• Saturday, September 24, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Cyclists may require registration plates and insurance as UK bid to overhaul road laws

By: Shelbin MS

Number plates and insurance could be made mandatory for bikes as the government is in the process of overhauling road laws amid a cycling boom in the UK.

If the proposed rules are brought in, cyclists would have to respect speed limits which are currently applicable to only motorists.

As new cycling lanes are being introduced with the growing popularity of pedal-driven vehicles because of their health and environmental benefits, there has been a call for bike riders to abide by speed restrictions.

A shake-up of laws raises the possibility that cyclists could be subject to licence penalty points or fines for speeding or running red lights, Mail Online said.

According to government officials, number plates or some form of identifiable markings could be required to facilitate enforcement, while mandatory insurance for bikes would help pedestrians secure compensation in case of injuries caused by reckless cycling.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is believed to have sought a law that would deal with “death by dangerous cycling”.

The proposal effectively aims at bringing greater parity between cyclists and motorists. Under the current laws, a cyclist can get away with a maximum jail term of two years, while a motorist can be sentenced to life.

Insisting that the government did not want to discourage bike riding, which “is a fantastic way to travel”, Shapps said, “I absolutely propose extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists.”

“I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws and be able to get away with it,” he wrote in Daily Mail.

“A selfish minority of cyclists appear to believe that they are somehow immune to red lights,” he said, reminding bike riders that traffic lights were there to regulate all traffic.

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety revealed that faulty cycling accounted for one per cent of accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths, compared with 65 per cent of such fatal crashes where a car driver was responsible.

It said in its report that seven road deaths in 2019 were attributed to cyclists, compared with 721 fatalities by car drivers.

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