Livingstone’s Plan to Force Cyclists To Fit Number Plates
Cyclists could be forced to fit cherished numbers to their bicycles in a bid to stamp out law-breaking by 'lycra louts’. It would mean that aggressive cyclists who routinely run through red lights or intimidate pedestrians will be identified or captured by enforcement cameras and then fined - in the same way as motorists. Millions of drivers are angry by the reckless behavior of some cyclists who put life and limb at risk by ignoring basic road safety - with no fear of the prosecution that would follow if they were in a car. The radical plan to combat such antics was put forward today by London Mayor Ken Livingstone. Mr Livingstone said he was considering plans for registration and number plates for bicycles in a bid to combat the menace of law-breaking cyclists. As London Mayor he has many discretionary powers to force through new initiatives - such as the congestion charge. But once achieved in London, councils throughout the country could follow suit. A ban on jaywalking is also being investigated, he said, as he outlined plans to catch those riders who stray on to the pavement and go through red lights. It followed a listener's emailed plea as to what he could do to get adult cyclists "off our pavements" on LBC 97.3FM radio's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast. The Mayor said such behavior was a "crime”. Mr Livingstone said: 'I think I'm now persuaded we should actually say that bikes and their owners should be register. There should be a number plate on the back so that the ones breaking the law, we can get them off the cameras. It's the only way you can do it.'
'You've got to have legislation, but I think, most likely we'll look at putting up what's called a private bill. And I think I can get the London boroughs - all of them, irrespective of parties - to most likely go along with that and have a proper vehicle-bicycle registration. ‘Asked if that meant license plates for bicycles, he said: "Yes, so you can catch the ones - I mean, the ones that are obeying the law it makes no difference - but the ones who are going over red lights, driving on pavements, - you get 'me.' The plan comes as cyclist deaths have risen by an alarming 10 per cent as road fatalities generally have fallen to a record low, official casualty figures have revealed. Experts blame the astonishing rise - the highest for six years - on the boom in 'green' but inexperienced bicycle riders taking to the road in a bid to beat congestion, reduce pollution and get fitter. But the aggressive antics of 'lycra lout' cyclists - running red lights, intimidating vulnerable pedestrians on pavements and zebra crossings, and sometimes even kicking queuing cars that get in their way - is also blamed for contributing to accidents.
The fatality findings have sparked calls for a crackdown by police and the courts on the 'minority' of cyclists who flout the law, and for better cycling training for inexperienced cyclists who put their own lives and those of other road users at risk.