British Cycling has welcomed a decision by two major driving schools to introduce cyclist awareness modules into their teaching.
Awareness training for all road users was a key part of the All Party Parliamentary Group's Get Britain Cycling report - and British Cycling's President, Brian Cookson OBE, said he was 'delighted'.
AA Driving School and BSM, are to roll out a cycle awareness to all of their instructors and, in a week when the issue of cyclists and “road tax” has been in the national headlines, will reinforce to new drivers that there is no such thing.
“All driving instructors from both schools will take a module to teach drivers how to drive safely around cyclists,” said the AA in a press release. It adds that the module "offers some ‘do’s and don’ts’ for driving around cyclists, as well as useful resource links and guidance on how to teach pupils the best way to drive with cyclists."
Cookson added: "I am delighted that two of the UK’s biggest driving schools have committed to include cyclist awareness elements to driver training. Currently, there is no specific cyclist awareness module in the driving test meaning that many new drivers pass without having their ability to pass cyclists safely assessed. British Cycling wants to foster a culture of mutual respect between all road users and we applaud AA Driving School and BSM for recognising the importance of this.
“This move will ensure that thousands more new motorists will be equipped with the skills needed to drive safely around cyclists - and more importantly, could bring us a step closer to getting a cyclist awareness module introduced as a mandatory part of the driving test.”
Additionally, RED, the UK's largest driving school, has a new nationwide campaign called Get Road REDdy - part of which involves asking cyclists what should be taught to learner drivers.
To let them know your thoughts about the matter, click here.
The move, welcomed by both CTC and Sustrans, builds on comments made by AA President Edmund King last year when he called for an end to artificial divisions between cyclists and motorists, a theme he has now revisited.
“I am personally committed to breaking down the ‘Two Tribes’ attitude displayed between some drivers and cyclists," he said.
"Often we are the same people.
“I am delighted to announce that two of the biggest driving schools, AA and BSM, will be working to bring harmony on the roads between drivers and cyclists.
“This new module means we now have a standardised approach to teaching learners how to drive safely around cyclists from two of the country’s leading driving schools.
“I am convinced that this initiative will change attitudes and save lives.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.