The government has announced measures to tackle road rage and encourage mutual respect between road users as part of a two-year plan to improve road safety.
As part of a wide-ranging proposal that includes 50 new measures, the government wants to give councils the power to tackle dangerous parking in cycle lanes, as well as looking into the possibility of offering motorists insurance discounts for taking cycling awareness courses.
The government says that it will “assess” whether insurance companies could offer drivers who passed its ‘Bikeability’ cycling course could be eligible for reductions in their insurance premiums.
However, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) appeared to pour cold water on the plan, saying it had no knowledge of the proposal, and that the small number of claims involving cyclists made it “hard to see” how the changes would reduce premiums.
“We are unaware of this proposal,” said a spokesperson for the organisation. “There have been no discussions between the ABI and the government on any proposals around motor insurance premiums and its Bikeability scheme.
“Insurers support improved road safety, but in 2017 less than 0.1% of motor claims involved cyclists, so it is hard to see how this could have any meaningful impact on premiums.”
Other measures announced by the government include investment in video analysis for police forces, allowing them to use footage submitted by the public from dash cams and other devices as evidence.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said the measures would “support” the uptake of healthier, more environmentally friendly modes of transport, including walking and cycling.
“Greater road safety – and especially the protection of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders – is essential,” he said. “We want to improve air quality, encourage healthy exercise, reduce obesity and boost our high streets and economic productivity.
“That means more support for cycling and walking, and that’s why these new measures are designed to deliver.”
The proposal also garnered support from road safety charity Brake, which stressed the importance of safe walking and cycling.
“People who choose to cycle or walk should be able to do so in a safe and welcoming environment; active travel is not only great for personal health but public health too,” said Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns. “With cyclists and pedestrians among the most vulnerable on our roads, safety, and the perceptions of safety, need to be addressed to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and get active. We welcome the government’s action plan.”