The Department for Transport is considering a new general safe overtaking rule for overtaking cyclists at speeds below 30 kilometers per hour instead of the current mandatory one-meter gap. This was stated by Transport Minister Martin Kupka (ODS).
“Statistics clearly show that the danger of overtaking cyclists at these speeds is low,” Kupka said.
The new rules for overtaking cyclists have been in force in the Czech Republic since the beginning of this year. Drivers must pass cyclists at a distance of half a meter. If they fail to keep their distance and endanger a cyclist, they can be fined up to CZK 2,000, according to the amendment to the Road Traffic Act.
“We are not considering abolishing the mandatory 1.5-meter distance when overtaking at speeds higher than 30 km per hour,” Kupka stressed.
According to the minister, statistics show that the dangerous overtaking of cyclists is one of the less frequent and less severe causes of accidents involving cyclists. He pointed out that “these are rational grounds for a discussion that should be as factual as possible.”
The problem of narrow roads
Opponents of the prescribed overtaking distance pointed out that the new measure would be impossible to maintain or control on many local roads. They argued that on narrow streets in the mountains, for example, the new measure would bring traffic to a standstill. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport has added an exception to the law, allowing drivers to cross a continuous line on the road when passing cyclists.