Learner drivers should cycle first - BikeBiz

Learner drivers should cycle first

Veteran cycle campaigner David Love has launched the BikeAware campaign to highlight drivers' bike blindness
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David Love is the vice chair of London Cycling Campaign and the person who came up with the idea for the mass-participation London Freewheel ride, which started in 2007 and now branded by the TV company as the Skyride, attracting 85,000 cyclists to closed streets in London. 

Last year he created the 3 Feet Please 'give cyclists room' campaign. His new campaign aims to "get cycle awareness into the DNA of new and young drivers." He wants the Department for Transport to include cycle-awareness in the driving test and for there to be a cycling component, too (similar to how London cabbies learn the 'knowledge' by travelling around the capital on scooters).

"My campaigning pitch has always focused on reasons why folk don’t cycle, then try to make the cycling environment more attractive," said Love. 

"This means reaching out to drivers and changing their behaviour. Most cycle campaigning ducks this as it’s easier to speak unto other cyclists." 

He's a big fan of Boris Bikes (("I love the subversive 'bikes are normal' message,") but not a huge fan of cycle-specific infrastructure ("I’m not that turned on by blue highways though some infrastructure can and does work well.")

BikeAware was launched on the web yesterday. 

"The prize for future generations is to get cycle awareness into new and young drivers’ DNA," said Love. 

He wants to do this by getting the DfT to include cycling in the UK driving test. Love is an expert on getting cycle awareness on the political agenda:

"I’m on the TfL committee pushing through the 'Exchanging Places' driving scheme for HGV drivers. Soon you won’t be able to drive a local authority vehicle in London before demonstrating cycle awareness." 

Next he want to reach van and taxi drivers and then big fleet users before approaching the DfT to include a cycling element in all driving tests.

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