As a cyclist, sharing the road with cars is scary, for obvious reasons: They’re gigantic metal objects moving fast enough to kill you. But as a driver, sharing the roads with cyclists is also kinda scary. Most drivers are good people who don’t want to kill anyone while they’re out doing errands, but they don’t really understand the logic of how cyclists behave.
At the Guardian, Tom Richards has a simple suggestion to ameliorate this problem and to make the roads safer: Make sure that people driving cars on the road have had experience biking on the road, too.
Any driver wanting to acquire an HGV licence has to get a normal driving license first. And people wanting to take a car on the road should have the experience of cycling alongside cars and other vehicles. Drivers need to know how smaller vehicles and their more vulnerable users behave on the road, and the only real way to understand how cyclists act is to have a go at being one.
In other words, there’s more than one way to use the road, and people who choose to use it in the most dangerous way — by propelling a hunk of metal down it — should have firsthand experience of what that means for others just trying to get from point A to point B.
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