Cycling UK has launched a campaign to have every police force in Britain equipped with a mat that shows the safe distance that vehicles should pass cyclists on the roads.
The campaign comes after an initiative created by West Midlands Police, where they used a similar mat to educate drivers on the dangers to cyclists of passing them too closely. Cyclists’ organisation Cycling UK says that close passes “account for around a third of all threatening incidents between drivers and cyclists”.
The mats can be laid out on the ground, showing the possible distance for the cyclist to position themselves in the road (75cm from the kerb) and the safe minimum distance for a vehicle to pass by them (1.5 metres between cyclist and vehicle).
In order to equip every police force with one of the mats, Cycling UK has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the £12,000 needed to produce and distribute the mats.
“We say there should be no excuse for the police to ignore this illegal driving behaviour,” said a Cycling UK statement. “Every single police force in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland needs a safe pass mat like this. By bulk buying, we can cut costs and help police keep our roads safe.”
“We’ve already been speaking with police forces across the UK to gauge the attraction of having a close pass mat, and have the support of the officers behind West Midlands Police original initiative.
“The interest is high, and not just from the police, and we believe our fund raising goal is realistic for our ambitions of giving every force across the UK access to a close pass mat.”
Those making a pledge will receive a gift based on various scaled-down versions of the mat as a thank you.
Those pledging over £10 will receive a beer mat, over £25 a mouse mat, over £100 a bath mat and those pledging over £8000 will receive all three mats and be taken out for a bike ride and lunch by Cycling UK’s marketing director Matt Mallinder.