Cyclists are Responsible for Their Own Safety on Our Roads Says Two in Five Motorists

June 2011

There is no doubt that Cadel Evans winning the Tour De France will increase the number of cyclists on our roads. The following results prove that better education needs to start now!

Disturbing results prove an ‘at your own risk’ mentality exists in the motoring community as 44% of drivers believe that while cyclists have a right to use our roads, their safety is their own responsibility, ignoring that all road users have a responsibility for each others’ safety. Furthermore, only 19% admit that motorists need to change their views about cyclists on our roads says car insurance provider Budget Direct.

On the contrary, 32% of cyclists say that motorists need to change their views in regards to safety and learn to be patient, while 26% state that governments promote cycling because it eases traffic congestion, so all road users need to be aware of road safety.

In a first ever attempt to get both sides of the story Budget Direct joins forces with cycling safety advocate The Amy Gillett Foundation in a bid to help ease the tension between motorists and cyclists.

Spokesperson for Budget Direct Richelle Ward said the alarming results uncover a negative driver mentality that needs to be addressed now or we risk unnecessary accidents.

“Unnecessary swerving, abuse, and lack of consideration due to driving too close, or disregarding road rules are immature and dangerous behaviours conducted by both motorists and cyclists. Both need to show more respect and stop putting lives in danger,” Ms Ward said.

The results also found that, 59% of motorists felt that a lack of allowance for bikes on our roads is the most difficult issue facing cyclists, a further 34% say that motorists’ own awareness in regards to cyclist’s safety - including not keeping a safe distance and not being aware of bike-related road rules - is what makes cyclists vulnerable.

Cyclists, on the other hand, agree lack of allowance for bikes is a problem (39%), although a whopping 51% are concerned about motorists’ awareness in relation to cyclists, predominantly due to a need for motorists to keep a safe distance (35%), and motorists’ poor understanding of road rules making sharing the road difficult for cyclists (16%).

Tracey Gaudry, CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation said for the first time, data collected from motorist and pro-cyclist groups confirms our concern about the lack of allowance for bikes on roads, and the lack of understanding on the motorist’s part in relation to bike-related safety.

“The Amy Gillett Foundation appeals to the Government at national and state level to fund and support greater driver awareness and knowledge of bike-related road rules through communication campaigns, targeted education for the next generation of drivers and more stringent enforcement. The Foundation calls for a national review of legislation in relation to the vague definition of ‘safe passing distance”, Mrs Gaudry said.

Lack of allowance is a major issue which The Amy Gillett Foundations A Metre Matters campaign has tackled head on over recent times. It educates the driving community by highlighting the dangers of not keeping a safe distance when overtaking bike riders. The results of this study are a strong support for the campaign.


About Budget Direct

A&G’s signature brand Budget Direct is fast approaching 11 years in operation as one of Australia’s leading insurance providers.

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For further information or interviews please contact Brad Seymour, Director Partnerships & Communication, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8937  or mediaenquiries@budgetdirect.com.au

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international Budget Insurance group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.

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