The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (now replaced by Anne-Marie Trevelyan) has discussed potentially introducing a 20mph speed limit for cyclists in Britain. During August he vowed to introduce a ‘Death by Dangerous Cycling’ law after several major incidents that meant that the guilty cyclist received a much shorter sentence in comparison to someone behind the wheel of a car.
The goal of this, according to the Transport Secretary, is to stop certain dangerous driving behaviours perpetrated by cyclists on roads across the country. But his proposals do not stop there, as there have also been discussions about introducing number plates and insurance for cyclists under plans for the new law.
As a result, cyclists could receive licence penalty points and fines for breaking speed limits, running red lights, and other illegal manoeuvres which is hoped to be a deterrent to reckless behaviour from some cyclists that cause accidents – and lead to more appropriate punishments.
Mr Shapps said he saw “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. I think we do have to not turn a blind eye to that and I’m proposing setting up a review to do exactly that.”
He said “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. 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.”
This will lead to questions of how will cyclists be recognised which in turn leads to the question of number plates and insurance etc. He proposes a review of insurance and how cyclists who do break the laws are actually tracked. There has been an increase in cycling and he didn’t want to stop people from riding their bikes, but believed it was step to help to tackle the selfish minority who are giving cyclists a bad name.
Earlier this year, several changes were made to the Highway Code that altered the hierarchy of road users. This gave cyclists priority over other road users, with the exception of pedestrians.
Further discussions are set to be held by ministers this month, and any new updates to the law will be added to the proposed Transport Bill this autumn.