What is a safe distance to overtake a cyclist? A Police Community Support Officer in plain clothes, riding an unmarked bike, took to the streets of Colchester recently, as part of an operation to highlight safe passing distances to car drivers. The Officer rode up and down known hot spots, where drivers have been reported for overtaking a cyclist too close. The idea is that when a driver is identified, they are stopped by colleagues and given the opportunity to experience what it is like for a cyclist when a driver overtakes too close by wearing a 360 degrees virtual reality head set. Officers also have a matt with them which is marked out to show drivers what 1.5 metres looks like. This it is hoped will help drivers to learn what the 1.5 metre gap looks like, so they can begin to overtake cyclists at a more comfortable and safe distance for them. Drivers who have not ridden a bike on the road before or who haven’t ridden for many years are often surprised at the experience and how big the gap is to improve the safety margin for riders as well as making cycling on the road a more pleasant experience for riders. Rules 162 and 163 of the Highway Code are useful to refer to regarding overtaking. To read the article, follow this link What is a safe distance to pass a cyclist?