Comparing cyclists rights across European states

birkhead
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Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by birkhead »

During a holiday cycling in France, I was impressed by the law that vehicles should pass cyclists by 1.5m; and also by the occasional permanent signs reminding road users of this requirement.
Of course the law was not always respected, but often a more generous margin was offered than is the case in this country.
French sign reminding about clearance
French sign reminding about clearance
1-DSCN1198.JPG (32.51 KiB) Viewed 25078 times

The Highway Code is now rather imprecise about the UK requirement.
It would be useful on this issue, and on many other issues, for campaigners to have some broad comparative information about other European states.
Another example is the 'Strict Liability' or 'presumed liability' law that exists in some other states which were discussed recently on another thread at
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=66831
where there was mention of 3 countries that operated in this manner, whereas the UK did not. How many other European states use it?
Perhaps the European Cycling Federation could set up a database of cycling relevant issues, and provide us with a broad set of information about what happens across Europe?
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meic
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by meic »

It is only 1m in towns compared to 1.5m out of town.
As you say it is not universally obeyed but there is no getting away with just leaving 6".

I think that on paper we are not doing badly at all for rights as cyclists.
It is just the driver's attitude is backed up by the Police, CPS and magistrates, so our paper rights are worthless.
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Tonyf33
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Tonyf33 »

The highway code phrase "leave as much space", should be leave MORE space as a bare minimum. An old boy I was talking to recently said he was told 6 feet to overtake, 3 feet to pass and 3 feet 'wobble' space in case a cyclist happen to come off.
The only sign I've ever seen that tells motorists to not ovetake too close is this one near Woodmansey on the road from Hull to Beverley https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=woodma ... 91,,0,2.23
We did ride to the outer edge of the cycle lane but had no problems through the narrow sections..
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Mark1978
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Mark1978 »

Makes sense in that location; I'd suggest however that the cycle lane there is counter productive. Gives drivers the impression there is room for them and a bicycle through the obstruction.
Tony1968
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Tony1968 »

What if instead of telling motorists to leave X ft or m for overtaking we simply had a rule that you do not overtake within the same lane? It's how car drivers interact with each other, you don't see many people trying to squeeze past another car to avoid crossing a white line and dual carriageways are used to permit overtaking rather than simply having one very wide lane.

On most single carriageways, especially B roads and minor A roads favoured by cyclists, it's impossible to overtake safely without crossing the centre line so why not go right over it and get out of the overtaken vehicle's lane? (I do and I appreciate it when someone does it for me).

If a road is genuinely wide enough to permit overtaking within the lane it's wide enough to paint a cycle lane (or overtaking lane) to allow drivers to comply with my new rule.

On a Dual carriageway drivers simply use the overtaking lane as usual.

Arguably this can't work on single track country roads because only one lane is available so drivers would have to wait behind until the slower moving vehicle pulls in to allow them past - just like now.

It could also be argued that this wouldn't work on heavy trafficked urban roads where the opposite lane is permanently occupied by oncoming vehicles but in this case bikes are usually moving with the traffic in primary anyway and if the traffic is moving faster something should probably be done such as creating a cycle lane (to a good standard!) or where space is not available, reducing the speed of the traffic.

I'm sure if I think about this I'll find plenty of faults but hey, it's something to argue about!
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meic
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by meic »

Tony1968 wrote:What if instead of telling motorists to leave X ft or m for overtaking we simply had a rule that you do not overtake within the same lane? It's how car drivers interact with each other, you don't see many people trying to squeeze past another car to avoid crossing a white line and dual carriageways are used to permit overtaking rather than simply having one very wide lane.

On most single carriageways, especially B roads and minor A roads favoured by cyclists, it's impossible to overtake safely without crossing the centre line so why not go right over it and get out of the overtaken vehicle's lane? (I do and I appreciate it when someone does it for me).

If a road is genuinely wide enough to permit overtaking within the lane it's wide enough to paint a cycle lane (or overtaking lane) to allow drivers to comply with my new rule.

On a Dual carriageway drivers simply use the overtaking lane as usual.

Arguably this can't work on single track country roads because only one lane is available so drivers would have to wait behind until the slower moving vehicle pulls in to allow them past - just like now.

It could also be argued that this wouldn't work on heavy trafficked urban roads where the opposite lane is permanently occupied by oncoming vehicles but in this case bikes are usually moving with the traffic in primary anyway and if the traffic is moving faster something should probably be done such as creating a cycle lane (to a good standard!) or where space is not available, reducing the speed of the traffic.

I'm sure if I think about this I'll find plenty of faults but hey, it's something to argue about!


Unless you count motorcyclists and their reason is the same one that a car driver would have when passing a cyclist, ie there is the physical space to do so.
I was told that I could do this by the Police in my motorcycle training courses!

The obvious difference is that a m/c doesnt endanger the occupants of a car with its presence.
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Mark1978
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Mark1978 »

Quite often there is sufficient space to pass a cyclist without crossing the white line. The problem comes when the road is a bit narrow and a driver goes for an overtake -- then notices there's something coming.

Or; as I find with about 1 in 20 overtakes the driver is a 'boy racer', or if old just a 'cock', and will pass you as closely as possible because their driving skill is so amazing.
Tonyf33
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Tonyf33 »

Actually I don't find that the 'boy racer' type offer any worse overtaking space than others, in fact of the souped up cars that have come past me lately with young males in charge I'd have to say their driving was far better than the male/female 30+ brigade.
kwackers
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by kwackers »

Tonyf33 wrote:Actually I don't find that the 'boy racer' type offer any worse overtaking space than others, in fact of the souped up cars that have come past me lately with young males in charge I'd have to say their driving was far better than the male/female 30+ brigade.

Me too. They drive like tits but they seem to be able to comprehend the idea that cyclists are allowed on the road.
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meic
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by meic »

I think the combination of only having 6 points to play with and knowing the cops will be "out to get them" works wonders.

Noisy Subarus tend to give me a wide berth, if they can.
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Mark1978
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Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Mark1978 »

Actually I didn't really mean boy racers but the BMW 'I own the road' types.
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Coffee
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Coffee »

But the great thing about a boy racer about to overtake is that you can hear it well before it happens, you know what I mean! ;-)
I find the worst overtakes are by the middle aged men in the executive type cars or the posh urban monster 4x4 things. They seem unnecessarily close and aggressive and the first to mention road tax or cycle paths.
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Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white VAN (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable, watch out for Anna Meares elbows.
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Vorpal »

Some information about the traffic regulations and related legal framework has been collected...

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safe ... dex_en.htm

And this includes information about liability...
http://fevr.org/new/information/national-laws/

The ECF site has a fair amount of information http://www.ecf.com/ but it isn't all collected in one tidy table, or anything. It's mainly organised by topic.
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Audax67
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Audax67 »

Since I joined this forum I've noticed that UK riders seem to have to put up with a lot more aggressive behaviour than we do here, possibly because UK population & vehicle density are higher, possibly because the French are more laid-back; I wouldn't care to say. I'll just observe that the only time we got hooted at on our Strasbourg-Perpignan trip was at night in heavy traffic down towards Mèze, and that was because my lights were so much more powerful than my partner's that when I rode directly behind him all he could see right in front of him was a black shadow, so I was riding slightly out to the side. But at no time during the whole 1000+ km, which included about 300 km after dark, did I feel myself in danger. Around 99% of cars gave us a wide berth, and even the ones that didn't never came close enough to be worrying.
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Jeremy Parker
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Re: Comparing cyclists rights across European states

Post by Jeremy Parker »

I find that motorists overtake cyclists so as to leave the cyclist in the middle of the clear space between the car and the edge of the road.

So if there is two feet to your left, they will leave two feet to the right, and so forth.

Also they seem to assume that if you huddle close to the edge, you are doing that to help them to overtake. Thus you are implicitly signalling

1) that you want them to overtake there and then

2) and therefore, you obviously think - and you should know - that it is safe to do so

This rule breaks down if there is a bike lane edge stripe. Obviously an expert professional has said that it is safe to overtake, without deviating from their path at all, and the opinion of an expert overrules yours. Anyway, you are not in his lane, and so can be ignored

Jeremy Parker
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