Boozy cyclists enrage motorists by not paying Liability Insurance

New research by Policy Expert shows cyclists will happily drink more than the legal limit for motorists before riding their bikes, and that motorists want cyclists to be made to pay liability insurance in the same way they have liability insurance

Cyclists would drink more than the legal limit for drivers

In its ‘Motorists versus cyclists’ survey, car insurance broker Policy Expert found that almost one in three who class themselves as ‘cyclists’ think it’s acceptable to drink at least two pints of beer, or four units of alcohol, while in charge of a bike.

And one in eight would merrily be on their way even after drinking three pints, or six units, the research shows.

The results are likely to enrage motorists, who have to stick to the current legal limit of three units of alcohol (one and a half pints) or face serious fines and penalties.

Current law regarding bicycles and boozing

Most cyclists who do drink more than 3 units, and then ride a bicycle, won’t necessarily be breaking the law as it’s somewhat vague on the subject.

Under current legislation, the Road Traffic Act, the law states only that ‘A person who, when riding a cycle on a road or other public place, is unfit to ride through drink or drugs… is guilty of an offence.

But while this may be case, the gung-ho attitude cyclists display in the survey will shock many responsible drivers; although cyclists who can handle their booze might not be ‘unfit’ to ride after 3 pints, it could seriously impair their judgement.

Motorists want cyclists to be forced to buy liability insurance

Given that the number of accidents involving bikes has increased as cycling’s popularity has grown, the majority of drivers now feel that those in charge of a bike should be made to pay for liability insurance, just as motorists are.

Almost 61% say the law should be changed to force cyclists in to having some form of liability insurance; so if a cyclist damages someone’s car or property by running in to it, or, worse still, causes physical harm, those on the receiving end can seek compensation knowing there’s a good chance they’ll get it.

Cyclists don’t think it’s such a good idea…

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, cyclists don’t agree quite so strongly, with 46% saying no to forced insurance and 19% not being sure.

A significant minority, 35%, do agree with changing the law however, suggesting a growing recognition that perhaps cyclists need to be held more accountable.

Self-interest could also play a part; a busy cycle path during commuting hours can be fraught with danger as cyclists fly past each other just inches apart.

Separate road networks desired

The survey also shows that what would help relations between cyclists and drivers the most is for cyclists to have their own dedicated cycle paths and not to have to use the roads at all.

The vast majority of both motorists and cyclists agree that in an ideal world this would be the case, at 75% and 64.5% respectively.


Policy Expert

As an online insurance broker, Policy Expert help our customers to insurance and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email

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