NEW 'safe pass' road safety signs are set to be introduced throughout Cumbria in a bid to reduce the number of collisions between cyclists and drivers.

The signs will encourage drivers to give 1.5m of space to cyclists while overtaking, ensuring those on two wheels have room to take action if they come across a pothole or any other obstruction, without putting themselves at risk.

“The aim of the signs and the campaign is to get drivers thinking about their own driving habits," said Sgt Graham Hawley of Cumbria Police. “There are a lot of excellent drivers on our roads. But there are also drivers who see cyclists as a hindrance and seek to get by them as quickly as possible, with no thought to the potential consequences."

The initiative is part of what the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership (CRSP) has described as a 'concerted and co-ordinated effort to save lives on our roads'.

Chris Broadbent, of CRSP, said the group did everything it can to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions on the county's roads.

“If all drivers adopted the 1.5m rule into their driving and gave thought to the safety of themselves and the cyclist before carrying out a manoeuvre, there is no doubt our roads will be a safer place for all," he said. “Good drivers give cyclists plenty of space.”