A brand new offence of “death by harmful cycling” could be introduced as part of an overview into cycle safety. So ought to cyclists also have to take a test just before riding on UK roads?
Transport Minister Jesse Grettle stated it was “only right” to consider imposing strict laws upon cyclists, following the death of pedestrian Betty Briggs , who was struck simply by cyclist while crossing the road.
Charlie Alliston, who slain Mrs Briggs while riding a bike without front brakes, was convicted within Victorian law.
Although a lot of more people are killed by motorists each year than cyclists, two people died and 96 were significantly injured after being hit with a bicycle in 2015.
Currently, anyone can pedal upon UK roads, whether or not they have approved a cycling proficiency – the particular riding skills test renamed since Bikeability in 2007.
So is a “riding licence” the solution?
“People are more likely to perish during a mile of walking than the usual mile of cycling, so will this mean we also need a people test? ” says Roger Geffen, Cycling UK’s campaigns director.
He argues attempts in order to force cyclists to do anything : such as bicycle helmet laws nationwide and New Zealand – possess led to a drop in bicycling.
“Let’s not place barriers in the way, ” he says. “The benefits of cycling are huge. inch
Rod Dennis, of motoring team the RAC, says many of the members are also cyclists – plus ride more safely as a result of keeping a driving licence.
But he says testing cyclists is usually “probably a step too far”.
“If you’re a bicyclist who’s passed your driving test most likely probably aware of the vulnerabilities, therefore it’ll make you a better driver along with a better cyclist, ” he says.
He says Charlie Alliston’s situation highlighted that all cyclists should know the particular Highway Code, which applies to all of road users – and includes a guideline to watch for pedestrians stepping into the path.
“But the particular onus is probably more on drivers, inch Mr Dennis says.
“Perhaps we need driving assessments where part of the theory sees the driver viewing the road from a cyclist’s perspective. ”
Generation ‘lost out’
Martin Key, road safety strategies manager at British Cycling, the particular national governing body for routine sport, says it would be “fantastic” when all cyclists took lessons.
But he too alerts that testing could deter individuals from cycling in the first place.
“If you bring in tougher specifications like testing, you’ll massively reduce the number of people getting out and getting independent, ” he says.
And he believes a generation associated with adults – generally those within their mid-twenties and older – possess “lost out” on learning simple cycle skills because it was not really offered to them during childhood.
“For a number of years training was not available, ” he says.
“Cycling proficiency was about during the 1990s but it was scrappy because it was run by private sector organisations. ”
Many adult riders remember acquiring their Cycling Proficiency as a child — the now-defunct test which goes back to 1947.
This included weaving in and out of visitors cones in the school playground plus emergency stops.
The particular scheme’s latest incarnation, Bikeability, found its way to 2007 with significant changes.
It is aimed at adults plus children and offers three different ability levels to prepare cyclists for progressively busy roads.
Mister Key says experienced riders, in addition to novices, stand to benefit from studying skills like good road placing.
“I did Degree Three when I’d already been biking in London for a few years, and was amazed to learn that the best way to go circular a roundabout was to stay in the center of the lane – I’d at all times thought to keep right out of the way, inch he says.
Five riding tips you might not know
- If you are waiting at visitors lights, make eye contact with the driver at the rear of you so they know you are there : especially if it is a lorry
- Don’t trip closer than 60cm to the kerb – and ride in the middle of the particular lane where there are parked vehicles
- At roundabouts you should stay in the center of the correct lane to make sure you are observed, and signal even if you are going directly ahead
- High visibility clothing is not sufficient to stay safe – different lamps and backgrounds during the day mean you might be less noticeable than you think
- There is absolutely no law compelling people to wear head gear – but the Highway Code suggests their use
Yet cycling campaign groups have cautioned there is already a “postcode lottery” in accessing cycling training — so the idea of a national check is impractical.
“I don’t think a cycling ‘licence’ is essential, but we’re totally in favour of period training, ” says Chris Bennett, head of behaviour change on walking and cycling charity Sustrans.
Bikeability is only accessible in about half of primary schools in britain, while funding for the scheme is usually devolved in Wales, Scotland plus Northern Ireland.
Obtaining access to free adult training depends upon local councils.
All of the boroughs in London, for example , where the variety of cyclists has significantly increased, provide free sessions known as Cycle Abilities, with similar schemes run within Greater Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham plus Bristol.
Mr Bennett thinks cycling training should be a section of the school curriculum.
“Ideally all year five pupils — those aged nine to ten – should get training, that skills would filter into adulthood, inch he says.
“What’s in position at the moment is good and just needs growing really in terms of a national regular, ” he adds.
What is Bikeability?
- Level One — learning to ride while cycling off the road plus away from traffic – including learning pedalling, turning, braking, using equipment and looking around you
- Level 2 – cycling on quiet, nearby streets over a number of sessions, to understand how to spot hazards, where to ride as well as how to pass parked cars
- Level 3 – learn how to ride in different visitors conditions and some dangers – which includes busier streets, queuing traffic, complicated junctions and roundabouts