And we are told we should be licensed...

Andy Tallis

And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby Andy Tallis » 13 Jan 2006, 9:27pm

Some loonies, as well as the pro helmet compulsion arguments, are publishing drivel that cyclists should have to pass a test before being allowed on the road. In doing so they suggest all drivers have been given licenses in accordance with their ability.

I am fully qualified driver having passed the DVLA test in March 2003. I passed the test in a 1.2 corsa and that is the most powerful and large vehicle I have ever driven. The entire test was in this tame and familiar vehicle and on relatively tame and pretty familiar roads in good weather and daylight. There was no time spent on high speed dual carriageways and I had not been allowed on motorways at all. The test lastefd 45 minutes. I have only drvien about 250m or less in the last 12 months so no doubt I have lost some of the skills. I am, however, allowed to drive any car up to 3.5t max laden weight, and tow a trailer provided it fits within said weight. That would include a ferrari, a nice big transit van or even a Range Rover towing a stonking great caravan. I have no confidence in my ability to drive any of these on my own with any real degree of safety. I am allowed to drive on motorways (I did do a pass plus but this is in no way compulsory) and in any conditions (I did experience harsh conditions wjhen learning but many don't and skid pan training is not compulsory and was not even suggested.) I am entitled to do all these while talking on a hands free phone, with 2 pints worth of alcohol in my blood (which as I drink barely anything would probably affect me a lot.)

Apparently though, I need to be licensed to ride a bicycle weighng about 15kg and with a top speed on the flat f 30mph (and that requires a fit rider and good bike.) It is a far bigger and more dangerous step up from pedestrian than going from a low power hatchback to a monstrous 4*4 with nasty bull bars and a caravan trailing off the back.

Tony Smith

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby Tony Smith » 16 Jan 2006, 2:05pm

Presumably the next step will be to license pedestrians? Actually, that's not a bad idea - the sort of motorists who go everywhere in their cars will be unable to get out of them on a public road. The only places they'll be able to go are drive throughs, out of town shopping centres etc. so they'll have no reason to tear down B roads, through town centres and villages etc.

keepontriking

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby keepontriking » 16 Jan 2006, 4:01pm

There are already many schools that 'insist' that children must have passed their 'cycle-proficiency' before they are allowed to ride to school.

Is this the thin end of the wedge?

John B

Andy Tallis

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby Andy Tallis » 17 Jan 2006, 3:44pm

My school went on a lot about helmets and high vis etc.
They also insisted I wore a blazer (dark blue and very uncomfortable for riding) and inappropriate shoes. One firend of mine even got told off for wearing a flourescent jacket because his blazer was not visible! They also tried to make everyone wear dark jackets in winter. Ther insitence on all this c*** probably contributed to assaults on kids as much as anything else.

wafflycat

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby wafflycat » 17 Jan 2006, 5:49pm

I'm in my late forties. Back in the dim and distant recesses of the middle-ages when I was at junior school, we had to pass our cycling proficiency tests before we were allowed to cycle to school. I remember it clearly as I got 100% :-)


This is not a new development.

Cheers, helen s

keepontriking

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby keepontriking » 17 Jan 2006, 8:08pm

It is Secondary schools where the problem of insistence of a 'test' seems to be more widespread. I do wonder if it is because there is a greater emphasis on publishing school prospectuses (-ii?), which include travel matters. Todays rule and regulation culture cannot help either, and a parent reading the 'requirement' may assume that a test is required before their child can cycle on ANY road, not just to school.
I do come across an increasing number of children who are riding on pavements because their parent has said they must pass a test before they can ride on the road.

Junior schools seem less prone to the 'insistence', perhaps as parents are more likely to accompany their children to school, and it is also in these schools that LAs are more likely (if the school's lucky) to be providing some form of training scheme.

The worst cases are where the Secondary School sets the rule for a 'test' yet neither it, nor the supplying Junior school offer ANY kind of training.

It creates a dead end for the child if the parent believes a test is essential before any road riding is permitted.

Next step? - the 'obligatory' car at 17 :-(

John B

sean

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby sean » 20 Jan 2006, 7:33am

Please excuse me.
I'm a cyclist in the U.S. so I'm not much aware of the tribulations of cyclists elsewhere (our own tribulations keep us busy).


Are you saying that children are required to pass proficiency tests before being allowed to ride their bicycles to school? And further, that there are people in the UK who want to require all cyclists to pass a proficiency test?

Andy Tallis

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby Andy Tallis » 20 Jan 2006, 9:21am

I believe some schools require chldren to pass a cycling proficiency test before they allow them to ride to school but not all. My secondary school "strongly recommended" it along with flourescent belts and helmets, which in combination with the full school uniform (totally inappropriate for cycling) was only one step short of putting a sign on your bicycle saying "please beat me up."

Yes, regrettably some people seem to think all cyclists should be required to pass a test, pay a licensing fee and carry visible identification to ride on the road. As I said in my origional post, many drivers such as myself have a license far in excess of our capabilities and motor vhicles do not pay their way in tax by any stretch of the imagination! They are subsidised massively by the government.

Top5pies

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby Top5pies » 20 Jan 2006, 1:30pm

I am remember when I got into motorcycling in 1978 you could apply for a provisional licence at 17 years of age, buy an 'L' plate and go to your local Yamaha dealer and buy a brand new LC250 capable of a genuine 100 M.P.H. There was no training required of any sort!! you just had to have enough cash to buy the bike.
So many riders got killed and injured that the Gov't brought in legislation in the eighties which introduced mandatory training and restrictions on engine capacities for new riders.
That's the way it 'works', when lots of people die they change the rules then.

gar

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby gar » 21 Jan 2006, 8:17am

It is a far bigger and more dangerous step up from pedestrian than going from a low power hatchback to a monstrous 4*4 with nasty bull bars and a caravan trailing off the back.

I dispute this above on the basis of volume, mass and energy. In fact I refute it entirely.

keepontriking----- Considering the trffic and the insistence on cycling on the road by some people , it is a good thing children do have to take their test before cycling to school.

keepontriking

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby keepontriking » 21 Jan 2006, 1:35pm

So 'gar' what 'test' is this?

Any compulsion to take a test will inevitably lead to a massive reduction in cycling. It would not just stop at cycling to school, but would be applied over all cycling.
Is that what you would like to see.

Far better is to increase the access to National Standard Cycle Training and to include it within the school curriculum.
The more who ride on the roads the safer cycling becomes.
A 'test' would have the opposite effect.

John B

Andy Tallis

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby Andy Tallis » 21 Jan 2006, 1:54pm

The part of my origional post that gar quoted was (of course) sarcastic. It is very valid though I feel. Going from pedestrian (that's 70kg for me) to cyclist (85kg) is a 21% increase in mass, a small increase in size and no increase in power (just a more efficient means to use it.) On the other hand I can, under my license drive a car or van up to 3500t and tow a trailer as long as the combined weight is within this limit. I have only driven a 1.2 corsa and can drive a stonking big Range Rover V8 (perhaps triple the power) towing a big caravan thus increasing total length by at least a factor of 4 and increasing width by probably 20%.

gar

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby gar » 21 Jan 2006, 5:15pm

I agree with both these last posts.
Thank you for the courteous replies.

herrmann

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby herrmann » 25 Jan 2006, 12:03pm

In the middle of Southampton where I live, pedestrians could certainly benefit from training and a test. Many of them wander about like zombies in the middle of a field. They've never headr of a crossing code. They cross at a shallow angle without looking, or cross at four-way junctions. A bit of common sense wouldn't go amiss.

Top5pies

Re:And we are told we should be licensed...

Postby Top5pies » 28 Jan 2006, 5:35am

so some time in the future...........
when the old bill suddenly pull up in front of me on the 'A' road outside my flat and try to nick me for not wearing a peice of polystyrene on my bonse I will surely just give them a false name and address, cos I don't have a reg plate on my bike.
ooh you rebel!