Half drivers ignorant over cyclists’ rights

CYCLING: A survey has revealed drivers are largely ignorant of cyclists' rights.
CYCLING: A survey has revealed drivers are largely ignorant of cyclists' rights.
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A new study has revealed more than half of drivers in the county are clueless about cyclists’ rights on the road.

The survey by retailer eBikes Direct showed 57 per cent of drivers in Yorkshire and the Humber are ill informed about what cyclists are entitled to do.

Matt Flanagan, from eBikes Direct, said: “A lack of knowledge about cyclists’ rights on our roads is leading to altercations and accidents. In order for us to all stay safe and happy on our roads, it’s vital that we equip ourselves with the right information.”

In our region 29 per cent of drivers admitted to becoming angry with cyclists. The issue was highlighted nationally when a BBC presenter was verbally abused by a 22-year-old motorist as he cycled in the middle of a London road to avoid car doors. The journalist filmed the incident on his GoPro headcam and posted it on Facebook. The driver was later prosecuted.

eBikes Direct found that drivers regularly lose their temper with cyclists, thinking they’re breaking the law or cycling without due care and attention. As a result, 39 per cent of drivers surveyed in the UK confess to having got angry with a cyclist. Men are typically more prone to road rage, and they got angrier than women: 42 per cent compared to 37.5 per cent overall.

When it comes to the law, 81 per cent of drivers believe that cyclists are required to remain on the left-hand side of the lane. However, as demonstrated by Jeremy Vine, it is actually legal for cyclists to ride in the middle of the lane or road. Similarly, 65 per cent of drivers incorrectly believe that cyclists are required to cycle within a cycle lane if there is one – but cyclists can ride outside of the cycle lane and it is not against the law.

Another misconception was that 73 per cent believe that cyclists are not allowed to ride two abreast on the road. Cyclists are legally entitled to.

Cyclists are not allowed to ride on pavements but nearly a quarter of drivers thought they can.


Another area of confusion for motorists was over electric bikes.

The survey by eBikes Direct found more than half of drivers - 56.5 per cent - do not believe an electric bike rider is allowed to overtake a car. In fact they can, in the same way cyclists can. And nearly a third - 30 per cent - of drivers believe that an electric bike will power itself up to 30mph. Legally, however, an electric bike will only power itself up to 15mph; this mistaken belief could be dangerous if, for example, a car is behind an electric bike, and believes the rider will accelerate to a far quicker pace than he or she can actually do.