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It seems that incidients between motor vehicle and cyclist now a days doesn't seem to be going down very quickly. What is everyones thoughts if the government were to introduced a compulsory adult cycling proficiency test. Part of the test would also be putting adults on roads they actually drive on.

Never going to happen just wanted to see what people thought, do you think it would make a difference to our road?

8 comments

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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Massive grey areas, I'd say that motorists should be made to ride as part of their test, however how would this work if someone was disabled? Do they get to miss this part of the test or are they forced into doing it on a special bike?

Who provides the bikes?

Who'd cop for it if the person in their test got cleaned out by a car?

Highly flawed and ultimately unworkable, which makes me think it will probably happen.

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davyd10 [1 post] 2 years ago
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I actually think adult cycling proficiency test are not a terrible idea. There would be lots of areas which would need very carefull structuring, but it is not something that should quickly be dismissed. As a cyclist in London I'm acutely aware of the hazards of riding in heavy traffic. We are often told one of the main things to put people off riding is the perceived danger. It is dangerous! I sometimes feel that every second of some journeys is accompanied by an all consuming feeling that I could be involved in a collision any moment. Lots of stories about inconsiderate drivers and the division on the roads. There are also many cyclists who have no idea how to ride in traffic. Advice is always given which tells riders they should. Use the road in the same way as if in a car. You have the right to use the lanes and should be given the same consideration as another vehicle. If only.!! I see lots of cyclists staying in the very left side. Close to the kerb. This makes crossing lanes to turn right very nervewracking. You also find that you are more likely to hit potholes and lots of uneven surface. To ride in that way screams "I am not confident" to me. I think its worth considering that in order to use the road on any kind of equal footing, people should have to be able to show that they are of a certain level of proficiency for their own sake as well as everyone else. I have never driven a car in my life, so I. Am in no way speaking from a pro car point of view. Whatever the differance of potential for causing harm, is it acceptable that anyone can simply jump on a bike and fling themselves among the traffic? Its a discussion I think is worth having.

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swiftsquirrell [19 posts] 2 years ago
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Do we think that we almost need to put all drivers in that scary situation on a bike in busy traffic so that they appreciate how a cyclist feels and therefore change their attitude?

I totally agree davyd10 as cyclists you need a good amount of confidence hold your position on the road. However an example to consider...

As far as I'm aware (and I'm not 100% certain) the speed limit on a cycle path is 18mph. Well as most road cyclist on a good road with a lick on can exceed that limit should we be in cycle lanes? The route to get to my local town in 5 miles all on cycle paths however due to speed (and a down hill on the way there) I can blast through there normally doing 23-25mph. The amount of abuse I get from drivers is astonishing! As a result do we think it is more indepth education is required for drivers in general?...Just a thought to add to the discussion.

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swiftsquirrell [19 posts] 2 years ago
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Sorry correction to that, just found this online...cycling specific lane is 15mph one shared with pedestrians is 10mph!

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 2 years ago
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what about those of us with a driving licence? would we have to take the test as well?

Surely the relevant point here is that anyone taking charge of a vehicle weighing two tons that can travel at 80mph could potentially do serious damage to others. Anyone riding a bicycle is highly unlikely to cause any harm to anyone else other than themself if they ride recklessly.

If cyclists have to take a proficiency test, why not pedestrians?

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paulfg42 [382 posts] 2 years ago
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davyd, I share some of your concerns. I think my road skills are reasonable but I only know about primary and secondary positions because I was present when some children at the school I teach at were given road proficiency lessons! I can get lessons on bike maintenance but I've never seen anything available to help new cyclists with road skills.

This is aside from the need to make drivers more aware of the needs of cyclists.

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swiftsquirrell [19 posts] 2 years ago
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So do we think that the problem is down to education or not having the cycling facilities that the rest of europe does?

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Steveal [30 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd say the problem is both. Last year I returned to cycling after nearly 20yrs (Yeah, I know!). After a few commutes to work (20 mile round trip), reading ctc info and lurking around like a voyeur on this forum, I now really appreciate the stupidity of hurtling around like I did back in the day. I guess with age comes a raft of responsibilities and a fear of mortality... but I'd still say the biggest danger is from idiots with four wheels. This is an example that I know you've all experienced, but here goes anyway... On the way in the other morning, in broad daylight, lights on, high viz on, in an on road cycle lane, I was approaching a cross roads (my right of way carrying straight on). From the side road comes a guy in a van. Bare in mind this is a wide country road with nothing obscuring his view and no other cars in sight, he pulls straight out in front of me. I shout a warning (polite of course) but am shocked even further when his response was to stick his fingers up and tell me to "f*** off". Words almost fail me..