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Drivers should ride bikes before getting licences

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In speaking about cyclist safety on the roads with news website stuff.co.nz, Hamilton cyclist Sean Cosford told the news outlet:

“If people got on a bike for a couple of years on the road before they ever got a licence they would be . . . more defensive drivers, by a country mile.”

He is convinced that educating drivers about cycling logic would improve safety, and part of his plan is getting them out on bikes, “the only real way that you are going to understand a cyclist’s predicament”.

Cosford is talking to a local trucking firm about launching a driver education programme. His current vision has two parts – a workshop on past accidents and how they could have been avoided, and getting drivers out on bikes.

“It’ll certainly hit home to them just what it feels like when you’re sitting on a bike and something rushes past . . . doing 100ks and you’re doing 30.”

Cosford cycles on rural roads around three times a week, and says the experience has made him “highly defensive”.

“It’s my responsibility for myself when I’m out riding,” he said. “If we [cyclists] make one mistake, it’s going to be us that bears the brunt of it basically. And that means that you have to be highly aware of what’s going around you all the time. There’s just things that I do when I ride that basically keep me alive.”