Cycling related content in the driver licensing process

Jennifer Bonham, Marilyn Johnson, Narelle Haworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In countries with low levels of cycling participation and limited cycling infrastructure, cyclists and drivers frequently share the road space. While change in the physical environment is slow, change in the policy context is even slower, particularly in the way cyclists are currently largely absent from the driver licensing process. This study used content analysis to examine the inclusion of cycling-related content in the driver licensing process across Australia. The review included all government authorised documentation related to gaining a driver licence. Study findings reveal that cyclists are referred to almost exclusively in neutral or negative terms. Negative references included characterising cyclists as unpredictable, untrained and ‘hazards’. The driver licensing documentation provided limited information to drivers about how to safely share the road with cyclists. Omission or problematic representation of cyclists in the driver licensing process fails to recognise cyclists as legitimate road users who drivers should expect to encounter on the roads. The driver licensing process is an opportunity to teach new drivers safe practices, particularly in relation to vulnerable road users that is not currently being optimised in Australia. Action is needed to increase the inclusion and representation of cyclists through the driver licensing process in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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