Most drivers think aggressive cyclists are a threat to their safety

A majority of drivers believe aggressive cyclists are a threat to their safety, new research has shown, with many believing the problem is getting worse.

In the survey of 2010 drivers, 65% of respondents said aggressive cyclists are a threat to their safety, while 60% said the problem is worse than three years ago.

This is despite the fact that the number of cyclists killed in car accidents far outweighs the number of motorists killed each year in the same situation.

Additionally, 61 percent said they would not support a law assuming that drivers are always responsible for collisions with cyclists or pedestrians in urban areas.

“The government has introduced a number of laws over the last few years in an effort to resolve the daily conflicts we see between drivers and cyclists,” said Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, which conducted the research.

“However, if our survey is anything to go by, this has been largely unhelpful, with the majority of respondents still reporting assaults and conflicts between road users.

“In the meantime, all road users, whether on two or four wheels, must exercise calm and restraint to help us use Britain’s roads safely.”

Cycling levels increase

According to the Department for Transport, four car occupants died in accidents involving a bicycle and a car on Britain’s roads between 2012 and 2021. This compares with 494 deaths of cyclists in such incidents in the same period.

The data precedes a sharp rise in the number of people cycling, with Cycle UK saying cycling levels in England increased by 47% during the week and 27% at weekends in the five months to the end of July last year. .

“As fuel prices reached record highs in July, cycling levels were even higher than seen in the same period in 2020, when quieter roads during the pandemic encouraged many more people to cycle.”

In June last year, new rules came into force allowing judges in Britain to hand down life sentences for dangerous drivers who kill and reckless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs.

In August, Grant Shapps, then transport secretary, proposed replacing current “archaic” laws that cap the maximum sentence at two years, with a new offense of causing death by dangerous cycling.

He said the bereaved relatives of victims of bicycle killers “have waited too long for this direct measure” to deal with a “selfish minority” of aggressive cyclists.

call for campaign

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at the charity Cycling, said: “There is no excuse for aggressive behavior – people can misbehave no matter what mode of transport they are using.

“The consequences are, however, disproportionate, with statistics showing poor driving much more likely to lead to a fatality or serious injury.

“The Highway Code changed last year to emphasize the added liability of those responsible for larger vehicles because they are more likely to cause damage in the event of a collision.

“Cycling UK has repeatedly called for a long-term, well-funded public awareness campaign by the government to ensure the changes are better communicated and understood, which in turn will make our roads safer for everyone.”

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