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How to Pass a Cyclist

Do you believe your time is more valuable than another person’s life? Would you risk ending someone else’s life so that you can get where you’re going a few seconds faster?

For most of us, the obvious answer to this question is ‘no’. Yet some motorists make this choice every time they choose to pass a cyclist when conditions don’t allow for a safe pass, rather than wait for an opportunity to pass safely, and sometimes the results are deadly.

To safely pass a cyclist on any road without a bike lane, use another lane. Do not try to pass them in their lane. On a two-lane road, this means waiting until there is no oncoming traffic in the other lane. If you would not pass another car in the same position, it is not safe to pass a cyclist there either.

Drivers making unsafe passes is usually motivated more by impatience than by malice, but this doesn’t make the consequences any less real. Please take a few minutes to read this thoughtful article from Bicycling Magazine on the subject, and share it with cyclists and non-cyclists alike.

Cyclists: we’ve all seen each other repeatedly passing cars every time they’re stuck waiting at a stoplight, only to force those same drivers to pass them again every time the light turns green. This leapfrogging isn’t gaining you any appreciable time, puts your own life at risk, and increases the general level of frustration some drivers feel towards all cyclists, making the roads more dangerous for all of us. Don't be that guy, let's work together.

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