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Motoring Organisation Calls For Driving Test To Include Cyclist Awareness

Grabbing a steering wheel
14th May 2014
More than 2 cyclists a week are killed on roads around Britain. In the first four weeks of January 2103, eight cyclists have already lost their lives. Last year’s total of 122 exceeded the 2011 tally of 107 as the cycling death toll appears to continue its 5 year high. With a knock on effect for bike accident claims statements and constantly pointed out by cycling organisations, it is motorist perception and driver awareness that equally needs to be addressed if a real change to cycling safety is to take place.

According to the Department of Transport (DfT), in 2011 over a half of all cycling accidents involved the illegal and negligent behaviour of car or van drivers. The DfT also reported a 15 per cent increase in serious injury despite just a one per cent rise in the number of cyclists who took to the UK roads.

In response to deteriorating conditions, some cyclists are even suggesting that the law should be changed so that a motorist is presumed to be the cause of a collision with a cyclist unless evidence can show otherwise.

The Automobile Association (AA) is presently in discussion with the DfT over the possible inclusion of extending the driving test to include additional 'hazard perception’ of cyclists. At the present Government enquiry, the AA is also calling for “road safety awareness” in the driving test to “educate drivers on giving cyclists extra space on the roads” and to be taught in schools.

The AA also contributed to the all-party infrastructure enquiry by pointing out there were too many “piecemeal” cycle lanes installed as an “afterthought”, in which both cyclist and motorist were “lulled into a false sense of security” until the cycle lanes abruptly comes to an end.

Research has found that cycle lanes with the lowest safety risk (10 per cent or less) are those which are entirely “separated” or “protected” and run alongside major main roads.