Learner drivers to be taught about cyclist safety

This week there has been a shocking news story about a woman knocking a cyclist off of their bike and then tweeting “Definitely knocked a cyclist off earlier – I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax.” After seeing this tweet the cyclist, Mr Toby Hockley, contacted the police and had the 21 year old Miss Emma Way interviewed by police. Furthermore, the tweet went viral around twitter, leading to Miss Way receiving backlash from a number of other users over her lack of compassion for other road users.

Now it has been announced that two of the UK’s biggest cycling schools, the AA Driving School and BSM will be teaching new drivers the importance of being careful around cyclists on the road and basic road etiquette. All driving instructors from both companies will soon have to take a module backed by the Driving Standards Agency and the Department for Transport so that they are equipped with the knowledge to educate new drivers. Discussing the decision, head of BMS Mark Peacock said: “Successfully teaching a learner to drive safely around cyclists means instilling a good attitude as well as the necessary practical driving skills. Understanding why cyclists behave in certain ways, such as avoiding potholes or how they are affected in strong winds, is key to being safe around them.”

Meanwhile, AA President Edmund King said: “I am personally committed to breaking down the ‘two tribes’ attitude displayed between some drivers and cyclists. Often we are the same people. I am convinced that this initiative will change attitudes and save lives.” A spokesman for the London Cycling Campaign also commented on the new initiative and said: “With the increased number of cyclists on our roads we’d certainly welcome the greater emphasis on driving more safely around cyclists and pedestrians. Although many of the fatalities involve lorry drivers, most bike crashes involve motorists.”

All drivers need to be respectful to other road users whether they are in cars or on bikes, and more importantly drivers are expected to be careful around cyclists in order to avoid accidents. If you are involved with an accident with a cyclist not only could your motor insurance quotes increase but you could also be interviewed by the police and even receive points on your licence.

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