I’m not going to gloat but I did think about this a few years back, but Bryony was first to put it on paper so to speak.
Make full Bikeability cycle training compulsory before anyone can pass their driving test.
It would need to be current, like the drivers’ theory test, which must be passed up to 3 years before the licence can be granted, so a school playground session aged 7 will not suffice.
The reasons are several:
One – if all drivers have first qualified as cyclists, they will be more aware of cyclists on the road, why they’re positioning themselves assertively, how much room to give etc and roads will be safer for all users.
Two – the age when most children stop cycling (often due to peer pressure) is the mid-teens, and this is also the age when they start wanting to learn to drive. Making cycle training a part of this formative experience will normalise cycling and remind young people just how much they enjoyed it. Planting the seeds of healthy and environmentally-friendly travel at this age can only be a good thing.
Three – once people are trained to ride bikes easily, they will see the attraction of cycling more, they’ll be more confident and are much more likely to use their bikes on a day-to-day basis, rather than taking the car on short journeys, thus reducing traffic and pollution on local streets.
Absolutely splendid idea and spot on to the idea I had.
The chicken and egg situation is that we need to be road aware/wise before we go out on the road but we can’t become that without using the roads. But cycling is a great way as Bryony write in her post to get everyone prepared to use a bigger and more powerful vehicle. Like when you take your motorbike license you have to gain experience before you can use a higher cc’ed motorbike.
And of course if you learn to drive an motor vehicle you need to be retested every say five years. It is simply wrong that you as a 17 year old can take your driving licence but don’t need to check your skills before you are well into your 60’s. So you can not touch a car for say 20 years but you are totally legal to drive one, how much history, maths or physics can you remember from your school days ?