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Video tells driving instructors why cyclists ride in primary position

Film aims to help instructors understand cyclists' behaviour - so they can pass knowledge onto learner drivers...

Driving instructors are the target audience of a new video that highlights cyclists’ road positioning and behaviour while riding that other road users need to be aware of. The intention that the knowledge will be passed onto learner drivers to help them understand the roads are for all, not just motorists.

Featuring Blaine Walsh, founder of the online video site and Michael Frearson, director of the Association of Bikeability Schemes, among other things the video explains what the primary position is, and why many bike riders choose to take it.

Frearson says “it is vitally important” that driving instructors “understand what cyclists are doing and communicate that to their trainees.”

Walsh adds: “We have to be very aware of cyclists when we’re teaching. We have to be very aware of teaching learner drivers about cyclists, about what Bikeability are teaching, and bringing that into our lessons – the clues that cyclists give us and why they do certain things.

“Why do they cycle down the middle of the lane, what is that all about? And if we know that, we can pass that onto our pupils, and our pupils understand it. That’s really powerful and important.”

Frearson emphasises that when someone on a bike is “riding in the middle of the lane,” he or she is not “getting in the way” of a motorist.

Rather, the cyclist is a road user who reached that section of road first, and therefore have “priority” – a word that Walsh says is preferred to the term “right of way,” and he explains why that phrase is misleading and gives an incorrect sense of superiority to some drivers.

The video, which has been produced for the Bicycle Association, was filmed in Cambridge and once available on will have a potential audience of 20,000 driving instructors who in turn tutor 300,000-plus learner drivers.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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