Cyclists may be forced to get number plates and follow speed limits

18 August 2022, 11:50 | Updated: 18 August 2022, 12:01

Cyclists could have to use number plates
Cyclists could have to use number plates. Picture: Getty Images/Alamy
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Controversial new road laws could mean compulsory number plates and insurance for cyclists.

Cyclists should have registration plates, pay for insurance, and must follow the speed limit just like drivers, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The cabinet minister has said there could be some huge changes in road laws that aim to crack down on irresponsible cycling.

At the moment, the Highway Code and Road Traffic Act speeding limits only apply to those driving motor vehicles.

Cyclists could have number plates
Cyclists could have number plates. Picture: Alamy

And although local authorities do have the power to impose speed limits on cyclists, this is rarely done.

Mr Shapps told the Daily Mail he wants to extend speed limit restrictions to cyclists, continuing: “That obviously does then lead you into the question of: ‘Well, how are you going to recognise the cyclist? Do you need registration plates and insurance? And that sort of thing.

"So I’m proposing there should be a review of insurance and how you actually track cyclists who do break the laws.”

He added that while he ‘doesn’t want to stop people from getting on their bike,’ he believes we should ‘stop turning a blind eye’ to reckless cycling.

The Travel Secretary is clamping down on cyclists
The Travel Secretary is clamping down on cyclists. Picture: Alamy

It’s believed the policy changes are being considered due to the increase in people cycling following the pandemic.

According to reports, the government is also considering introducing mandatory insurance for cyclists in the event they injure or kill pedestrians.

A new offence could also be added known as ‘death by dangerous cycling’, which is set to ‘impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care’.

Mr Shapps suggests this would remove a legal loophole which means that cyclists who kill pedestrians can only be jailed for two years

The review has reportedly been implemented after several changes were made to the Highway Code in January.