In an innovative move to improve the safety of bike riders on roads across Spain the government is planning to introduce slow passing laws.
When implemented drivers in motor vehicles will not just have to give people on bikes a wide berth, they will be required to also drop their speed.
Minimum distance passing laws have been introduced in a number of jurisdictions over the years but have not been shown to improve safety.
Slower passing speeds may be the key.
The slow passing laws would required driver to reduce speed to 20 km/h below the speed limit on that road before overtaking the rider.
Punishments for breaching the new rules have not yet been confirmed but could include points deducted from a licence, or fines.
Spanish law also allows drivers to cross a solid white line in the middle of the road to overtake riders at a safe distance, provided no vehicles are approaching from the other direction and visibility is good.
The national government is considering further changes to the laws, including the possibility of compulsory road law tests for riders.
There is considerable concern in Spain at the lack of road rule knowledge in the bike riding community with many new riders taking to the roads during the pandemic.
In response the government has already introduced online training resources.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.