I’m a Cycling Expert, Here are My Predictions for the Future of Cycling Laws

I’m a Cycling Expert, Here are My Predictions for the Future of Cycling Laws
4 min read

Laws and regulations around cyclists are constantly being updated to keep road users safe. In recent years, these have been seen in the inclusion of the hierarchy of road users which aims for cyclists to be given safe distances to exist on our roads. These changes may have been considered out of the realms of possibility years ago and make us wonder about what the future of cycling laws holds.

Ben Mercer from Leisure Lakes Bikes, suppliers of high-quality bicycles, has offered his expert insight into how the future of laws around cycling could shape up in the years to come.

Number plates
With more changes being made to ensure the safety of bikes on the roads, especially with the growing popularity of electric bikes, one law we could see implemented is the need for those intended for road use to have licence number plates.

MPs and figures within the travel and cycling industries have been making these suggestions to better assist in the identification of e-bikes for accidents or violations of the Highway Code. It would also help to enforce existing road laws which are currently difficult to monitor.

They wouldn’t be the same size as the plates on cars or other larger vehicles but would be smaller to fit on the frame of the bike and could even be fewer characters for size purposes. You might even be able to pay for a customised number plate, to add even more uniqueness and personality to your bike.

Licencing and mandatory insurance
Much like making e-bikes more like cars with number plates, obtaining a licence for traditional road and mountain bikes could become a legal requirement to be able to cycle on the roads could be pushed for.

More cities around the world like Melbourne, as well as here in the UK, are looking at integrating more cycling routes to add more options for travel to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce carbon emissions caused by motor vehicles.

But with the increased number of bikes that roads would see, road cycling could require licensing. This would work like a standard driving test to provide cyclists with basic knowledge, road safety proficiencies, and even require mandatory insurance coverage as is the law for drivers.

Not only would this make road use safer for everyone but would also make sure every road cyclist is aware of the laws and keep them accountable for their actions and behaviour while travelling. This would then play into further emphasis around education, as if cyclists are more aware of the laws and their rights on the road, in instances where they may need to make an insurance claim they know that they were acting according to the law.

Penalties getting stricter
If these new laws and regulations were to be introduced, it would require a greater focus on penalties and punishments for any violations of them. Ensuring that all road users are keeping in line with these new implementations is important to maintain road safety.

These potential penalties could be very similar to how drivers are penalised on their violations. This could range from getting points on a cyclist’s licence if they were to be implemented, fines on a sliding scale based on the severity of the violation, and even being given a suspension from road cycling completely. Not only would this act as a deterrent from dangerous cycling and promoting safer road use, but also would show a commitment of local authorities to upholding road cycling as a safe and viable transport method.

More cycling-forward infrastructure
While it may feel strange to say, the increase in cyclists throughout the country could lead to a larger-scale change in regulations that local authorities and governments must adhere to when it comes to infrastructure in cities. This would include dedicated cycle lanes, secure storage, and improved signage.

As a result, the development of infrastructure would help to improve the appeal of cycling as a viable method of travel, as well as reduce the risk of accidents between cyclists and motorists. Plus, the uptick in cyclists would help to further reduce emissions and traffic congestion.

Sources
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/updates

https://news.sky.com/story/e-bikes-must-have-number-plates-and-insurance-mp-says-12900331

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-insurance/driving-without-insurance

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