The majority of drivers believe that aggressive cyclists are a threat to their safety

A majority of drivers believe aggressive cyclists are a threat to their safety, a new survey has shown, with many believing the problem is getting worse.

In the survey of 2,010 motorists, 65 percent of respondents said aggressive cyclists are a threat to their safety, with 60 percent saying the problem is worse than it was three years ago.

This is despite the fact that the number of cyclists killed in accidents with a car far exceeds the number of motorists killed each year in the same situation.

Additionally, 61 percent said they would not support a law that assumes drivers are always responsible for collisions with cyclists or pedestrians in urban areas.

“The government has introduced a number of laws in recent years in an attempt to fix the everyday conflicts we see between motorists and cyclists,” said Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, which carried out the poll.

“However, if our research is anything to go by, this has been largely ineffective, with the majority of respondents still reporting aggression and conflict between road users.

“In the meantime, all road users, whether on two or four wheels, should exercise calm and restraint to help us all use Britain’s roads safely.”

Cycling levels are rising

According to the Department for Transport, four car occupants were killed in bike-car crashes on Britain’s roads between 2012 and 2021. This compares with 494 cyclist deaths in such incidents over the same period.

The data comes ahead of a sharp rise in the number of people cycling, with Cycle UK saying cycling levels in England rose by 47 per cent on weekdays and 27 per cent on weekends in the five months to the end of July last year.

“As fuel prices hit record highs in July, cycling levels were even higher than seen over the same period in 2020, when quieter roads during the pandemic encouraged more people to get out on their bikes” .

In June last year, new rules came into force allowing judges in Britain to hand down life sentences for dangerous drivers who kill and careless drivers who kill while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In August, Grant Shapps, the then transport secretary, proposed replacing the current “archaic” laws capping the maximum sentence at two years with a new offense of causing death by dangerous cycling.

He said grieving relatives of the victims of killer cyclists had “waited too long for this simple measure” to deal with a “selfish minority” of aggressive riders.

Call for campaign

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at the charity Cycling, said: “There is no excuse for aggressive behavior – people can behave badly no matter what mode of transport they use.

“However, the consequences are disproportionate, with statistics showing that poor driving is far more likely to result in death or serious injury.

“The Road Traffic Code was changed last year to emphasize the added responsibility of those responsible for larger vehicles because they were more likely to cause damage in the event of a collision.

“Cycling UK has repeatedly called for a long-term well-funded public awareness campaign from the Government to ensure the changes are better communicated and understood, which in turn will make our roads safer for everyone.”

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