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Petition Run a public awareness campaign to address driver aggression toward cyclists

The Department of Transport should run a national public awareness campaign to educate motorists about dangerous, inappropriate and aggressive behaviours that can lead to the injury and even death of cyclists. The attitude that cyclists should not be on roads needs to end.

More details

In 2019, 16,884 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 4,433 who were killed or seriously injured. These figures only include cyclists killed or injured in road accidents that were reported to the police. Many cyclist casualties are not reported to the police. Driver aggression towards cyclists feels to be increasing & we are calling on the Department of Transport to run a national public awareness campaign to educate motorists about dangerous behaviours.

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100,000

Government responded

This response was given on 13 July 2021

The Department for Transport is already reviewing The Highway Code to improve cyclist safety and doesn’t consider that a campaign along the lines specifically requested by this petition is necessary.

The Government is focused on making cycling and walking safer and easier. To that end the Department for Transport undertook a major cycling and walking safety review in 2018. Following an extensive public consultation, the Department published its full response and a detailed two-year action plan on 22 November 2018 (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/governments-response-to-the-cycling-walking-investment-strategy-safety-review).

One of the actions identified was to review The Highway Code to create a new and improved Highway Code, to keep vulnerable road users - including cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders - safe on the roads and make sure they are at the forefront of motorists’ minds when they are traveling. For example, the proposed changes highlight how to avoid the dangers of close passing, and encourage people to adopt the ‘Dutch reach’, a method of opening a car door with the hand furthest from the handle, to force drivers to look over their shoulder for passing traffic.

On the 28 July 2020, the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking (Gear Change: a bold vision for cycling and walking: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-plan-for-england) and the consultation on changes to The Highway Code was published at the same time as part of a much broader plan into Cycling and Walking. The proposed changes should lead to a new and improved Highway Code, to keep vulnerable road users safe on the roads.

The consultation closed on 28 October 2020; over 20,000 responses were received, and we are currently undertaking a full analysis of all replies. A summary of responses, including the next steps, will be published shortly.

The Department for Transport recognises the important role education has in keeping vulnerable road users safe on the roads and the Department’s THINK! campaign aims to change the attitudes and behaviours behind key road safety issues, via marketing campaigns, online resources (https://www.think.gov.uk/) and THINK! social media channels. THINK! will be developing a behavioural change campaign to support implementation of these changes to The Highway Code and the overarching aims of these changes.

Department for Transport

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/588492)

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Original Government response

The Department for Transport is reviewing The Highway Code to ensure that cyclists are kept safe on the roads and make sure they are at the forefront of motorists’ minds when they are traveling.

The Government is focused on making cycling and walking safer and easier. To that end the Department for Transport undertook a major cycling and walking safety review in 2018. Following an extensive public consultation, the Department published its full response and a detailed two-year action plan on 22 November 2018 (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/governments-response-to-the-cycling-walking-investment-strategy-safety-review).

One of the actions identified was to review The Highway Code to create a new and improved Highway Code, to keep vulnerable road users - including cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders - safe on the roads and make sure they are at the forefront of motorists’ minds when they are traveling. For example, the proposed changes highlight how to avoid the dangers of close passing, and encourage people to adopt the ‘Dutch reach’, a method of opening a car door with the hand furthest from the handle, to force drivers to look over their shoulder for passing traffic.

On the 28 July 2020, the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking (Gear Change: a bold vision for cycling and walking: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-plan-for-england) and the consultation on changes to The Highway Code was published at the same time as part of a much broader plan into Cycling and Walking. The proposed changes should lead to a new and improved Highway Code, to keep vulnerable road users safe on the roads.

The consultation closed on 28 October 2020; over 20,000 responses were received, and we are currently undertaking a full analysis of all replies. A summary of responses, including the next steps, will be published shortly.

The Department for Transport recognises the important role education has in keeping vulnerable road users safe on the roads and the Department’s THINK! campaign aims to change the attitudes and behaviours behind key road safety issues, via marketing campaigns, online resources (https://www.think.gov.uk/) and THINK! social media channels. THINK! will be developing a behavioural change campaign to support implementation of these changes to The Highway Code and the overarching aims of these changes.

Department for Transport

This response was given on 28 June 2021. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

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