Registration plates and insurance for cyclists being considered by government – report | Road safety

Bikes could be made to have registration plates and insurance as ministers weigh up bringing speed limits for cyclists into line with those for drivers.

The government is also considering the possibility of cyclists receiving licence penalty points and fines if they break speed limits or run red lights, the Daily Mail reported.

It comes as the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, proposed a Whitehall review of how cyclists who flout the law can be tracked down by police.

“Somewhere where cyclists are actually not breaking the law is when they speed, and that cannot be right, so I absolutely propose extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists,” he said. “Particularly where you’ve got 20mph limits on increasing numbers of roads, cyclists can easily exceed those, so I want to make speed limits apply to cyclists.

“That obviously does then lead you into the question of ‘well, how are you going to recognise the cyclist, do you need registration plates and insurance and that sort of thing’. So I’m proposing there should be a review of insurance and how you actually track cyclists who do break the laws [via identifiable markings].”

There has been an increase in people using bicycles to get around in recent years and it is understood the government is keen to implement any new rules in 20mph zones in particular.

Mandatory insurance for cyclists is also on the table, with Shapps keen to set up a review despite the fact he may no longer be in his role when a new prime minister is elected by Conservative party members on 5 September.

He added: “I don’t want to stop people from getting on their bike. It’s a fantastic way to travel, we’ve seen a big explosion of cycling during Covid and since, I think it has lots of health benefits.

“But I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws, why they should speed, why they should bust red lights and be able to get away with it.”

If riders injure or kill pedestrians, mandatory insurance would allow the victims or their families to secure compensation in the same way they could make claims if someone was hit by a car or van.

It is not the first time in recent weeks the transport secretary has targeted cyclists. Earlier this month he said legislation was needed to “impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care”.

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