“Don’t drive so close to me!” Pudsey man launches cyclist safety campaign

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Pudsey cyclist Tim Devereux.

By John Baron

A Pudsey cyclist is launching a campaign to stop close passes following a number of near misses in his home town.

Tim Devereux, of Hough Top, says he is so fed up with inconsiderate drivers that every time he cycles in January he will be displaying a poster on his bike asking drivers to keep their distance.

The sign says: “Don’t drive so close to me! Five feet please (Highway Code, rule 163).”

Tim Devereux told WLD: “In 2023, I rode over 1,800 km, mostly on Pudsey’s roads. All too often, I have been ‘close passed’ by motorists – especially on Lowtown and Church Lane. Motorists may have been the recipient of my shout of ‘too close’!

“I seem to be given plenty of room when I’m riding my trike, but on a solo bike it can be unsafe and scary.

“Today, three cars, one after the other, all passed me far too close on Richardshaw Lane. If we really want people to adopt Active Travel, people need to be more respectful towards the Highway Code rules, and towards other road users.”

Mr Devereux said that in January 2022, there were a number of changes to the Highway Code, including Rule 163: ‘Give vulnerable road users at least as much space as you would a car.’ He added: “Many drivers either don’t know the rule, or ignore it!”

The cyclist, who has previously featured in WLD for his charity fundraising exploits, doesn’t think he will be shouting at cars as much in 2024 – he says he asked the family Secret Santa to give him an extra loud horn.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. there isn’t five foot of space to pass a cyclist. Many don’t bother about rules anyway , constantly have them go through red lights for instance.

  2. You can tell by the general standards of driving that many drivers have not read a highway code for years, let alone know anything about more recent changes. The changes giving more priority to pedestrians are equally unknown, it seems.

  3. Pity it doesn’t work the other way round when bikes are squeezing down the inside at traffic lights and knocking wing mirrors. Double standards by obnoxious cyclists.

  4. Totally agree with Tim, that drivers are in what’s basically a metal weapon & cyclists are easily and incredibly vulnerable..disabled or dead if hit by a driver due to carelessness/total disregard/indifference. The road belongs to ALL users, the government have provided cycle lanes ONLY on a very few certain roads. There needs to be a huge huge cultural shift in attitude by car/truck drivers. People’s loved ones -husbands, wives, sons, daughters, kids can ride on their bikes to get to work/school, and cannot afford a car/don’t have a mum/dad driver to get them there. Some car/truck drivers need to grow up. Yes you’re inconvenienced for a minute. Yes some cyclists make mistakes just like drivers do. So ? Learn some patience. Wait. Put up with it. You’re safely cocooned in a metal lump . They aren’t.

    • When you complain about vehicle drivers being ensconced in a cocoon remember this. Drivers have to conform to regulations because their vehicles are monitored due to them being registered. Cyclists are a law into themselves. Because they don’t have to be registered and there are very few restrictions on them they just do what they want. It’s about time they had to be registered and the full force of the law brought to bear!!

      • Next time you are driving at the speed limit just check how many aren’t.

        There is barely any enforcement of motoring which is a zillion times more dangerous than cycling.

      • .. K. .. Meantime you take onboard cyclists share the road and are a tiny bit more squashable right? Going to leave some space for the teens on their school journey did you say? Or was it perchance just another entitled speedy driver’s roady ragey ranty ? (Let me guess – you drive a chunky 4 wheel drive that uses more energy to make, churns out tons of muck & takes up 3x more space hmmm?). Am I wrong?
        Btw. Do you slow down for those other pesky humans that cross the black and white things or are they getting in your way as well. Need regulating they do. Cross when you don’t want them to. Life’s hard isn’t it love.

        • Read this and just wanted to say my dislike of cyclists is based on the fact that they ride on the pavement with total disregard for anyone I’ve had my wheelchair hit so many times I’ve bought a camera to film the next one with a view to pressing charges , they even had to put up a sign in the shopping center telling them to dismount as they were frightening shoppers

  5. Just a point why do cyclists not leave 1.5mts when undertaking lines of stationary traffic and why ride down the center line of B roads so that no car can get by you and even on coming cars cant give that much and the biker had to move over for a lorry and bus to pass

    • I’m not a cyclist but I wonder whether its because the nearside of the roads is so often full of debris, muck etc that they dont want to ride through it and risk a puncture?

      • That’s part of it. Other times it’s about self-preservation and simply preventing motorists from close passing in order to shave a couple of nanoseconds off their oh-so-vital journey.

  6. Interesting that the gentleman finds people give him more space when he is out on his trike. Perhaps this is because it is out of the ordinary and / or has more road presence than a solo, but we had exactly the same experience when we were out on our tandem.

  7. I think they should pay road tax and insurance as they take up so much space on the roads and can cause as much damage to other vehicles

    • Good point, I totally agree. I have seen several serious accidents caused by cyclists whereby they have caused personal damage to pedestrians and also the odd few damaging vehicles but there are not kept financially accountable because they are not made to
      have insurance especially if they are at fault just like motorists, same with tax..they are using the roads so should pay to use them like other vehicles and please do not say bicycles don’t cause damage to road surfaces if pedestrians are blamed for damage to certain countryside footpaths.

      • You do know that roads are made from really hard stuff and the countryside is grass and soil don’t you?

        It’s like comparing diamonds and clay.

        As for all the cycling related crashes you’ve seen…..of course you have

    • If youve paid road tax ,get onto the authorities straight away ! It was abolished in 1938 !!
      Some motorists pay VED due the amount of pollution they produce. Some vehicles do not pay anything like Tesla cars and oh yes cyclists as they do not pollute the environment

  8. Agree fully but would say, has he checked the legalities with the sign, to do with unnecessary/possible illegal distraction to drivers, with the sign

  9. No I mean this nut rode down the white line dots in the center of both sides no body could pass following giving 1.5 mts cars oncoming could only give less than half that and this fool had to move over for anything big but then returned to the dotted line . If he had been hit people would have cheered

  10. Ah right. One idiot. The perfect reason to loathe all cyclists. You’re going to really, really hate ALL motorists when you learn that five people dies on the UK’s roads every day.

  11. Fine what about the fool who tailgated a lorry a few wks ago at 2mts I followed them down the bypass a long down hill road keeping a steady space at 55mph or the man with a kid in a trailer rode through the town center on the wrong side then turned without signal and continued on the wrong side forcing the traffic onto their wrong side to avoid him , or the one who rode through the red light straight out into 2. lanes of moving traffic forcing both to do emergency stops to avoid him . I could list this for a week in what I’ve seen in 23 alone

    • Yes and some Beemer drivers are just as stupid, Racing others to the next traffic light and swerving lanes and undercutting people to get 3 cars ahead.

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