Under new proposed regulations, cyclists in the UK may soon be forced to comply with speed limits and required to have license plates or some other way to identify themselves at all times.
According to media reports, the government is planning to conduct a review of the legislation governing bike riding in the country. Some people believe that cyclists should be subject to the same laws as automobiles.
The review will also examine whether or not bicycles should be required to have insurance in order to utilize public roadways.
With the rules that are now in place for automobiles, drivers are responsible for any bumps on the road they have and required to carry full insurance in order to drive on public roads.
Cyclists, on the other hand, are not subject to this responsibility.
Conservative MP Grant Shapps, who is also Secretary of State for Transport, has said that he backs changes to the laws to make cyclists more accountable.
“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,” Shapps said.
“I don’t want to stop people from getting on their bike, it’s a fantastic way to travel, and we’ve seen a big explosion of cycling during Covid and since,” he continued.
“But I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws and be able to get away with it.”
Following Shapps’s request that stricter penalties be handed out to bikers who harm or cause the deaths of pedestrians, road safety campaigner Nick Freeman said: “This is something that needs to happen for everyone’s safety and Grant Shapps should be congratulated for eventually listening.”
At this time, the maximum sentence that may be handed down to cyclists who are responsible for the death of a pedestrian is two years in prison.
Shapps backs the inclusion of a new provision in the forthcoming Transport Bill, which will be introduced to Parliament in the fall, that would also criminalize causing someone’s death while cycling in a reckless manner.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, he stated that grieving family members of people who were killed in cycling accidents have “waited too long for this uncomplicated action.”
“We need the cycling equivalent of death by dangerous driving to close a gap in the law and impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care,” Shapps said.
He went on to say that “there can be no exceptions” when it comes to making sure that safety comes first for everyone who uses the road.
In response to Shapps, the Green Party has warned that the government is promoting a “anti-cycling narrative that is making things far more dangerous for cyclists.”
However, just three days after he said that cyclists should be made to carry license plates on their bikes, Shapps backtracked on his comments, which have been under intense media focus.
He now insists that the government has “no plans to introduce registration plates” for cyclists.
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