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Motorists are not the public’s biggest highway grievance

Alison Bell
fleets

The latest survey from Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that 44 percent of people would back the introduction of a ‘Civility Code’ of conduct for motorists *, but car and van drivers are not seen as the biggest culprits when it comes to lacking common courtesy. Cyclists, joggers and smokers were cited as being the top three most discourteous when using public thoroughfares. Contributor Alison Bell, Marketing Director – Venson Automotive Solutions.

The findings follow news of a major think-tank** calling for a civility code to be introduced to stop city dwellers being rude and unfriendly to one another when moving around. According to the Venson survey, 42 percent of respondents believe that as a population, we need to realise that we’re part of a system and should apply some sort of process to the way we move amongst each other’.

Moody Motorists
44 percent of respondents agree that motorists should be made to follow a formal highway code of conduct that encourages greater consideration towards other road users and pedestrians. Nearly half of all respondents (48 percent) shared frustration that motorists use their indicators less today than they did in the past. 36 percent of respondents said that lorry drivers generally don’t give enough due care or attention to other road users and 37 percent believe that today’s motorists – regardless of what vehicle they are driving – don’t signal a ‘thank you’ to someone if they have given way. Worryingly, 1 in 4 people said they’ve experienced road rage that left them feeling vulnerable or shaken.

Oblivious Pedestrians
Pedestrians cause a considerable share of grief, with a whopping 53 percent thinking smokers who throw their cigarette butts on the floor should be fined. A further 22 percent think pedestrians should be fined if caught looking at their smartphone, rather than watching where they are walking. And 19 percent have experienced ‘pavement rage’ from other pedestrians. Interestingly, runners come under heavy fire too, with 50 percent thinking joggers should make sure they are dressed so that they are visible at all times.

Carefree Cyclists
The majority of respondents (61 percent) think cyclists should dress appropriately to ensure they can be seen clearly at all times. In addition, 55 percent resent cyclists who cycle in the middle of the road, creating a long queue of traffic behind them. However, 47 percent agree that there should be more cycle lanes to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians and 44 percent also think that motorists should be more tolerant of cyclists. Interestingly, only 10 percent of cyclists feel intimidated by other road users, including other cyclists.

“Whilst 44 percent would back the introduction of a Civility Code, 42 percent don’t think a formal code is necessary,” comments Alison Bell, Marketing Director of Venson Automotive Solutions. “However, it’s clear from our survey that the sheer amount of people and traffic on the roads today causes stress and conflict, as we all jostle along together. A healthy debate about a possible introduction of a ‘Civility Code’ could be enough to encourage people to be more considerate towards their fellow road users.

“Whether it is cyclists and joggers taking responsibility for being more visible or drivers paying more attention to, and acknowledging, other drivers and pedestrians, everyone can do something to make the roads safer, greener and happier places to be.”

Top Ten Civility Grievances:

1. Cyclists should ensure that they are dressed appropriately so that they can be seen clearly at all times
2. Cyclists shouldn’t cycle in the middle of the road, creating a long queue of traffic behind them
3. Pedestrians who smoke in the street and throw their cigarette butts on the floor should be fined
4. Those out running should ensure that they are dressed appropriately and can be seen at all times
5. The use of indicators by drivers has become considerably less
6. More cycle lanes should be introduced in cities for safer mobility for cyclists – and pedestrians!
7. Motorists should be more tolerant of cyclists
8. Fewer drivers today acknowledge thanks when other drivers give way to allow them to pass on the road/pull in or out of a street
9.Lorry drivers generally do not give enough due care and attention to other road user.
10. Road rage from other road users often results in feeling  vulnerable or shaken.

*200 people were independently surveyed and asked to select from a list of grievance statements those that they agreed with
**Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Streets, convened by the Centre for London think-tank