A Conversation for Is It Safe to Cycle?

Many Drivers Don't Know the Rules

Post 1


Motorists who don't cycle often seem to believe that because they drive, they are automatically an authority on the rules of the road and know more than mere cyclists. In my experience, that belief is a delusion based upon ignorance. FYI, I drive and cycle.

It is a known effect that ignorance misleads the ignorant into a failure to recognise their own lack of knowledge. [Dunning-Kruger effect].

For instance cycle lanes come in two types mandatory and advisory. Mandatory lanes are indicated by a solid white line, advisory lanes have a broken line. The term mandatory means that motor vehicles are not permitted to enter the lane during the operating hours of the lane, [where posted]. There is no obligation for cyclists to use any cycle lane of any kind!

Only a few days ago an ignorant driver tried to 'educate' me, by informing me that I should be riding in the cycle lane, because I was riding on the main carriageway, outside the cycle lane [I do this because it is safer]. See 'Cyclecraft', by John Franklin. In fact, on-road cycle lanes often encourage dangerously close passes by traffic in the adjacent [nearside] lane. By 'taking the lane', it encourages motorists to move to the next lane, making things much safer. But care has to be exercised if you do this!

The Highway Code says this:
Rule 63
'Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.'

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Many Drivers Don't Know the Rules

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