Two videos starring Chris Boardman, explaining why it’s okay for cyclists to ride two abreast and how to safely overtake them, have gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and Vimeo. The videos, titled Side by Side, and Space, highlight rule 163 of the Highway Code: that cyclists should be given as much room as motor vehicles when being overtaken. Among supporters for the clips, which also feature master driving instructor Blaine Walsh, are motoring organisations, and there are hopes that they will be adopted as official road safety videos by the Department for Transport.
Olympian and British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman said the popularity of the videos shows “a genuine desire for a culture of mutual respect on our roads to thrive”.
He said: “The response so far has been extremely encouraging. Our aim was to make people more aware of rule 163 of the Highway Code. Getting more people on their bikes will have a series of benefits for this country, and ensuring that the roads are safe places for cyclists is a crucial step towards this.”
The videos, which had almost 400,000 hits in three weeks, also remind drivers that cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast and that it can be easier to overtake riders in a compact formation similar to a car than when they’re strung out along a road in single file.
Carlton Reid, editor of the Bicycle Association’s BikeHub.co.uk, and who directed the video, added: “It’s wonderful that the video has been so well viewed, so quickly. The next step is to make it into an official ‘public information film’ and for the Department for Transport to endorse it and make sure it becomes very widely distributed.”
Funded by the Bicycle Alliance and involving eight months of behind-the-scenes work, the two companion videos take a positive spin on cyclist-motorist relations.
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