Cycling is on the increase in the UK and the recent increase in injuries is clearly linked to its growing popularity.
It brings major benefits to society in the form of better health, reduced congestion and lower emissions but our cycling facilities lag well behind those found in Europe. Over 60% of the population believe cycling is too dangerous for them to cycle on the road.
More cyclists will bring safety in numbers but until that time the IAM will continue to support segregated infrastructure, raised awareness of cycling and above all the need for all road users to take responsibility for their safety and that of those around them.
IAM RoadSmart recommendations
- Adult cycle training should be widely available and cycling should be part of the National Curriculum taught in every school
- Teaching new drivers about the risk that vehicles pose to cyclists must be a priority
- Information campaigns should highlight risky behaviour by drivers and riders and encourage safer interactions between motorised and two wheeled transport
- Drivers must adhere to the Highway Code by giving cyclists safe room, respecting advanced stop lines, parking safely and controlling road rage
- Safety mirrors and improved window designs should be fitted to all large vehicles and at key junctions
- Infrastructure improvements which separate cyclists and heavy traffic should have the top priority for investment. Well maintained and pothole free roads, pavements and cycle lanes will assist in the encouragement of cycling
- Innovative shared space designs should be encouraged which create cycling friendly environments where it is clear that all road users have equal priority. 20mph zones can help promote cycling but the results so far have been mixed and more research is needed to identify streetscape improvements that will encourage more cycling
- The IAM does not support changing the civil law to place blame for cycle crashes solely on the driver as all road users have an equal responsibility to behave safely
- Cyclists should adhere to the highway code, obey road signs and signals and cycle in a safe and predictable manner
- Cyclists should wear helmets, reflective clothing and use lights at night, but the IAM does not support compulsory wearing of cycle helmets although all riders should always wear one to avoid turning a simple fall into a life changing brain injury
- There is no evidence that insurance for cyclists would make any difference to cycling or driving behaviour and the IAM does not support compulsory cycle insurance or road tax for this reason.