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Passing a Cyclist Safely

Cyclists are entitled to their share of the highway, just as motor vehicle drivers are. When they are overtaken by a motor vehicle, it is the driver's responsibility to pass the cyclist safely. It is not the cyclists responsibility to get out of the way of the driver if the cyclist is legally occupying the lane.

When you approach a cyclist and prepare to overtake, slow down, just as you would any other vehicle on the road. You need to survey the situation and make sure that it is safe to pass. If it would not be safe to pass another vehicle at that spot, it is probably not safe to pass the cyclist either.

If you have to wait for a gap in traffic to pass, remember to leave a reasonable following distance between your vehicle and the cycle. This will give you more time to be aware and react if the cyclist needs to move left to avoid an obstacle as you follow them.

Leave at least one meter of space between you and the cyclist as you pass by, more if possible. If it is multi-laned highway, change lanes. Remember that if you have a right side mirror that extends a significant distance that the space must be measured from the outside edge of your mirror, not the side of the vehicle.

Finally, you always have a duty of care as a driver. If in doubt, put yourself in the saddle and pass you would wish to be passed if you were cycling.

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