Road Laws Shake-Up Could Mean Number Plates for Cyclists
Under a dramatic overhaul of the UK’s road laws proposed by Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, cyclists might be forced to display number plates, take out insurance, and observe speed limits.
The country has seen a boom in cycling as motorists face growing fuel costs and more restrictions in towns and cities. And with recent changes to the highway code favouring cyclists, more people are getting on their bikes, but this has also meant a growth in cycling offences. In particular, streets in many residential zones are being restricted to 20mph, a limit that cyclists can, and do, easily exceed.
An increasing number of ministers, along with members of the public, believe that cyclists should face the same penalties as drivers of motor vehicles for breaking the rules of the road. That could mean cyclists who speed or go through red lights could face fines or penalty points on their licence.
In October 2020, CarReg reported that some European police forces wanted to see number plates on bicycles. An earlier UK poll showed that 59% of British motorists wanted to see registration numbers for cycles, while 86% were in favour of harsher penalties for cycling offences.
Mr Shapps proposal comes two weeks after he vowed to create a new law covering death by dangerous cycling. Currently, there is maximum two-year sentence for cyclists who cause the death of a pedestrian, while drivers can face a life sentence. We reported in August 2021 that a motoring lawyer was calling for registration numbers for cyclists after a pensioner was mown down and killed by a bike rider going through a red light.
Cyclists should also require insurance. When a road user is injured by a motorist, they will be compensated by the driver’s insurance company. A pedestrian hit by a cyclist will find it almost impossible to claim for injury or financial loss caused by the rider’s recklessness.
Cycle Registration Numbers
In order to be able to prosecute cyclists, there would have to be some form of registration system for bicycles. Suggestions include riders having a registration number on their cycle helmet or on the back of a hi-viz vest. However, the number would be easy to remove or obscure.
The best solution would be to have a number plate fixed to the back of the bike, just as with motorcycles. The plates would make it much easier for the police and enforcement cameras to identify offending riders and bring them to justice.
Personalised & Private Number Plates for Bikes
Currently, personalised number plates can be displayed on cars, vans, trucks, buses, and motorbikes. If cyclists are made to display registration numbers, the use of private number plates could be extended to bicycles. What better way to add a personal touch to your bike, and to make it harder to steal, than to put a personalised plate on it.
At CarReg, we have over 62 million personalised registration numbers on our database. You can use our simple search function to find a plate that’s special to you. We even have a range of plates that could relate to cycling.