Most Brits want cyclists to have ID numbers and get penalty points for breaking rules

·2 min read
The government is encouraging people to cycle more. (PA)
The government is encouraging people to cycle more. (PA)

A majority of Brits would support an ID scheme for cyclists so they could be easily identified and penalised for breaking the law, a poll has revealed.

Last month lawyer Nick Freeman launched a parliamentary petition urging tighter laws for cyclists who often get away with going through red lights and pedestrian crossings due to the benefit of anonymity which is not afforded to other road users.

He suggested cyclists could be forced to wear numbered tabards and face points on their licence - if they have one - if they were found to be breaking the rules.

In response to this YouGov carried out a poll asking people if they supported a requirement for cyclists to wear visible identification equivalent to a car registration plate.

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From the general population, 60% either strongly or somewhat supported the idea while 28% opposed it.

There was considerable support among people who used bikes as a mode of transport.

YouGov found 42% of people who used bikes supported the idea, while 14% somewhat opposed it and 37% strongly opposed it.

Among people who used cars YouGov's results were almost identical with the general population.

Even more people (71%) supported issuing penalty points to bike riders who were found to be breaking the rules. 

A majority of bike users also supported penalty points for rule-breakers.

Brits supported the idea of penalising cyclists for breaking the rules. (PA)
Brits supported the idea of penalising cyclists for breaking the rules. (PA)

Freeman said in June his idea was "not about a war between drivers and others but to have one law for all – to improve safety for all and create harmonious shared road space," the Telegraph reported.

He said: "While there are many responsible cyclists, there are still too many who ride with little respect for the rules of the road.

"That is why, as someone who has been a road traffic lawyer for 40 years and been immersed in the law for all that time, I felt something was clearly lacking.

"For example, unlike motorists, there is no legal imperative for identification, so anonymity was – and remains – a gift for those who cycle with impunity."

Freeman highlighted figures which showed cyclists were 15 more times to be killed on British roads than motorists.

He also called for tighter rules around e-scooters, which are currently only legal on roads if rented as part of a government-backed trial.

Over the course of the pandemic, many people have taken up cycling as a cheaper way of commuting with roads emptier and safer due to lockdown.

With roads less busy many councils also took the opportunity to introduce more cycle lanes across their authorities.

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