Should cyclists wear identification?

The Tasmanian Motorcycle Council (TMC) has called for free identification numbers, not registration, for cyclists over 18 so their traffic offences can be reported and riders fined.

It’s an old complaint about cyclists disobeying road rules and not being fined that surfaces every now and then.

Council president Paul Bullock says his call follows “many complaints” from motorcyclists, car drivers, bus drivers and truck drivers about cyclists who behave irresponsibly.

Since his call for cyclist ID, the TMC has received “lots of negative responses from cyclists but very positive from all other road users”.Identification bicycle

Identification not registration

However, this is not the usual call for cyclists to pay registration fees. After all, most cyclists are already motorists who pay rego that goes into maintaining our roads.

“Cyclists don’t understand it is for identification, not registration. It is to stop cyclists breaking the law. At no cost to the cyclist,” Paul says.

The TMC wants cyclists over 18 to wear some form of reflective identification number on their bike, clothing or helmet. Paul says it could be funded through the road safety levy.

Maritha Keyser Cyclist rule endangers motorcyclists
Tasmanian road sign

Rule breakers

What seems to irk many motorists is that cyclists get political favour, their own lanes, free footpath parking and yet avoid traffic offences.

We receive many complaints of cyclists blocking the road, breaking road rules, running red lights and even speeding down hills.

I was recently overtaken in a 50km/h downhill zone on Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane, by a cyclist who at the end of the road didn’t stop for a stop sign.Identification bicycle

However, cyclists are not avoiding traffic fines altogether.

In the past two years, Queensland Police alone have booked more than 230 cyclists for speeding and 540 for running red lights.

The TMC also provided this list of traffic offences in Tasmania by cyclists:

Offence Legislation Fine Code Item Penalty
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian RR 125(1) $81.50 B819 174 0.5
Cyclist ride without due care and attention RR 367(1) $122.25 BC11 441 0.75
Cycle without reasonable consideration for other road users RR 367(2) $81.50 BC12 442 0.5
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian RR 125(1) $81.50 B819 174 0.5
Cyclist not seated astride and facing forward RR 245(a) $81.50 BA97 330 0.5
Cyclist riding with no hands on handlebars RR 245(b) $81.50 BA97 330 0.5
Cyclist seated other than on seat RR 245(c) $81.50 BA98 331 0.5
Cyclist fail to ride in bicycle lane RR 247(1) $122.25 BB01 335 0.75
Cyclist cause traffic hazard (moving into path of driver/pedestrian RR 253 $122.25 BB22 345 0.75
Ride bicycle with no warning device in working order RR 258(b) $81.50 BB38 356 0.5

With identification numbers, more traffic offences could be issued, more than paying for the cost to implement the program.

While the majority of cyclists obey the law there is an element within the cycling fraternity that continually do not,” Paul says.

“They obstruct vehicles travelling on the road; while travelling in a group doing far less speed compared to other vehicles, they will not move into single file to allow vehicles to pass.

“Cyclists use the excuse that they are entitled to ride two abreast on the road, while failing to accept that they are unreasonably obstructing traffic, which is illegal.

“Despite it being legal for cyclists to travel two abreast and laws allowing other vehicle to cross double lines to pass when safe to do so, irresponsible and discourteous rider behaviour puts cyclists and other road users at risk.”

Petitions against cyclists

Last year, a petition was started by Drivers For Registration of Cyclists for cyclists to ride single file.

It has so far received more than 134,000 signatures.

Identification bicycles cyclist
Image from the petition

Meanwhile, a 2017 petition against a rule allowing motorists to cross solid and double white lines to pass cyclists thus endangering oncoming motorcyclists has closed with only 2327 supporters.

Petition organiser Maritha Keyser, who was injured in such an incident, closed the petition after failing to gain the attention of any politicians.



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