm

Regardless of what it should be (and I don't think that 1.5m is especially generous), I have long suspected that drivers judge distances from the offside wheel. On a bike, of course, there's only one wheel (from the perspective of a driver planning to overtake), so leaving the same clearance as when overtaking a car, which is what the HC suggests, will result in a closer pass for a bike, because allowance is not made for the rider's hips and shoulders.

For example, riding a trike, I seem to get more clearance, even though I'm taking slightly more road space - perhaps because my offside wheel is further out, even though it's not quite as far out as my shoulders are (so a trike is no wider than a bike if you consider the rider as well).

So, it might be sensible to measure from the centre-line, even if that means increasing the 1.5m a bit to compensate.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby The utility cyclist » 29 Aug 2019, 11:43pm

Haitch wrote:I’ve just had this years membership card drop through the door and on the back of the card it was attached to there’s a photo showing the 1.5m passing distance. I’ve never thought about it before but the diagrammatic overlay on the photo seems to suggest that the 1.5m is from the centre of the cycle’s wheel. Surely it should be from the outer edge of the cyclists body?

Can anyone clarify what it should be?

image.jpg

If it makes me feel fear of harm then whatever the distance being overtaken at then that is a criminal offence. CUK set their stall out, others too, I never agreed with it as it's a load of unenforceable pony. West Midlands Police for all they are trying to do misses the point, they are using very experienced male cyclists, they should be putting female officers on bikes that are not experienced, and then see how many motorists would fail the inconsiderate/dangerous/absolute @@@@@@@ test, I can assure people it would be many multiples more.

It's not the distance, we each feel differently, based on experience/experiences and a whole host of other stuff like size of vehicle, the drivers speed, your speed (speed differential) weather conditions etc. I could (and have been lots of times) be overtaken by a car driver when they are doing say 20mph and be closer than the supposed 'safe' distance and I wouldn't bat an eyelid, it feels really safe compared to 99.9% of overtakes, an HGV however at the same speed/distance is a totally different matter, as is 1.5m and doing 30-40mph or even 2m and 40+mpph.

This is the problem with setting a distance, it does not cover all, not even close, it fails to recognise that the distance is just a small part of the overtaking manoeuvre andas you've said the 1.5m isn't actually that at all, it's more like 1.1m, and finally also that setting the distance from the kerb edge creates another problem in its own right. There was never any reason to put a number there, none, that wound myself and quite a few others up when we saw that!
In any case it's not really something that police will go with in terms of actually upholding the law/protecting victims of crime, as we've seen many, many times over, even despite very clear video evidence, at best you'll get a careless IF plod even refer it, cycling silk did this a few years ago and basically the system just shrugged its shoulders and said, you didn't get physically hurt, stop bothering us with your petty grievance.

Only today on a local FB page, an incident occurred where an old lady tried to cross the road that leads to the industrial estate and supermarkets and was left stranded in the middle of the road with drivers failing to stop to let her finish crossing and going around her left right and centre, many posters said they couldn't see what the problem was and that she wasn't hurt so no big deal...{FFE - family-friendly edit }! :twisted:

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby The utility cyclist » 29 Aug 2019, 11:46pm

Psamathe wrote:I thought the 1.5m was only a "recommendation" and that the law was vague to the point where I thought drivers would be prosecuted under dangerous driving rather than "less than 1.5m". But I might be wrong or out of date on this

Operation close pass seems a bit ambiguous. Some signs suggest from shoulder e.g.
others like the CTC mats OP quotes seem to be centre line. My personal opinion is that inconsistency and ambiguity is a bad thing because it does not send such a clear message. And yet the conflicting instructions are used togetherImage

Personally I think it absolutely should be 1.5m clear air between closest points of car and cyclist i.e. none of this centre line - I've always regarded the centreline mats as CTC not paying enough attention as they were created as a "me too" effort to become part of a campaign started by the Police.

Ian

That second pic is awful, he's gutter hogging so that creates an even worse scenario and sends another bad message out :x

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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby brynpoeth » 30 Aug 2019, 5:12am

It should be 2m clear blue air minimum, also when going the other way

Metres,, not yards, +1!
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ChrisButch
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Re: Passing distance includes the riders body?

Postby ChrisButch » 30 Aug 2019, 8:51am

I seem to remember that a clarification of this was being worked on for the next edition of the Highway Code. Any update on this?