Should changes to the driving test and 'close passing' practice be adopted to make roads safer?

14 recommendations made as a result of evidence heard on cycling and the justice system

The All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group has announced a list of 14 recommendations as a result of its enquiry into cycling and the justice system, including calls for a revision of the driving test to improve driver behaviour towards cyclists and for footage from cameras and mobiles phones to be used as evidence.

The group was investigating whether the current justice system adequately serves the cycling public and made the recommendations after hearing evidence from a wide range of sources, including cycling organisations and advocacy groups, road safety campaigners, police and the general public.

The full list of recommendations is as follows:

  1. The Highway Code should be revised
  2. The driving test must be changed to help improve driver behaviour towards cyclists
  3. Professional drivers should be retested more frequently
  4. Roads policing should be given a higher priority
  5. The Government and other local authorities should adopt similar partnerships to the ones in London in other parts of the country, to counter the risk posed by illegal freight operations
  6. The Department for Transport and Ministry of Justice should research the growing discrepancy between road casualty figures
  7. More police forces should adopt close passing enforcement practice on a wider scale
  8. The police must ensure that a higher standard of investigation is maintained in all cases where serious injury has resulted
  9. All police forces should ensure that evidence of common offences submitted by cyclists, or other witnesses, using bike or person mounted cameras or smart phones is put to use, and not ignored
  10. The length of time required by the Police to serve a Notice of Intended Prosecution for a road traffic offence is currently just 14 days and must be extended
  11. Confusion and overlap between ‘careless’ and ‘dangerous’ driving means that often bad driving does not receive the level of punishment that the public feel it should, the MoJ should investigate how these offences are being used
  12. The police and CPS should ensure that victims and bereaved families are always kept adequately informed throughout the process of deciding charges
  13. The Ministry of Justice should examine the reasons behind the decline in the use of the penalty of disqualification
  14. The Soft Tissue Injury Reforms — the ‘whiplash reforms’ — should not include injuries to cyclists or pedestrians

Since these are recommendations, it does not automatically follow that they will be adopted into law or policy. 

You can read the full version of the report via the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Committee website.

So which of the above, in your opinion, would make the biggest difference, or are there additional recommendations you feel should have been included? Put your thoughts in the comments section below.

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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