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Drivers want new cycling laws

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Two-thirds (69%) of drivers want new legislation for cyclists, including bikes to be given a registration number to help with identification, suggests a survey from InsuretheGap.com.  

More than half (53%) of respondents said that cyclists should also be required to hold a licence and 44% think they should pay vehicle excise duty (VED) like cars – despite zero emission cars being exempt from the charge.

Furthermore, more than half (59%) believe all push and electric bikes should have an annual safety test, like an MOT.

Ben Wooltorton, chief operating officer of InsuretheGap.com, said: “The explosion in bike usage in recent years is good news for the environment and should also help to ease congestion in urban areas if managed correctly.

“However, our survey picked up a definite feeling among motorists that they are often held to higher standards than their fellow road users when it comes to adherence to the Highway Code.”

More than three-quarters (78%) said cyclists don’t think the rules of the road apply to them, feeling free to go through red lights and not stop at zebra crossings.

Many also believe that there are many roads that are not suitable for cyclists. Three-fifths (60%) said there are too many cyclists on fast roads that are unsuitable for them, and nearly half (45%) said they should not be allowed on A roads altogether as they are a danger. 

Two-fifths (42%) also say that cyclists should be banned from roads which are too narrow to allow enough space for both a car and a bike, and almost nine in 10 (85%) think that helmets should be a legal requirement for cycling on the roads.

Wooltorton concluded: “Roads, particularly in towns, are increasingly being used as shared spaces and it’s important that legislation, infrastructure planning and funding take into account the views, requirements and safety of all road users, otherwise this tension between different groups is almost inevitable.”

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  • Bradley Biggins - 07/06/2019 11:11

    I'm not an avid cyclist, but as a holder of a driving licence (and a Cycling Proficiency certificate), I would like to see driving licence holding riders that flout the rules of the road while cycling have their licences endorsed as if they are in a powered vehicle simply because they have been deemed competent to use the road. I also think riders that cause a collision should bear the burden of any claim rather than fault being heaped on a driver by default, so if that means they take out some kind of liability insurance "just in case", that's OK. Finally, while motor vehicles have to meet C&U regs all the time, bicycles seem to be able to be stripped of some significant safety equipment for some reason and still be used on the highway. Must be to gain that extra 0.5mph in the dark.

  • maria.cole_spoortech.com - 07/06/2019 12:14

    You know what, I am so pleased at reading this article this morning. I think drivers on our roads are not listened to when it comes to cyclists. We moan about them doing what they want on the roads, jumping red lights, weaving in and out of cars and not paying very much attention to things around them that could harm or kill them! As a female driver with over 30 years experience, I can tell you that some cyclists who have no experience of driving a vehicle on the roads, do not have a clue about safety or awareness! About 10 years ago I decided to take my CBT Motorbike Test with an interest in a nice bike to cruise around during the summer months. I passed my CBT, however I decided it wasn't for me due to opening my eyes at the naivity of riders and lack of observation from drivers on the road. It opened my eyes to the ignorance from both sides. I think everyone who wants to be in control of a vehicle, whether it be a HGV, van, car, push bike or motorbike should do some sort of test to raise awareness of how it feels to be in all of those vehicles and reinforce consideration and safety for us all. My CBT really helped me to see things from a different perspective and put the shoe of the other foot shall we say. It was a very valuable course and i feel something similar for push bike riders on our public roads would benefit greatly, learning to seeing it from a vehicle drivers perspective. Good call!

  • Paul - 07/06/2019 12:59

    Ask cyclists and your headline would be 'Cyclists want more Driver laws' !!

  • Brian - 10/06/2019 17:55

    I agree with all of the comments made by the contributors but the most important factors are that third party insurance should be compulsory and taken out automatically when a bike included electric ones are purchased The must also have an identification as cars so the owners can be traced The problem will be registering all of those bikes currently on the road

  • Dave Robbins - 11/06/2019 11:55

    Thought we'd moved on from this kind of thing! I've been cycling to work for nearly fifty years. During that time I've been guilty of riding down narrow streets, on busy A roads (when there are no quiet, narrow street alternatives) and even ventured out without wearing a helmet. They hadn't been invented in 1974 and I survived without one. During that time I've left my (in order of ownership): MGB Roadster, Mini, Maestro, Ford Escort and VW Golf tucked up in my garage, wasting all that Road Tax that I'd paid up front. Cyclists who break the rules annoy me just as much anyone else. There's room on all roads for responsible drivers and responsible cyclists. And, in case you're wondering, as a member of British Cycling, I have third party insurance. In a world where we need to reduce emissions, use of energy, address obesity and reduce pressure on the NHS, the humble bike provides one of the answers to all these challenges.

  • Louise - 19/06/2019 12:25

    What about the cyclist who sounded a loud bell attached to his bike as well as shouting, swerving and braking in a bid to avoid a pedestrian who walked into the road whilst looking at her phone but is now liable for damages. Whilst I agree that we need better legislation for cyclists they do also need safe places to ride. The Dutch have right idea with great cycle lanes (which even have their own traffic light system).

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