To think it would be better if cyclists were licenced and insured

(155 Posts)
WyldChyld Fri 01-May-15 19:21:23

I'm really not anti-cyclist when it's done properly!! I currently live in an area hosting a massive cycle race following an equally massive one last year and understandably, cycling has really taken off, especially as it's picturesque as well.

But there's been two or three incidents in the last few months which make me think cyclists who ride on the road need to be licenced and insured. There's lots of places to ride away from public roads so I wouldn't be banning cycling.

Firstly, we've had a number of times when we've had to try pass cyclists riding two and three abreast chatting away and going very slowly, totally oblivious of the traffic jam. I always pass round them wide and slow to avoid rocking them but this is ridiculous! There's also been a few incidences when apparently inexperienced cyclists have committed some terrifying manoeuvres and nearly caused massive crashes.

The key one is a good friend of mine who had a cyclist crash into her because he wanted to try beat her when he was coming out of a T junction. He was, thank God, unhurt but he has written her car off and she is now trying to find a new car for the pittance offered by her insurance company. They told her if it had been a car it wouldn't have been written off because they could have claimed against someone, and he point blank refused to even contribute to the damage, and actually threatened to claim off her insurance for the cost of the damage to the bike!! She is in financial trouble and this was the last thing she needed.

AIBU to think that it would be much better all round if cyclists were licenced (and has thereby proven they had some skill) and insured? I know car drivers can be terrible and can easily kill cyclists but the hope is that they have at least proven they can drive (in the majority) and are insured if any damage occurs

WyldChyld Fri 01-May-15 19:22:28

Wow, sorry for the essay!!

honeysucklejasmine Fri 01-May-15 19:26:36

I do agree with you. If you are travelling on the highway, which they have every right to do, it would be sensible to be skilled and knowledgeable of the highway code. Not to be so is dangerous for everyone.

Andrewofgg Fri 01-May-15 19:28:10

YANBU, but it's not going to happen. Too politically difficult.

Incidentally I take the same view of mobility scooters.

ltk Fri 01-May-15 19:32:07

Well you can cycle on a road from the moment you have the coordination to stay upright on a bike. So should we license and insure from age 5? 4? If the kids can't read do we adminster the test in picture format? Or do we stop kids cycling on roads until they can afford a license?

Cassie258 Fri 01-May-15 19:33:11

My dad is a keen cyclist so I am always forgiving to cyclists.

I agree with what you're saying. They can be very dangerous.

What you're saying about them riding two abreast, although ridiculous, is how they are supposed to and what's deemed safest in the Highway Code.

My pet hate is people overtaking cyclists on blind corners. It happens all the time on the country roads I use to commute to work.

Songofsixpence Fri 01-May-15 19:40:45


I was hit a few years ago by a cyclist not looking where he was going. He whizzed out of a side turning, straight into my car. I was stationary in a queue of traffic, was just past the turning and the driver behind me said the cyclist whizzed down the road, hopped upon to the pavement where there's a dropped kerb just before the corner, went round the corner on the pavement, before trying to get off the pavement but went straight into the rear passenger door of my car, scaring the bejesus out of my DD and damaging my car, before proceeding to eff and blind and get aggressive towards me.

He wouldn't give his name or address or any details and just rode off with 2 fingers in the air. I did report it to the police, and the guy behind me was happy to be a witness, but we had no idea who he is and no way of tracing him.

InMySpareTime Fri 01-May-15 19:45:35

A lot of cyclists are insured, and Bikeability has been offered to the vast majority of 10-11 year-olds at schools/scouts/guides for a good few years now, so increasing numbers of people have a basic grounding in cycling safely.

TheWintersmith Fri 01-May-15 19:49:34

Trouble is, like making helmets mandatory, if you put obstacles, however minor in the way of cycling then less people cycle.

So far so blah, but if more people cycle across the population as a whole the economy benefits because of improved health and reduced congestion.

mindthegap79 Fri 01-May-15 19:55:10

God yes I agree completely OP. Then perhaps some of the arseholes I see daily on my way to work would think twice before running red lights. They take risks with other people's safety and give law abiding cyclists a bad name.

avocadotoast Fri 01-May-15 19:56:11

Andrew, mobility scooters are supposed to be insured though (if they're on the road at least). The vast majority are not though, apparently. I don't know what would happen if there was an accident and the driver (rider?) of the scooter was at fault.

WyldChyld Fri 01-May-15 19:59:30

The two abreast thing isn't too horrific if they're cycling properly but these two were taking up the entire road cause they'd spread right out. I saw a group for abreast the other day which was absurd

Most kids at five or six are on the pavement so I think the pp is being ridiculous. I would happily look at licencing from maybe 11 with some form of test - like cycling proficiency - with requirements like helmets and pads etc. Plus, it tends to be "serious" cyclists more than most! Besides, there are loads of cycle routes and parks etc if people didn't want to be licenced for main roads

SorchaN Fri 01-May-15 20:02:26

I think it's a good idea for cyclists to be insured. If a cyclist is responsible for damage to a car, they're liable for the costs of repair, and insurance is the best way to ensure they can do that. I cycle and I have insurance both for my bike and for any damage I might accidentally cause. It costs me about 35 quid a year, so it's not expensive. It would be difficult to enforce, but worth trying.

maninawomansworld Fri 01-May-15 20:05:31

I agree that cyclists should be insured. We keep hearing that uninsured drivers are a menace and cost people money when they have accidents - well that's exactly the same as an uninsured cyclist!

I had one a few years back come careering down a hill in a massive hurry and go straight into the side of my car. He flew off the bike and cleared the bonnet, landing in the road the other side of the car.
Thank goodness I was actually stationary at the time and had several witnesses to back me up. Long story short, it was my wife's brand new Audi (4 days old) and the bodywork repairs cost £6500.

I refused to claim on the insurance, paid for the repairs out of my own pocket and then sued him.
Although not a direct contributor to the accident , the judge noted that he had no lights, reflectors, helmet and the bike was in poor condition - in other words he saw the cyclist for what he was - not a responsible cyclist!
Thankfully I won and the reckless b*stard had to write me a cheque for £6.5k!

TedAndLola Fri 01-May-15 20:06:14

YANBU. They should be accountable for their actions just like other road users are.

Andrewofgg Fri 01-May-15 20:06:43

avocadotoast If I was badly injured by a mobility scooter and the rider was not insured but had assets such as a house I would not hesitate to sue and take the damages from the assets.

inabeautifulplace Fri 01-May-15 20:12:26


worridmum Fri 01-May-15 20:17:16

sadly cyclists and motor scooters do not have to give names / addresses so they can get away with it

A better idea would be for a licence plate scheme to come in so if the sods drive/ ride off they can be tracked down like they can if its a car / any other motor vechicle

backwardpossom Fri 01-May-15 20:24:02

Thing is, I expect the twats who would just cycle off without offering to pay for any damage or whatever would be the kind of people who would stay uninsured even if it were compulsory. Like uninsured drivers.

I'm not sure compulsory licensing/insuring coming in would make any difference, and that all it would do would put potential cyclists off.

Koalafications Fri 01-May-15 20:26:26

Yes, I agree. They should be insured and licenced. How that would work in practice, I'm not entirely sure. Maybe licence plates like cars?

WaywardOn3 Fri 01-May-15 20:27:54

thing is though how are you going to ID the cyclist or get their insurance info if they don't stop? You'd qlso need some sort of number plate and data base to store owner info which would require far more funds than the gov would be willing to invest :-/

TheBoov Fri 01-May-15 20:28:28

Yes cyclists should be insured. They are in other countries. Of course they should take responsibility for their actions. Of course it is usually cyclists who come off worse in a collision ...

mountainofdreams Fri 01-May-15 20:32:08

YANBU, they can pull some dangerous stunts and many do not take their own safety seriously by not wearing helmets, high vis etc. Big problem in London!

Treemuskears Fri 01-May-15 20:35:25

I'd like car drivers to take re-tests every couple of years.
More cycle paths and routes.
Maximum of 20mph for motorists.

That'd make the roads safer.

I see lots of dangerous motorists on the roads, far, far more than dangerous cyclists.

TheAssassinsGuild Fri 01-May-15 20:36:00

The should be insured and be licensed. There should be a test, just like there is for drivers of other vehicles on the road.

I genuinely do not understand the argument, but if you do X, then fewer people will cycle. And...???? Why is having more people cycling, a good thing in and of itself? More people cycling safely and responsibly, and with better infrastructure, yes.

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