Should cycling count towards your driver licence?

A new licencing proposal has sparked fierce debate, suggesting cycling should become part of the driver licence process.

Submissions made to the upcoming New South Wales Parliamentary Inquiry into Driver Training and Road Safety, suggest a greater emphasis on cycling rules could make the roads safer and reduce tensions between drivers and riders.

As reported by the Brisbane Times, City of Sydney’s submission recommended learner drivers be allowed to use a cycling course, offered by council, as part of their 120 log book hours.

“As more riders are on the road it is imperative that drivers understand their perspective…to experience what it feels like to be on the road as a bike rider,” the submission from the City of Sydney said.

“The effect would be better interactions between these drivers and other riders.”

Bicycle NSW also made a separate submission recommending up to 10 hours spent on an approved bicycle safety course be credited in a learner’s log book, saying it would “increase awareness of vulnerable road users, and increase bicycle rider safety.”

RACQ’s Steve Spalding said it was important for new drivers to improve awareness of cycle safety issues and gains had already been made in Queensland.

“Queensland has been a leader in increasing safety for cyclists with the one metre overtaking rule being an important change a couple years ago,” Mr Spalding said.

“Most young Queenslanders will already have many hours of cycling experience before they apply for their learner licence, and the road rules in the theory test apply to all vehicle types.

“In addition to that, no young driver should be progressing from a learner to provisional licence if they can’t demonstrate both knowledge of the road rules and an ability to share the road safely with vulnerable road users.”

Mr Spalding said in Queensland young learners are required gain at least 100 hours of supervised practical driving experience.

“The more driving experience in the learner stage the safer they become before they are on their provisional licence, which is the highest risk time for crashes,” he said.

“We believe any additional training or education requirements should be in addition to the 100 hours, not a substitute for part of it.”