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Whether you are a driver, cyclist or both, by understanding other road users and knowing the basic Highway Code, you can help to make our roads safer. Read on for the latest advice on cycling safety.

Advice for cyclists

  • If a lorry is indicating left, passing on the inside can be dangerous. Hang back at the junction to reduce the risk of a collision.
  • Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you.
  • Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen.
  • Always use the lights after dark or when visibility is poor.
  • Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility.
  • Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
  • THINK! Recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.

Advice for other road users

  • Give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking them, leaving as much room as you would a car. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened. The law states that you must give up 1.5 metre clearance between you and the cyclist when passing.
  • Always check for cyclists when you open your car door.
  • Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.

FAQ

Are cyclists allowed to ride two abreast on public roads?

Yes, it is legal for cyclists to ride side by side on most roads. However rule 66 of the Highway Code states that cyclists should never ride more than two abreast and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding around bends.

Do I have to ride in a designated cycling lane when one is available rather than riding on the road?

No. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend upon your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Do I need to fit lights to my bike for riding at night?

It is illegal to cycle on public roads after dark without certain lights and reflectors fitted to your bicycle. The lights and reflectors must be clean and in proper working order. Your lights must be switched on if cycling between sunset and sunrise.

Can I use a mobile phone whilst cycling?

Using a hand held mobile whilst cycling is not illegal in itself however you could commit an offence of ‘careless riding’ or ‘riding without due care and consideration’. We strongly advise against riding whilst using a mobile device for safety reasons. Also, if you are riding an electrically assisted pedal cycle, by law it is viewed as a ‘motor vehicle’ so using a handheld mobile phone whilst riding one of these bikes is illegal.

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