Collisions involving cyclists on UK roads is an ongoing issue with 3,337 fatal or serious accidents occurring in 2015 according to the Department for Transport’s ‘Think!’ campaign.
‘Think!’, which aims ‘to protect vulnerable road users by raising awareness of specific dangers’, launched a new campaign this month to encourage cyclists to hang back at left-turn junctions when positioned between an HGV and the pavement.
The government have also pledged £40million to the ‘Bikeability’ cyclist training scheme to promote road safety.
“Any death on the road is a tragedy, and all road users have a responsibility to make our roads safer by being more vigilant,” said a Transport for London spokesperson.
Given the particular challenges faced by cyclists on the roads, would the implementation of an obligatory road safety test provide an antidote to accidents?
We took to the streets of south west London to see what you think.
Should cyclists have to take a road safety test before being allowed to ride on the road?
Many people believed cyclists should be more vigilant and take greater care when overtaking other vehicles.
“Cyclists are not very aware of their surroundings,” said Andy Drake, a 29-year-old building site manager from Swindon.
ANDY DRAKE: Wishes cyclists would pay more attention
Terry Pollard, a 69-year-old bricklayer from Cheshire, added: “Most cyclists ride dangerously – they’re lunatics.”
TERRY POLLARD: Thinks some cyclists are lunatics
Others emphasised the differences between the way cyclists can indicate they are changing lanes or making a turning.
“There’s a lack of coherent hand signals among cyclists,” said Sheri Bhim, a 21-year-old student from Mitcham.
“They should follow a clear set of rules.”
SHERI BHIM: Wants cyclists to be consistent
In addition to cyclists using mobile phones while moving, riding on the pavement and ignoring traffic signals were peeves reported by many.
“Cyclists can get in the way on the pavement and shout at you,” said Nina Westbury, a 39-year-old make-up artist from Teddington.
NINA WESTBURY: Says cyclists are a pain on the pavement too
“When the green man on crossings is flashing cyclists sometimes jump the red light,” said Sean Morrison, a 36-year-old student from Streatham.
“They think they rule the roads!”
SEAN MORRISON: Wants cyclists to obey the laws of the road
The majority of people thought cyclists should face a similar qualification process to drivers.
“There should be same rules for everyone,” said Paul Bureau, a 32-year-old chef from New Cross.
“Drivers have to take a test, so should cyclists.”
PAUL BUREAU: Believes drivers and cyclists should be treated equally
For those who rely on good road etiquette to perform their jobs effectively, complaints about cyclists were wide-ranging.
“Cyclists have held onto the scaffolding I’m carrying in the back of my truck while I’m driving,” said Jason Sharpe, a 43-year-old HGV driver from Old Kent Road.
“They use it to stabilise themselves and then push off from it when the lights turn green.
“I’ve shouted at them to stop it but they don’t listen.”
JASON SHARPE: Has had bad experiences with cyclists
Gary Hawes, a 54-year-old taxi driver from Wimbledon, said: “Cyclists are the rudest people on the road.”
GARY HAWES: Thinks cyclists are rude
Others showed sympathy for HGV drivers who have collisions with cyclists.
“Cyclists sometimes get hit by HGVs and then claim it’s the drivers fault when it’s their fault,” said Daniel Bramah, a 16-year-old student from Surrey.
DANIEL BRAMAH: Thinks cyclists need to take the blame
However, some people thought cyclists should be allowed to make their own decisions on the roads.
“Training cyclists before they are allowed on the road isn’t necessary,” said 48-year-old Debbie Airey from South Africa who works in IT.
“How you cycle should be up to the individual. You should be responsible and take your own risks.”
DEBBIE AIREY: Thinks cyclists are responsible for their own actions
Another theory was that forcing cyclists to go through a test would be no more than a decent government money-making scheme.
“I took my driving test four times and each time I had to pay for it,” said 22-year-old Hannah Colborne-Flitton from Woking.
“Cycling is a free mode of transport and it should stay that way.”
HANNAH COLBORNE-FLITTON: Thinks all aspects of cycling should be free
See https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport for more information.
Featured image courtesy of Lap Fung Chan via Flckr, with thanks