Motorists want more bike paths to keep the growing number of cyclists off the road, but they want them to pay rego to fund the infrastructure, a national survey has found.
Four out of five capital city motorists suggest more bike paths would help heal the rift with cyclists, according to a survey of 1251 motorists conducted last month for car insurance company Budget Direct.
Almost half said cyclists should pay rego to fund infrastructure and show more consideration towards motorists while the same number admitted they needed a better understanding of cyclists' rights and responsibilities. Less than a third of the surveyed motorists knew that cyclists could ride two abreast, but four out of five were aware that the give-way rules also applied to cyclists.
Budget Direct spokesperson Richelle Ward said the findings highlighted the need for cyclists and motorists to display more responsibility and understanding when using the roads. "This isn't the first time we have researched how motorists feel toward cyclists, and while education and understanding of the road rules is improving, there is still confusion as to how these two road user groups can work together," Ms Ward said.
"Reports show that 2009 was the 10th consecutive year that bicycle sales in Australia have outsold cars, and while our governments are actively investing in cycling infrastructure, there is still an opportunity for greater understanding on the roads between motorists and cyclists."
However, only one in six motorists believes they should ride a bike for a day to appreciate cyclists' viewpoints and help the environment. It follows a survey earlier this year that found cyclists were the most disliked road user ahead of trucks and taxis in Brisbane and Melbourne, while they were second in Sydney behind taxis.
Backgrounder on road rules for cyclists
NSW: side by side is legal, but no more than 2 riders (unless overtaking), and no more than 1.5m apart. No reference is made to the distance from the curb
Victoria: side by side is legal, but no more than 2 riders, and no more than 1.5m apart.
WA: side by side is legal, but no more than 2 riders. Must not ride within 2 metres of the rear of a vehicle for a distance of more than 200 metres.
SA: Keep to the left and ride at least 1m clear of the kerb and parked cars. Riding two abreast is legal.