Don’t be shy, be safe

1st May 2010   Words: Matt Lamy

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Grovelling in the kerb is not the way forward if you want car drivers to take you 
seriously — and the Institute of Advanced Motorists agrees.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has announced some advice for cyclists and it might come as quite a surprise: cyclists should claim their lane and take to the middle of the road where necessary.

This advice is mainly directed at cyclists when they overtake parked cars or reach a junction, but having looked at relevant studies, the IAM says that even in other situations cyclists should stay half a metre or so from the kerb to avoid road-edge dangers.

The IAM’s cycling development manager, Duncan Pickering, says: “There has been some debate as to whether cyclists should stick to the kerb or push out into the road when riding in built-up areas. Our advice to cyclists, based on a comprehensive study, is to stay near to the kerb on long even stretches, but to assert yourself when approaching a junction, pushing out into the road and putting yourself in the direct view of drivers.”

The IAM’s official advice is: “Take up a primary position around 75-100m before reaching a junction, in the centre of the lane, providing it is safe to do so.”

Website: Institute of Advanced Motorists