Scotland's national cycling organization is launching a new campaign raising awareness among motorists about safely sharing the road with cyclists, especially by keeping a safe distance when overtaking them. It could prove an example to follow for the country's neighbors in Europe.
In Scotland, cycle journeys increased by 47% between March 2020 and March 2021, according to Cycling Scotland data. For this trend to be sustainable, it's essential to ensure the safety of cyclists. That's the aim of the organization's latest campaign, running on television, internet and radio.
Cyclists should be able to feel safe when out and about on the road. The "Give Cycle Space" campaign, backed by Scotland's police, aims to make motorists aware of the need to drive carefully and, above all, to take care when overtaking, maintaining a minimum safety distance between their vehicle and cyclists. The campaign is a call for greater responsibility, addressed to careless drivers who habitually close-pass cyclists.
At the same time, police officers will be cycling around the country equipped with cameras, in order to spot any dangerous behavior. Motorists face a penalty of three points on their driving license and a £100 fine (approx. $140), or even a criminal conviction for the most serious offenses.
According to a recent survey commissioned by Cycling Scotland, almost two-thirds of people (63%) would be likely to cycle more if they felt safer on the roads. Every week in Scotland, at least three people are seriously injured while cycling.