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This morning a young woman cycling was killed by a left turning lorry. As a rule of thumb, being a cyclist in London, I don't undertake lorries or buses, especially bendy buses. But my rules are made up by me and many hours spent on the road avoiding accidents. So why shouldn't novice cyclists be told how to minimise the danger of the road, perhaps make it compulsory when purchasing a bike after all, you do when you buy a 50cc moped?

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purplecup [217 posts] 7 years ago
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hm. thorny one, that. my main objection would be that:

1) the one thing that's proven, time and time again, to make cycling safer is simple: more cyclists.

2) any kind of compulsion (tests, helmets, registration) cuts the uptake of cycling.

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thebikeboy [131 posts] 7 years ago
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It's sort of happening now, but in the usual piecemeal British fashion, aren't Cycling England, CTC, Sustrans involved in bringing new cycling proficience training in to schools - one of my kids did the new one and it was very thorough. Sadly though, uptake amongst schools is not uniform and it is voluntary. The ideal would be Dave Brailsford's idea of making cycling part of the national curriculum

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DaSy [704 posts] 7 years ago
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Part of the school curriculum has to be the answer, makes more sense than Home Economics that I had to learn at school, I have never made peppermint ice since then, how did that ever help me?

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Tony Farrelly [2871 posts] 7 years ago
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aside from anything else, even if the kids didn't go on to be cyclists they'd at least have an inkling of the dangers involved in riding on the road… mind you, Victoria Pendleton's suggestion that sitting on a bike and having someone drive past at 50mph should be a mandatory part of the driving test would give drivers even more of an inkling

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PzychotropicMac [81 posts] 7 years ago
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Vicky P has got it right, ALL drivers should be forced to have a car pass them with 1foot clearance at 50mph+. Would scare 99% of them whitless.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 7 years ago
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Why didnt anyone see the frankly superb section in the first cycle commuter magazine on safe cycling in cities? In fairness though a cycling proficiency test is a good idea but can only go so far. I mean I like to think I am a strong, considerate and aware cyclist but I still get into sticky situations thanks to pedestrians (crossing roads without looking) and drivers (not thinking) so it has to be education accross the board or unfortunately more terrible accidents like this will occur.

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TRs Blurb n Blog [199 posts] 7 years ago
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I think a good idea would be giving instruction at the time of purchase, a bit like the safety notice before flying, and an instruction guide to take home.

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Recumbenteer [168 posts] 6 years ago
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I see a lot of bad riding. Increasingly, it's hoodies and similar know-it-all youths involved in wrong-way riding and they're probably riding stolen bikes anyway. As for lights and the rest of the Highway Code? Forget it.

I suspect it isn't training that's required, but a good repeated Tazering in the bollocks might.

Compulsory training for all road users isn't going to solve this problem, but combined with zero tolerance it might go some way to improving the situation.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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Bikeability is the new Cycling Proficiency. It has a good reputation. The wider and more easily accessible it is, the better. Let's hope the government doesn't axe Cycling England.

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timlennon [210 posts] 6 years ago
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I did Bikeability level 3 and can throughly recommend it.

Overall, though, I'm concerned at the general direction this seems to be heading: that everyone needs to be in a ridiculously heightened state of awareness and training just to go out on their bike. Yes, there should be bike training in primary school, but it shouldn't be such a high-concern thing - what happened to just pootling around on a bike?? At least the idiots going the wrong way on a bike, using their phone, etc., are only endangering themselves - it's not like being George Michael after a spliff, for heaven's sake!

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DaSy [704 posts] 6 years ago
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I'm a Bikeability instructor, and I think the main intention is to give parents the confidence in their child's ability, in order to actually let them cycle to school etc.

I think that the sheer volume and speed of traffic nowadays does require a heightened state of awareness, but only to the same extent that drivers also need to have heightened awareness nowadays compared to even just 10 or 15 years ago.

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dazwan [321 posts] 1 year ago
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I've still got my cycling proficiency test certificate from 1983! I take it we get grandfathered into this scheme?

When I was younger the neighbour bought his drivers licence from the post office for a fiver in the days before they brought in the test, he'd never sat a driving test in his life, this was also in the 80's so I doubt there are many of those out there still.

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Man of Lard [196 posts] 1 year ago
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dazwan wrote:

When I was younger the neighbour bought his drivers licence from the post office for a fiver in the days before they brought in the test, he'd never sat a driving test in his life, this was also in the 80's so I doubt there are many of those out there still.

My late grandfather had only ever ridden a motorcycle when he was called up on active service in 1939... after basic combat training he was told "you'll be driving that lorry" he protested that he'd not got a licence & had never even driven a car... a licence was duly knocked out by the RSM's sidekick and that's the one he had until he died (well renewed every 3 years like you used to have to before 1976)

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Shep73 [211 posts] 1 year ago
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Clearly something is needed, although it's not rocket science is it, yet we still get idiots who will try and go up the inside of a large vehicle when it's turning. Still as long as they can get to work 5 minutes earlier it's worth the risk.