Scotland's Road Safety Framework

Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030 (the framework) sets challenging targets for the years ahead and has an ambitious long term goal, Vision Zero, where no one is seriously injured or killed on our roads by 2050.

For the first time, mode and user specific targets for key priority groups such as people on bikes have been created to focus attention by partners where it is needed the most.

Scottish Ministers are fully committed to actively working in partnership with stakeholders such as Cycling Scotland, to ensure infrastructure is delivered to the highest standard to make active travel a safe and realistic travel choice for everyday journeys wherever possible.

The framework has adopted the Safe System approach, recognised internationally as best practice in road safety delivery. Safer roads and road use, one of the Safe System components, paves the way for more people cycling and walking for shorter, everyday journeys, where communities are shaped around people. This, in turn, achieves a more active and healthier nation, with more people living in vibrant, healthy and safe communities.

Cycling Scotland have just launched their month-long campaign, Give Cycle Space, supported by Police Scotland, to urge drivers to give space to people on bikes and raise awareness of the risks of careless and dangerous driving.

The campaign will run across television, radio, online and outdoor advertising during May and is for everyone who drives, reminding them why we need to follow the rules of the road and drive safely around people cycling, with the key message of:

“We’re all people, travelling on the road and wanting to get home safely. Dangerous and careless driving around people on bikes is risking someone’s life and risking serious legal consequences.”

Key facts include:

  • Every week in Scotland at least four people cycling suffer serious, life-changing injuries, usually from a collision with a vehicle.[i]
  • In collisions between bikes and vehicles, the person driving the vehicle is most often at fault. Analysis of road collision injury data shows that 73% of the top five factors which contribute to a collision with a person cycling are assigned to the driver of the vehicle.[ii]
  • It’s an offence to drive carelessly or dangerously around people on bikes: drivers in Scotland face a £100 fine and penalty points on their licence for passing within 1.5 metres of people cycling when overtaking, and a conviction for a more serious offence.
  • 1 in 4 people in Scotland are unaware that driving carelessly or dangerously around people cycling can lead to a driving ban or prison sentence.
  • 62% of people say the risk of killing or seriously injuring someone would be most likely to ensure they drive safely around someone on a bike.
  • 58% of people say that knowing a camera could capture their driving behaviour, would change their behaviour around people cycling
[i] Source: Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2021
[ii] Road safety and cycling: what the evidence shows

Key points to remember when driving around people on bikes:

  • Wait at a safe distance until you have space and visibility to pass safely.
  • Don’t overtake at blind corners or if there’s oncoming traffic.
  • In towns and in slow-moving traffic, consider if there is any benefit to passing, especially if there are lights ahead.
  • Don’t feel pressure from the person in the car behind to pass before it’s safe.
  • Follow the Highway Code and always give at least 1.5 metres of space when driving at speeds of up to 30 mph– this will usually mean crossing into the other lane.
  • When driving at speeds of more than 30mph, give more than 1.5 metres of space.