Mumsnet, the social forum for parents, has been discussing a topic slightly removed from the usual day to day minutiae of parenting; close passes.
One user, GilMartin, posted a road.cc article about 16 police forces rolling out a sting operation on drivers passing dangerously close to cyclists, titling it: “Am I being unreasonable to be glad that *some* police forces are going to tackle the dangerous overtaking of cyclists?”
It generated a lively debate, with one user asking: “what has always confused me is whether you need to leave as large a gap when overtaking cyclists in a cycle lane?”
One responded: “I think cycle lanes may have caused some confusion. Most are in 30mph limits, so I slow down and give as much room as possible. In cities there is no other choice really. “
The initiative as reported by this site seemed widely welcomed, with a woman responding: “Oh, this is good. I think a lot of people have absolutely no idea how close they are, which is quite scary. Round here there are lots of cyclists, and someone posted his cycle-cam on a local news site – you could see drivers flicking past with a hair to spare. But what was really worrying was a lot of drivers responded saying they’d no idea that was a problem.”
Another said: “I’m really pleased, we had a nasty spate of cyclists being knocked off by dangerous overtakes – three in one week. Two broke bones, the other died, leaving his pregnant wife behind. I was pregnant at the time myself, I asked my husband not to go out road riding (we’re both mountain bikers normally, where the only thing to worry about is your own stupidity!) “
But of course there were the haters, Dowser being a user who wrote: “It really scares me cyclists are on the road.”
She was shot down by another user, who said: “Where would you like them to be Dowser? Up trees?
“I treat cyclists like they are taking up as much space as a car, I will only overtake when I would overtake a car, I give them the car width, then overtaking space.
“This is both selfless & selfish. I don’t want to kill them & I don’t want to have to live the rest of my life knowing I’ve killed someone. If people behind me don’t like it, they can fuck off. Plus I end up feeling protective of the cyclist – with my car in between them & knob driver.”