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.
While 56% of cyclists say that drivers don’t pay enough attention to them, 69% 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% of drivers say that they do understand the challenges faced by cyclists.
When cyclists were asked about witnessing ‘offences’ committed by motorists, the following mishaps were referenced as the top three:
· Motorists not using indicators
· Drivers failing to leave enough space between their car and the kerb for the cyclist
· Motorists cutting off a cyclist when taking a left hand turn
From the motorists’ own perspective, more than half of all drivers themselves admitted to witnessing mishaps involving other drivers or car passengers such as opening a door while a cyclist is passing. This was followed by motorists cutting cyclists off when taking a right or left hand turn (26%) and pedestrians stepping out into oncoming traffic without looking whilst glued to their mobile (20%).
A staggering 95% of drivers claimed they had witnessed a cyclist acting illegally or dangerously on the road. The top three incidents were highlighted as:
· A cyclist breaking a red light
· Cycling on the footpath
· A cyclist failing to wear high visibility clothing in dark weather conditions
Meanwhile, 98% of cyclists agreed that the most common ‘rule breaker’ made by cyclists was breaking the red lights at traffic junctions or pedestrian crossings, followed by cyclists 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 that 55% of motorists felt that cyclists should undergo some form of testing, either theory and/or practical before being allowed to cycle on main roads. Whereas cyclists themselves were split on this issue, with 50% saying yes and 50% saying no.
The government is set to introduce on-the-spot fines (around €50) for cyclists in March this year for offences including breaking red lights, cycling on a footpath or cycling in the wrong direction against traffic flow. A low 33% of cyclists would actually welcome the fines while 59% of Irish drivers say that the fines will be of benefit to all road users.
The easytrip survey also found that more than 64% of motorists claim to have a “reasonable understanding” of the Rules of the Road, however a higher percentage of cyclists, 67%, say they have an “excellent” understanding of the rules of the road.