You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Cyclists and car drivers sharing the same roads causes some problems. What are the problems and what can be done to reduce them?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that when motorists and cyclists share the same roads, accidents involving these road users are common. While this is a serious issue, there are measures which can be implemented to reduce the dangers.
The major problem is the likelihood of accidents on roads which are used by both cyclists and car drivers. Such accidents frequently result in grave injuries, particularly to cyclists who are particularly vulnerable, even when wearing a helmet for head protection. While cyclists are sometimes responsible for causing accidents when they do not abide by the rules of the road, motorists often fail to be aware of other road users. For example, car drivers may not leave enough room when they overtake cyclists, or they may turn left or right without realising that this could put a cyclist at risk. Since cars frequently travel at high speeds, cyclists have little chance to react in such situations.
In order to reduce the number of road accidents and save lives, national and local authorities across the world have adopted two general types of policies. Firstly, many governments have prioritised expenditure on road safety. They have invested in transport infrastructure by measures such as upgrading and expanding public transport provision and constructing
dedicated cycle lanes on busy roads. Secondly, authorities have introduced restrictions on car drivers. London, for instance, has imposed a congestion charge to discourage motorists from entering the centre. Traffic calming in cities and installing speed cameras also make the roads safer for cyclists.
In conclusion, although there are real dangers when car drivers and cyclists use the same roads, steps can be taken to reduce these risks.
Vocabulary from government:
to abide by: (formal) to accept and act according to a law, an agreement, etc.
Example: Motorists who do not abide by the rules of the road should be severely punished.
national and local authorities: government organisations acting at a national level or within a smaller, local area
Example: Tackling crime is a responsibility of both national and local authorities.
to adopt policies: to start to use particular policies
Example: In order to deal with traffic congestion, the government must adopt policies to restrict the use of private cars.
to prioritise expenditure on: to put the need to spend money on certain things first
Example: I believe that it is important to prioritize expenditure on medical research in order to save lives.
to introduce restrictions on: to limit what people can do or what can happen
Example: The government must introduce restrictions on smoking in public places.
Vocabulary from transport:
to invest in transport infrastructure: to spend money on improving roads, railway lines, train and bus stations
Example: Governments must invest in transport infrastructure to make journeys by road and rail safer.
to upgrade and expand public transport provision: to improve bus and train services and to make these services more available
Example: One way to reduce traffic on the roads is to upgrade and expand public transport provision.
dedicated bus lanes/cycle lanes: a section of a road, indicated by white lanes that only buses or cycles are allowed to use.
Example: City authorities should create dedicated bus lanes and cycle lanes to encourage people to take public transport or to cycle in cities.
congestion charge: an amount of money that people have to pay for driving their cars into the centre of some cities, as a way of stopping the city centre from becoming too full of traffic
Example: More cities should follow the example of London and introduce a congestion charge in order to ease traffic flow in the city centre.
traffic calming: building raised areas on roads, as a way of making cars go more slowly
Example: Traffic calming meaures in towns and cities would make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
to install speed cameras: to put cameras on certain roads to check that cars are obeying the speed limits.
Example: Local authorities must install speed cameras near all schools and hospitals to limit the speed at which vehicles are allowed to travel.
likelihood [noun]: how likely or probable something is to happen
Example: Scientists are worried about the likelihood of mass extinction of many species because of global warming
vulnerable [adjective]: weak and needing protection
Example: The elderly are particularly vulnerable to the corona virus and have to take extra precautions to stay safe.
to react [verb]: to behave in a particular way in response to something
Example: Millions of people have reacted to the killing of a black man by police in the USA by protesting in the streets.