Motorists who endanger cyclists by getting too close to them will be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention under a new scheme.
West Midlands Police have begun proceedings against 38 motorists for what is known as close passing - giving cyclists less than a metre-and-a-half of room. More information here: http://news.sky.com/story/motorists-face-prosecution-for-driving-too-close-to-cyclists-10579708
The Highway Code states:
Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should
•not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake
•use your mirrors, signal when it is safe to do so, take a quick sideways glance if necessary into the blind spot area and then start to move out
•not assume that you can simply follow a vehicle ahead which is overtaking; there may only be enough room for one vehicle
•move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking, once you have started to overtake. Allow plenty of room. Move back to the left as soon as you can but do not cut in
•take extra care at night and in poor visibility when it is harder to judge speed and distance
•give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road
•only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
•stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left
•give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car
When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them plenty of room. If they look over their shoulder it could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them time and space to do so.
Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.