Discuss: Should cyclists require a licence?

Is anyone brave enough to stop the rise in cyclist deaths?

Posted: 20 February 2013
by Ben Cope

Harmless?

AS BIKERS, we appreciate our vulnerability. Being 'at risk' is a part of our lifestyle we all accept and often embrace but that doesn't mean we don't get it wrong. Motorcycles can be dangerous but the number of bikers dying in accidents continues to decrease and has been on a downward trend for a few years.

Cycling on the other hand is becoming more dangerous. Cycling deaths are at a 5-year high, with 122 people killed in the UK last year. I find that amazing because you can barely break 30mph on a pushbike and therefore have plenty of time to read the situtation, yet many can't.

We're doing our bit.

As a biker, I support our seemingly endless fight against more legislation. I like freedom and the ability to choose. At the same time, I'm glad we have to wear helmets. You could argue that I can't have it both ways. In my mind, putting on a helmet every day is a reminder that I'm not taking the dog out for a walk.

The point is, the majorty of us accept we're at risk and accept we have to mitigate those risks as best we can. Threats from Europe to introduce horsepower limits have been (except in France's case) just threats but it's obviously kicked the wheels of our industry into action. Improved safety features from ABS to traction control, tyres that warm-up faster and offer more grip and less costly quality protective clothing must have all contributed to the number of casualties falling and that can only be a good thing.

Is it really your birthright?

However when it comes to cycling, when anyone talks about safety, the reaction from core-cyclists and cycling lobbies appears very similar to the reaction of the National Rifle Association in America when anyone talks about gun control. It comes down to various versions of: 'it's our birthright'.

It seems to me that it's a cyclist's right in the UK to do whatever they choose to and that everyone should be looking out for them. If accidents are on the rise, then it's everybody else who should be looking out for cyclists and not cyclists looking out for everyone else. Some great examples here and here.

As a London commuter on both bicycles and motorcycles, I have a different view. I think it's about time cyclists put pressure on each other to improve their ability on their bike, awareness on the road and adherence to the law.

Being responsible for yourself is easy but what about respecting other road users?

Every day I see cyclists running red lights; they've decided it's safe to do so but if we all decided what was safe on the road, we'd be in downtown Calcutta. I see cyclists with iPods in; completely disconnecting them from the real world. How can cutting off one of your senses improve your chances of not getting into a situation you can't get out of?

In my own experience, London cyclists are prickly characters. When I've mentioned to cyclists about jumping reds or riding in a way that means other road users have to compensate for them, I've been told to 'fuck off' and the cyclist often says 'I can do what I like'. And they can, because no-one can really do anything about it.

Whether I've been on a push bike or a motorcyle, the reaction from cyclists is often the same. I see cyclists massively overreacting to not-that-dangerous situations because they're not used to risk and they don't like when they sense their mortality. A wing-mirror often pays the price.

I think the trouble lies with bicycles not being a big part of most people's lives. Whereas in our world, if you ride a motorcycle or a scooter, you're a 'biker' and you think about your mortality more than the average person in the street. If you ride a push-bike you probably don't think of yourself as a 'cyclist' and are therefore distant to the casualty statistics. It could never be you, oh no, you are much better than the average.

Cyclists need to be accountable

I'm not sure cyclists are aware of the real world risks, which is why I think all cyclists should require a licence which they get once they've passed a test. This test would increase their awareness of risk, make them think about ways they could be safer and this would be a decent step towards improving the general standard of cycling in the UK. If you get caught running a red light for instance, you get points on your licence, just as you would in any other vehicle. Cyclists like referring to the law when it suits them and ignoring it when it doesn't. Every other road user is bound by the laws of the land.

With improved safety and the banning of careless cyclists, gradually, cycling-related deaths would decrease. The trouble is, I'm not sure anyone has the courage to change the average cyclist's mindset. It's not always the cyclist's fault but I'm convinced cyclists think it's never their fault.

Should cyclists require a licence? What do you think?


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"As a biker, I support our seemingly endless fight against more legislation"

Seems to me, you should have stopped there. You're suggesting we do the exact same thing to cycling as you'd criticise the EU for doing to motorcycling, i.e introducing more legislation and red tape.

The fact of it is that any test will be piss simple to pass, so will just cost money unnecessarily, and achieve nothing.

Some fairly stereotypical comments about cyclists up there too which will no doubt court criticism; Its true that a lot of cyclists are oversensitive and thing the world (and traffic laws) revolve around them, but a lot who also don't.

If someone wants to cycle like a knob, let them. If they get killed because they run a red light and weren't wearing a helmet, then thats just Darwinism isn't it. But you shouldn't suggest legislation that will have no effect; can you name another country where bicycle licensing has been introduced and saved lives? No, so you're suggesting something that you THINK will help, but you have no evidence to support. Which is exactly what you complain about when the MEPs try and intruduce type approval or mandatory high-vis.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 12:25

122 is a good start, but we can do better. Let's try to break 150 this year.

And I say that as a pedalist. In the vernacular of the worst pavement hopping lycra crad buffoons, fuck 'em. Better them than me.

On, and I don't wear a helmet when I pedal, because I don't pedal like a twat, and so won't be needing it in any situation where it could possibly help.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 13:16

"With improved safety and the banning of careless cyclists, gradually, cycling-related deaths would decrease."

not as quickly as they would if people stopped bleating about how dreadful cyclists are and tackled the actual issue, which is motor vehicles killing them. RLJing accounts for just 2% of cyclist casualties; ipod-wearing even less. Meanwhile, nearly half of cyclist KSIs are caused by a vehicle hitting them from behind, and another big slice of fatalities are caused by lorries that can't see them crushing them on a left turn. Those are the real issues. By all means tackle bad behaviour by cyclists – I'm all for that – but let's not pretend it's why casualties are increasing. Because it's not.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 13:24

Cyclists are about twice as likely to be the victim of other road users' carelessness than to cause injury. That may explain the 'f... off' attitude some of them have. It is understandable that they might winge about the risks other road users create. I am amazed that pedestrians, who have a much worse deal, don't complain more.

On the road people on bikes have the same legal obligations as motorists. I see just as much careless and illegal behaviour by licenced drivers as I do by people on bikes. The problem is for all of us, we need to instil a duty of care to all other road users. Forcing cyclists to get licences and trying to enforce that seems to be over the top, most adult cyclists already have driving licences.

Encouraging them to get the new national standard Bikeability training would be much better. A really easy way would be to make having Bikeability level 3 training a prerequisite for getting a driving or motorbike licence. I should give people credits for their licence testing. It should part of the school curriculum as it is in more civilised European countries. That would instil far better risk awareness and is more likely to develop a culture of care for other road users.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 13:25

I am not so sure that a licence of any kind would ever be implemented nor work to be honest.
I'd rather like to see hefty fines placed on cyclist's who break the road traffic act because currently running a red light is only £30 and not much of a deterrent judging by what I see each and every day. Why could the deterrent not only be a moral one of safety, but also a substantial three figure sum for the more serious offences?
It would be easier to implement and I can only imagine the improvement in cyclists behaviour would quickly evolve to a much safer level as it would hit them where it hurts.
Personally I think they get off too lightly as it stands and the only time that they appear to be accountable is when they are boxed and buried after running a red light.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 13:42

I have 2 words for you; Cycle Lanes.

Like in my native land, the Netherlands.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 14:05

I walk from Liverpool St station over to London Bridge daily to work and in my 25min wander I count so many examples of idiot cyclists it almost beggars belief. However, let's not tar them all with the same brush, they clearly aren't all bad, in the same way that we bikers aren't all hooligans, it's just that people only remember the twats. The Police do regularly have the odd clamp down on the red light jumpers but I can't say it's really helping much. When the traffic queues over London Bridge it seems acceptable for many cyclists to just bump up the kerb and continue along the pedestrian part of the bridge (still riding in most cases). Many at night don't run lights at all. Plus those who think it's perfectly acceptable to ride the wrong way down a one way street. London is fast becoming one of the most selfish places I've ever known. Everyone is so self obsessed that they believe that the entire world revolves around them and that everyone else should get out of their way. You can't legislate for everything, and we can only rely on Darwinism so much. People just need to stop thinking about just themselves and start being a little more responsible.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 14:06

Before I start I will say I'm both a biker and cyclist. On the pedallo I regularly reach 30 miles an hour and I do break the odd rule. I don't wear a helmet as I'm not convinced by their safety. That's my choice and how it will remain. I go passed the stop line at lights to safeguard myself but never go through a red. I was stopped at lights the other day and a cyclist blasted passed me while on red. He was close to hitting me and was wearing headphones. If he had hit me I'd have snapped his bike, just like cars who treat me like a lesser class of human lose a mirror or indicator.

People are quick to demonise cyclists but nobody has mentioned the car drivers who pull out without looking or who overtake me just to turn left right in front of me causing me to pull into the middle of the road or the bikers who never do life savers or people who never indicate. Car drivers and bikers pass their test and a lot instantly think that piece of paper makes them immortal and the best drivers in the world. Do you really want a load of cyclists who think the same? There are enough of them idiots as it is!

The government won't implement a cyclist license anyway because it would severely reduce the amount of cyclists and then mess with their carbon footprint stats in a negative manner.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 14:09

I agree that a small proportion of cyclists need to take greater responsibility for their actions, my bugbear is watching them swing out round cars parked in cycle lanes with no life saver (at least one a day on the way in and out of Brighton).

However to see an improvement cyclists need both incentives to train and as little monster suggested, strong deterrents when running lights etc. I would happily see some of my tax monies go towards further training, perhaps a chance to win some new lycra or a bike for those who attend?

Also, rather than banning cyclists which I think would be near impossible to enforce, why not confiscate their bike on the spot until they attend their nearest training course where they will receive it back on completion? If it's not worth going along for the police can flog it on ebay.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 15:28

Dislike to much legislation, but cyclists need to be accountable, the idiot I go past most days with headphones on cycles down one way streets, and almost went into me at the lights, trouble is if I hit the idiot it will more than likely my fault as a licienced e driver/rider.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 21:54

Compared to car drivers cyclists cause me FAR less concern and do far fewer dangerous things. Many bikers often harp on about cyclists running the odd red-light gently, but I'd rather that than the car drivers veering across lanes, opening doors, blindly obeying sat-nav and nattering away on their phones.

OK, a few cyclists wear all black and don't bother with lights. A few put their ipods in and veer around in the road. They'll learn the hard way, or they won't.

The ones that worry me most are the ones that clearly have no idea where they need to be, where anyone else is likely to be going, and thus no ability to anticipate or make way.
And funnily enough - these are generally the same muppets that until a few weeks earlier were driving a car just as badly. It also seems to be these ones that take most offence and perceive other people to be dangerous, when it's simply that they have no judgement themselves.
In this case, I'd rather they were out of their car (it'll hurt me) and on a push-bike (I can make allowance and not hurt them).

So no, on the whole - carry on educating and improving car drivers, 'cos it's car drivers that the government is trying to get onto bicycles, and are most likely to hurt themselves or other people.

In the mean time it really is about time that bikers and cyclists gave each other a hug and made up.

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 22:07

I'm not a massive fan of bureaucracy either, but in Ben's defence, bikers are subject to lots of legislation already and are relatively easy to hold to account by way of their number plates, licences and insurance. Cyclists are not, and this may may explain why many of them ride with aggression, abandon, or a bizzare sense of entitlement.

That said, the majority of cyclist deaths are probably the fault of inconsiderate drivers who either don't appreciate or don't care about cyclists' vulnerability, or are too busy tweeting. However, those cyclists who have a poor sense of their own vulnerability, also have nothing to lose except their lives and limbs. They're supposed to ride on the road, and (whether you like it or not) the road is about rules and regulations, so why shouldn't they be subject to at least a degree of law enforcement like the rest?

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 00:09

Define cyclist first.
Should a 6 year old who's just got his first "big boys bike" be forced to jump through hoops just so he can ride up and down outside his house? Bugger off.

I ride a bicycle for fun, and as a commuting tool (Motorbike got stolen last month). I don't wear a helmet, I ride on paths, and I have a headphone in. BUT I don't ride like a twat.

Helmets... Meh, never wore one as a kid, never will as an adult. Never even banged my head and I did some stupid stuff when I was younger.
Riding on the road if you can't keep up a reasonable speed, especially when going up hills, is dangerous. Riding on the path just isn't really.. I could hit a pedestrian but 70KG of me + 10kg of bike = Not a lot of force. 1500kg of car hitting me = A considerable amount more. Chances are at 10-15mph I'm gonna see them.
And I like to listen to music. One headphone means I can still hear everything else.

While I don't believe it's our birthright, I do believe that little Jimmy on his BMX ain't causin' no grief.
Where do you wanna draw the line? 10 year old? 13 year old? 18 year old? When you use it as a tool to go to and from work? When you clad yourself in lycra, blitzing through the capital frustrated, kicking wing-mirrors because you can't get an erection, and your wife hates you, both as a result of riding your £5000 carbon wheeled speed machine?

There are bigger issues in life guys.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 01:33

I can't stand cyclists that ride on the pavement and bully pedestrians. Particularly on the school run. Unless the bike is a child's toy, get on damn road.

I'd like to see cycling offences treated with training rather than fundraising, cyclist can't stop at red lights, cyclist on pavement harassing pedestrians, does something else dangerous or stupid, have a day learning to swerve, slalom, emergency stop and most importantly, shoulder check. Lost count of the number of times I've nearly been clotheslined by a turn signal or had to avoid a cyclist turning across me without looking or signalling.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 06:06

Don't licence cyclists, but I agree with further training, register them for the road with a lovely big number plate just like us, insurance is a must as is dropping the law that makes motor powered transport being liable in the event of a collision with a cyclist, even if the cyclist has ridden like an idiot

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 08:15

While we bikers seem to have varied opinions on what to do with errant cyclists, consider this: if our motorcycles did not have to be taxed, insured or have a number plate, how many of us would behave any differently?
How tempting would it be, for instance, to just nip across a red light in the sure knowledge that there would be no come back? Of course, because we're smarter than the average cyclist, we'd look to see if it was safe first, wouldn't we? I mean, come on, we're not THAT stupid, are we?
Sure, there are times when I would gladly run the lycra wearing twats over, but as many have said, most are pretty sensible. I also believe that an erratic car driver will probably be an erratic cyclist. Some people just have no sense of self preservation, no matter what they do.
The ranting, rabid anti-car fascist cyclists are very much in the minority, but seem to shout the loudest and are therefore heard the most. They are also probably responsible for the anti-cycling sentiments aimed at all cyclists, and therefore self defeating.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 08:45

Incidentally the new AM ped license category limits you to vehicles of just 45kph (about 28mph) and you require lights, indicators, compliance with C&U, an MOT pass, registration, insurance, VED and helmet.

Pedalists can exceed that speed and require none of that.

Bawwww.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 09:16

I think maybe a CBT style assessment for cyclists? Introducing a licence for cyclists seems ridiculous, nobody will do it! The same goes for paying tax and insurance, the main benefit of cycling is that it is free method of transportation (once you have bought a bike.) It will just mean that we will have a lot more cars on the road...

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 10:44

To answer the question in the article - no it would be unworkable and a waste of time.

To discuss the real issue - some motorist seem to see cyclists as annoying obstacles at best and at worst targets who deserves the death penalty for very minor infringements.
There will continue to be casualties because you have two different 'species' competing for the same space - annoyed, fast-moving, invulnerable, aggressive vehicles and vulnerable, slow-moving, defensive vehicles.
There are two answers
1. A change of attitude (unlikely)
2. Separate the 'species' i.e. create REAL cycle lanes separated from roads with kerbing.
The first step towards world peace.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 10:52

Ripsaw's comments pretty much covers the subject.

Car and bicycles don't really mix, in the same way that cars and pedetrians don't mix, the difference being that pedestrians already have their own space (pavements). To solve this we need to build proper cycle lanes (NOT shared with buses). Can't see this happening with the current or any government for that matter.

It might also help if cyclists used the existing cycle paths. I cycle to work most days and some muppets seem to prefer to share the dual carriageway with cars and trucks, rather than use the dedicated cycle path. Not sure why they do this.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 12:21

What happened to the Cycling Proficency Test?
Should be a minimum to ride on teh road - used to have to pass one to cycle to school...
and a mininium of public liability insurance, either your own, or an extension of your parents house insurance etc etc..

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 12:38

This is an interesting thread, which has highlighted a number of questions and ignored others completely.

When I was lad (I know here we go!), we had to take a cycling proficiency test at school, which taught you how to ride, the Highway Code and cycle maintenance. Which helped me latter in life when I moved over to motorbikes. It is a shame that this is not available at schools anymore as it would educate cyclists and make riders more traffic and people aware.

Interestingly enough as a society we have all got a lot less patient and are in an endless rush to get from A-B that includes all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
It has become a common sight to see pedestrians walk up to a curb not stop (headphones on) and start walking across the road as if all road transport should automatically stop for them. So is it any surprise that when pedestrians get in a saddle, the same mentality continues.
Both pedestrians and cyclists have one common flaw that is that they are silent and vulnerable and very soft when hit with something made of metal.

In the suggestion that cyclists should have to be licensed, this would be impractical and another costly un-enforced law. To make it work it would require all cyclists to wear some form registration number either on their bike or on a high vis slip over tunic.

Maybe a solution could be for more random stake outs (by police or even traffic wardens!!!) at high risk areas to catch and punish the trouble makers and let the law abiding riders continue on there merry way but increase the fines so that they have a real impact not just the equivalent to a night out. In addition their names and addresses could be passed onto the vehicle insurers register as well. After all as drivers and riders we all get punished by the insurers for any of our illegal actions don`t we.
My last comment, cycling on a public footpath is illegal, you can kill, injure or cause a major road accident by this irresponsible and selfish attitude. If I ever see and adult doing it I usually block their path or give them a helping hand!!!!!.
How would you feel if your child was maimed or your elderly relative knocked down, break their hip by a twat on two wheels?

Rant over, please think before you act or react.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 12:50

"Interestingly enough as a society we have all got a lot less patient and are in an endless rush to get from A-B that includes all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians."

Spot on! Many people seem to be in such a rush these days. What's the hurry?

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 13:31

I thought motorcyclists would be the last road user group to stoop to victim blaming. But unfortunately the author and some of the posters apparently want to work for the Daily Mail.

THe latest DfT data available shows an increase in motor cycle KSI's for 2012 of 4% as opposed to cyclists of 8% whereas the total number of casualties for both groups each rose by 4%. The majority of cyclist accidents have been shown to be down to the carelessness of other road users, so why you include the red herring of red-lights and pavement cycling again is just stereotypical lazy journalism, the same as if I were to say the licencing hasn't stopped biker, or car drivers, from speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, jumping and anticipating red and amber lights and so on.

If you wanted to write an article to get a reaction then well done, but may I suggest that you spend more time riding a cycle in London than generalising about it in poor articles.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 14:46

I thought motorcyclists would be the last road user group to stoop to victim blaming. But unfortunately the author and some of the posters apparently want to work for the Daily Mail.

THe latest DfT data available shows an increase in motor cycle KSI's for 2012 of 4% as opposed to cyclists of 8% whereas the total number of casualties for both groups each rose by 4%. The majority of cyclist accidents have been shown to be down to the carelessness of other road users, so why you include the red herring of red-lights and pavement cycling again is just stereotypical lazy journalism, the same as if I were to say the licencing hasn't stopped biker, or car drivers, from speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, jumping and anticipating red and amber lights and so on.

If you wanted to write an article to get a reaction then well done, but may I suggest that you spend more time riding a cycle in London than generalising about it in poor articles.

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 14:47

Which law is this? The one that exists in most of mainland Europe, but not over here?

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 15:08

Sorry above post was in response to Morepower's comment

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 15:12

I have a foot in each camp - Biker, cyclist, motorist (in that order).
I cycled in to work today and a couple of things occurred to me.

1. Car drivers have the power. With power comes responsibility. Some of them didn't get the memo.
2. Lanes are just wide enough for motor vehicles in most places hence the competition for space.
3. Most cycle lanes are a joke at best. At worst, dangerous. There is a 'cycle lane' painted on our main road which is 2 feet wide and populated with parked cars. In other places it runs for maybe 100 yards or so then ends abruptly, say for a bus stop forcing cyclist out into traffic.
4.Bikers and cyclists should not be in conflict as there is plenty of room for both.

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 10:06

Hang on, I have to take issue with the question of why pedalists don't use cycle paths.

In my case it's because they properly decided ones are unserviced and strewn with litter, smashed Buckfast bottles, rubble, dog shit, condoms and needles.

Half of the ones around here are dual use for pedalists and pedestrians, which is just a fancy way of saying "ride on the pavement".

Then you get parked cars in them that force you to weave in and out, increasing the number of dangerous interactions with other traffic. Likewise when they cross roads - that's a big hazard, because you're "sort of" road traffic, but genuinely hard for drivers to spot when they're looking out for traffic on the actual road, plus pedestrians.

Roads need to be designed or comprehensively redesigned AROUND cycle lanes in order for them to make you any safer. Just throwing one in as an afterthought often leaves pedalists at more risk than riding on the proper road.

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 10:53

OK...getting in late here and from across the pond but I think discussion fairly similar for the situation over here. Although I live in a small city now I spent 15 years in Atlanta and Washington, DC in cars, bikes, and bicycles.

+2 to comments by cadels dog, and roadtrekker, and 2 +1s to Rogerborg for his early and late comments.

I routinely hit 50+ on downhills and 30 every day I ride my pushbikes (I have 2 as well as 2 motorbikes). And, as you should all know, 20mph is plenty to get oneself killed on a pushbike. Bicycling is all about weight and wearing protective gear is, for that reason, impossible. We do take up A LOT less space than any motorcycle (even the smallest) as well.

Boorish behavior is just that and doesn't seem to be in a shortage in pedestrians, motorbikers, bicyclists, or, certainly, car drivers. Punishing bicyclists seems the most difficult and expensive per citation. Think about it: any bicycle can go pretty much anywhere (a well ridden MTB can go up stairs pretty quickly even_. So, presuming a violation is witness by an LEO (familiar with that US term for "Law Enforcement Officer?). He or she would have to try to chase the pushbike riding anarchist on foot or in a patrol car. If the cyclist decides he doesn’t' want to stop and take the rap then the LEO is at a distinct disadvantage on both foot and in car. Chasing in car, I should think would endanger other road users FAR more than the societal benefits of fining the cyclist.

Requiring some sort of vehicle tax (or "registration" as we call it here - with the attendant safety inspections, training, etc.) would disincentivize people (especially children) from riding pushbikes and that certainly would mean more road users - hardly an ideal outcome. This is especially true if you are concerned about the relatively small - though still tragic - number of fatalities you cite for cyclists in the UK. I would be interesting in seeing the accident reports, if any, for cyclists to see how many injuries/fatalities can be laid solely at the pedals of the cyclist. I would wager it is VERY small indeed and almost always the result of another road user, or dare I say it, pedestrian. Regardless, the costs to government (and thus an increase in our taxes) would be considerable for relatively little return in both safety and pollution to catch and punish a relatively small number of bad actors.

A US study some years ago found that 60% of all bicycling-related deaths are due to head injury. I hate in the US that there's even a debate on helmet-wearing here it should be mandatory for both bicyclists and motorcyclists nationally - if for no other reason that every death or severe head injury raises vehicle insurance for everybody else! Electronic devices should be banned for both classes as well - although, admittedly, this would be very hard to enforce.

So, status quo is probably best. Last year BICYCLING mag in the US did a story on the expansion of "bike friendliness" in crowded urban areas and did conclude that, often, the cyclists own worst enemy for such expansion and "mainstreaming" for commuting and the like is cyclists themselves for just the behaviors you mention, Ben.

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 15:32

I have a cunning plan.
Give all cyclists one chance. If you get nicked for riding like a twat, you then get forced to cycle with a rucksack. Each successive time you get nicked, a moderate amount of high explosive is added to the rucksack. Once you reach a predetermined threshold, some form on notification is added to the rucksack to inform all other road users that you are now a fully fledged road abusing knob head. At this point the high explosive in the rucksack may be detonated by anyone, at any point for any highway code infraction whatsoever, thus permanently removing the problem cyclist from any further possible law breaking.

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 15:40

I think bicycles should at least have a licence plate or tag so they can be identified. Where I live, bicyclists are terrible; cutting off drivers, speeding through red lights, making lane changes without shoulder checks or signals, etc. Every now and again I read in the paper about a pedestrian getting clipped by a bicycle rider who takes off without stopping.

If we require cars and motorcycles to tag their vehicles with an identification plate to enforce some personal responsibility, why not bicycles as well?

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 23:47

You don't have to pedal like a twat to need a helmet... It doesn't take much of an impact to seriously damage your grey matter from going into one of the millions of craters in our roads for example, without the dangers of smidsy motorists... Personal choice but I never ride on or off road without a lid.

Posted: 24/02/2013 at 07:58

I have driven for over 30 years, ridden bikes for 25 and cycled throughout for much linger

Posted: 24/02/2013 at 08:06

Bloody tablet!! The point I was about to make was that I gained my road sense from cycling. You are the most vulnerable road user and least visible. I completed the cycling proficiency test which has kept me safe ever since. I don't think a license is the way to go as it would be hard to enforce and cycling is about low cost low impact transport for the masses; more cars or more cyclists? We should encourage more cyclists but we need better cycling lanes and training should be available to all. Let's face it, if motorists had to cycle before they got their license, they might be more considerate of us bikers too... Yes there are inconsiderate cyclists but they are risking their own necks. For the rest of us, we need the support of bikers to make travelling on 2 wheels safer for all.

Posted: 24/02/2013 at 08:17

As R30Paul said what happened to the Cycling Proficiency Test, I remember taking a course and doing the Test as a 12 year old in Harrow. It was aimed at youngsters wanting to use the road rather than the pavement, taught you some rudimentary skills and Highway Code.
I think that anyone wishing to use the Public Highway should at least be up to speed with the Rules and code of conduct. It's one rule for powered users and none for cyclists so it's no wonder they come a cropper. I enjoyed cycling as a teenager, all my mates had mopeds but I somehow managed to keep up with few of em, certainly not my best mate who had the Minarelli Testi (Testicle 70mph back in 75!). I got a buzz competing with the daily traffic much the same as when I ride a motorcycle now and get in the rare skillful overtake or filter through congested traffic.
The bottom line is all two wheelers are vulnerable no matter how skilled they are, if they have poor attitude and awareness that just compounds the problem. I know I should sign up for some form of additional training myself and will sort something out this year, I'm sure I've got some bad habits and issues.
As for Insurance for cyclists it would be practically impossible to enforce I suppose an additional levy of a few quid on new cycles might start some sort of fund rolling but then what happens with the system becoming exploited by professional claimants. Some sort of cap on claim values might be required.
Perhaps we should just let evolution do it's thing!

Posted: 24/02/2013 at 12:04

what next - tests and legislation for pedestrians. Get real for fucks sake. Motorists (cars, trucks and motorbikes) should not be killing people; its as simple as that. Tackle the problem at the root cause.

Posted: 25/02/2013 at 10:10

Agree fully bring back the CPT, it taught basic road craft to young cyclists for free!.

Nowdays if it doesnt add red tape or stealth tax,it is binned.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7956939/Cycling-Proficiency-test-facing-axe.html

Posted: 26/02/2013 at 11:59

CPT is now called BikeAbility (it's still at risk of closure from the Con-dems!)

http://www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability/

Posted: 26/02/2013 at 12:01

Not so sure about the licence, but I do believe that cyclists (and I'm one also) should have to have insurance.

Posted: 26/02/2013 at 17:10

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