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Danish cyclists want new markings to remind motorists to keep distance

The Local Denmark
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Danish cyclists want new markings to remind motorists to keep distance
Road markings proposed by the Danish Cyclists Federation, should a new law requiring a minimum overtaking distance for motorists be adopted. Image: Cyklistforbundet

The Danish Cyclists’ Federation wants new markings on roads to accompany a Ministry of Transport proposal to introduce a mandatory distance for cars when overtaking bicycles.

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A proposal from the Ministry of Transport could require motorists by law to keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres between them and bicycles when passing.

Should the law be passed, it must also provide for new markings on B-roads (landeveje in Danish, ed.] to make the minimum distance clear to drivers, the Danish Cyclists’ Federation urges in a response to the bill proposing the new law, which is currently at the hearing stage.

The cycling federation said it believes drivers will find it difficult to maintain the necessary distance of 1.5 metres alongside a cyclist while passing.

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It therefore called for the proposed law change to include a provision for road markings which will enable drivers to judge whether they have enough room to pass.

The markings will have the additional effect of reminding motorists of the new law, should it be adopted, said Jane Kofod, deputy director of the Danish Cyclists’ Federation.

“We suggest that markings are introduced on a large number of routes where there are no bicycle lanes,” Kofod said in a statement.

“This would be a help to drivers and remind them that they must keep a distance from bicycles when they overtake. It will also make it more tangible for drivers when they are regularly reminded how much 1.5 metres actually is on the road,” she said.

The federation said it supports the bill and hopes parliament will pass it.

“This proposal should be adopted by parliament. One in three overtaking manoeuvres today is with under 1.5 metres’ distance and a specific distance requirement would be one of several important ways to increase safety and security for cyclists on roads without parallel bicycle lanes,” Kofod said.

The federation called for the number of bicycle lanes in general to be increased nationally.

“The Cyclist Federation always prefers good, wide bicycle lanes that are well separated from car traffic,” Kofod said.

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