Cycle safety is rarely out of the news, but what can be done to improve it? One idea is to make cycling proficiency a compulsory part of the driving licence – a good move or just another hurdle for drivers?
On my commute this morning I noticed a gent having his statement taken by police while examining his car. Next to him was a cyclist holding up their half-mangled bike and being attended to for cuts and bruises. It’s sadly a regular sighting on our roads today.
Our debate on cycle helmets touched many of you as we received more than 200 comments arguing both for and against the compulsory use of cycle helmets. Helmets are one option but other suggestions include improving road layouts and cycle systems.
Funding for cycle safety
The Department for Transport announced it was investing £15m into cycling safety in June of this year. Funding is a positive move, but some feel there’s still a ‘them and us’ attitude between cyclists and drivers.
An interesting idea I stumbled upon could help break these attitudes down. The Guardian’s Tom Richards asked if cycling proficiency should be a compulsory part of the driving licence. Now, for those of you thinking cycling around plastic cones in a school playground is a bit basic, it can actually cover much more realistic scenarios and is now delivered by qualified instructors rather than volunteers.
The latest cycling proficiency tests, branded Bikeability, encompasses three levels, ranging from learning how to control your bike to using complex junctions and road features. Admittedly these tests are still aimed at teenagers but there are opportunities for adults to complete advanced skills courses.
Taking us back to our childhood
Much like the HGV licence requires drivers to acquire a full driving licence for a car first, partly to help understand other road users, the advanced cycle skills course could be beneficial to motor vehicle drivers to fully understand how bike users think and act on the road. Interestingly though, the cycling proficiency test isn’t even compulsory for cyclists, so perhaps introducing that should be the first step…
Should cycling tests be a mandatory part of your driving licence and would this improve cycle safety? Or perhaps cyclists should be made to take their driving licence before being allowed on their bikes?
Should drivers have to get their cycling proficiency?
It should be encouraged, but not compulsory (41%, 102 Votes)
Yes - it should be compulsory (32%, 79 Votes)
No - it's just another hurdle for drivers (27%, 67 Votes)
Total Voters: 254