2 March 2015

Survey shows mutual distrust between motorists and cyclists

A survey on road users' attitudes by motoring solutions specialist easytrip has revealed that neither motorists nor cyclists believe the other pays enough attention to them on the road, writes Trish Whelan.

The survey found that while 56 percent of cyclists say that drivers don't pay enough attention to them, 69 percent of motorists make the same claim about cyclists with almost a third of drivers describing cyclists as a 'menace' on the road. However, more than 40 percent of drivers say that they do understand the challenges faced by cyclists.

When cyclists were asked about witnessing 'offences' committed by motorists, the main top three mishaps include *motorists not using indicators, *drivers failing to leave enough space between their car and the kerb for the cyclists, *motorists cutting off a cyclist when taking a left hand turn.

More than half of all drivers admitted to witnessing mishaps involving other drivers or car passengers such as opening a door while a cyclists is passing, followed by motorists cutting cyclists off when taking a right or left hand turn and pedestrians stepping out into oncoming traffic without looking whilst glued to their mobile phone.

A staggering 95 percent of drivers claimed to have witnessed a cyclist acting illegally or dangerous on the road. These included breaking a red light, cycling on the footpath, or a cyclist failing to wear high visibility clothing in dark weather conditions. Other gripes were failing to make a hand signal when turning and not having the appropriate lights on their bikes.

The easytrip road user's survey also revealed most motorists want cyclists to undergo some form of testing, either theory or practical, before being allowed to cycle on main roads. Cyclists are equally divided on this.

The Government is set to introduce on-the-spot (around €50) for cyclists in March for offences like breaking red lights, cycling on a footpath or in the wrong direction against traffic flow.