Leader comment: Road safety is a two-way street

Police Scotland launch Operation Close Pass, which will see drivers pulled over for passing too closely an unmarked police cyclist.
Police Scotland launch Operation Close Pass, which will see drivers pulled over for passing too closely an unmarked police cyclist.
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Although we might aspire to be the kind of environmentally friendly nation where the encouragement and growth of cycling is a demonstration of impeccable green credentials, we have to admit that we are a long way from a level of participation that can even hint at that ideal. Part of the reason why is that many would-be cyclists do not feel safe.

As we report today, drivers are not giving cyclists the space that they would give a car when going past. This is an odd attitude, because bumping into a bicycle creates a life-threatening situation, as opposed to what might be no more than a scratch on a car.

A new initiative in Edinburgh designed to catch out motorists should help to earn cyclists a wider berth. But will it be enough? Can space be properly policed? Ensuring cyclists have more room might require fundamental measures, such as an increase in the number, width and condition of cycle lanes.

However, all parties must play their part in improving road safety. We see cyclists making their own rules, by jumping traffic lights or cutting over pavements. Respect on the road is a two-way street.