Red Driving school is looking for your views on new drivers and cyclists

Short survey asks for your experiences of sharing the road with cars

by Dave Atkinson   May 23, 2013  

Red Driving School

Got a spare couple of minutes? Red Driving School are looking for cyclists' views on how they feel sharing the road with drivers. It's more concerned with new drivers, which isn't really that surprising considering the source, but it's worth getting your views across.

The survey covers aspects such as how safe you feel on the road and around motor traffic, what changes to training and testing would most benefit cyclists, and whether you've been involved in a collision on your bike. To fill it in head to www.surveymonkey.com/s/8QJ225Z

15 user comments

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I was hoping for a freetext comment section where I could advise them that their instructors appear to be teaching learners to routinely pass cyclists very closely - on one occasion doing so alongside a pedestrian island where the road was narrow. Silly me for not pulling out far enough, but still...

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3419 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 13:35

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Yes - a very limited set of responses available - but hey, I'm just glad they're asking the questions at all

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [562 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 13:51

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Done it but would have added a few more "options" had I been able. Some of the answers not as black (or red) and white as they might appear

I am only as insane as the insanity around me (Jens Voigt)

posted by alronald [58 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 14:20

1 Like

Seemed a decent set of questions & a decent range of possible answers - but free text would have been useful.

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [169 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 14:23

1 Like

notfastenough wrote:
I was hoping for a freetext comment section where I could advise them that their instructors appear to be teaching learners to routinely pass cyclists very closely - on one occasion doing so alongside a pedestrian island where the road was narrow. Silly me for not pulling out far enough, but still...

Annoyingly my experience. I even asked an instructor once about dual-control and he said "we dont use them in this!"

Surprise

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [204 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 14:31

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I recently learnt to drive with Red (passed 18 months ago - although I am in my 30's).

I found the instructor really good at pointing out the dangers of passing cyclists and always chastised me for not giving them enough room.

I guess it comes down to the individual instructor, but mine was great for that.

posted by billyspew [2 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 14:58

1 Like

Emailed them to say this was a skewed survey.

Choice of answers was very restricted.

posted by sfichele [101 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 15:21

1 Like

As a previous member has commented on, it would have been useful to have had a couple of "free text" boxes to enable further explanation of the way I answered some questions.

Overall I have far less problems with younger drivers (<25) than I do with older drivers (>30), possibly down to the fact that some of these younger drivers did ride bicycles and far more recently than some older drivers!?

As to the question "do I feel safe" well it does depend on where I am cycling and when, some types of roads (especially urban roads for example) have differing safety issues depending on the time of day...during school run times can actually decrease safety with a minority of parents disregarding the rules of the road when dropping off/collecting their "off spring".

I do think that both new drivers should have a better understanding of the risks that cyclists have to contend with and that those that cycle on the roads should have a far better understanding of the Highway Code...we all see idiot cyclists doing things that make "us" cringe and we DO NEED to publicly take these cyclists to task too!

I would prefer to see this survey as at least having a positive perspective as in trying to get "our" opinions...rather than just not asking "us" what we think.

posted by Furry Mommy [32 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 15:45

2 Likes

I thought the questions were balanced enough, and the lack of free text is understandable IMO - tickboxes etc are a lot easier for the researchers to analyse than a load of possibly very different - and therefore hard to categorise) free text responses.

At least they're showing an interest!

posted by chris75018 [100 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 15:45

1 Like

Quote:
it's worth getting your views across
Not sure bout this. I think our views are pretty much known. Sounds like one of those pr-driven "studies" to me.

posted by vbvb [282 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 17:05

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billyspew wrote:
I recently learnt to drive with Red (passed 18 months ago - although I am in my 30's).

I found the instructor really good at pointing out the dangers of passing cyclists and always chastised me for not giving them enough room.

I guess it comes down to the individual instructor, but mine was great for that.


I am coming towards my driving test next month (mid 20s), also with Red and my instructor is very keen to make me aware of cyclists. His recommendation is treat them as if they were a car.
This is SW London though, so maybe it depends on the area you're in?

posted by hounslowrob [27 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 18:20

3 Likes

Some of the available responses were a bit skewed but it is very difficult setting surveys.

For me it is not a car vs cyclist issue. As a cyclist and a driver there are too many inconsiderate impatient drivers who act as if everybody is in their way.

Everyday I see red lights jumped, lack of indication, inappropriate overtaking, speed and use of 2+ lanes as well as poor lane discipline.

djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [148 posts]
24th May 2013 - 7:59

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Red is a national franchise scheme (a friend of mine learnt to be an instructor with them but now works independently). There's not a lot of standardisation amongst instructors, some will put focus on cyclists, others won't; its really down to the individual instructor.

I had an incident with a learner in a Red car a few weeks back whilst commuting. Performed a very slow, close, nervous overtake in heavy traffic. I was a good 4 or 5 feet out so had room to escape but he then went on to overtake a couple of school children who were riding in the gutter. He was no more than 6 inches from them - its was frightening to watch. I remonstrated with him shortly afterwards in traffic, attempting to indicate that he was perhaps a little too close.

Interestingly, I saw the instructor a few days later, driving on his own. He pulled alongside at the lights and recognised me. He wound down the window and we had a nice chat, with him apologising and asking for forgiveness for his pupil as he'd only had a couple of lessons.

posted by qwerky [145 posts]
24th May 2013 - 9:36

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Like they say, work out what results you want, then ask the right questions to get those results. One of these Red drivers tried to run me off the road yesterday in Mitcham. Incredibly aggressive driving from someone that should be a driving example.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

ragtag's picture

posted by ragtag [166 posts]
24th May 2013 - 9:40

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To qualify for training with Red, at least 21, clean licence, 3.5 years experience. Hardly a lot of time, some of the potential instructors could hardly be described as experienced drivers.
Then they go off and teach people to pass their test (as distinct from driving). Having passed, most go on to learn as they go, some sadly don't and become the over-confident menaces which end up in difficulty and may hurt others.

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
24th May 2013 - 10:49

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