Learner drivers to be taught how to share the road with cyclists

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Learner drivers are to be taught cycle awareness under plans announced today by the UK’s two biggest driving schools.

AA Driving School and BSM have committed to ensuring that all their instructors cover vital skills about driving around cyclists.

All driving instructors from both schools will have a module which covers some “dos and don’ts” about sharing the road with cyclists.

Instructors will also be given a worksheet about safe driving around cyclists for their pupils to use.

This worksheet sets out the facts about cyclists on the roads and encourages learners to think about the care, courtesy and consideration they should afford those on two wheels.

The driving schools said they were committed to improving road safety by radically reducing cyclist casualty rates, which showed that 107 were killed and 3,087 seriously injured on the roads in 2011.

AA president Edmund King said: “I am personally committed to breaking down the ‘two tribes’ attitude displayed between some drivers and cyclists. Often we are the same people. I am convinced that this initiative will change attitudes and save lives.”

The head of BSM, Mark Peacock, said: “It can be intimidating and confusing for learners the first few times they come across a cyclist.

“Understanding why cyclists behave in certain ways, such as avoiding potholes or how they are affected in strong winds, is key to being safe around them.”

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: “I welcome this new initiative from the AA and BSM to improve the safety of cyclists on our roads.

“The Driving Standards Agency publishes guidance for all motorists on how to be considerate towards cyclists and the driving test also contains questions on cycle awareness.

“Anything that improves the safety of cyclists is to be welcomed and it is great to see driving schools taking the initiative to build on what is already in the driving syllabus.”