Yes, yes, yes, we should all "get some
But what if we did pay something? Would that mean less hassle on the road? Less aggression, fewer "punishment passes", less verbal diarrhea at traffic lights, less resentment of our presence in "their space" on "their roads"? Could we improve cycle safety by paying some sort of token "road tax" very visibly, and in a way that motorists can understand? I say we can, and I'm wondering if anyone out there agrees.
I'm suggesting an annual cycling "tax disc", similar in size and appearance to a vehicle tax disc, and issued by DVLA using current mechanisms (ie post offices or online). The issuing of the tax disc would be dependant on proof of third party insurance. Although there would be no vehicle registration number as such, the serial number would link the tax disc holder to their details at DVLA. The price would be perhaps £5, essentially as a token payment. The tax disc could be attached to a bike in a slimline tax disc holder, perhaps where a race number is normally fixed. Registration would be entirely voluntary, to avoid being a barrier to cycle uptake.
The advantage of such a system would be to show, very visibly to motorists, that the cyclist is insured, registered, and an official holder of a "tax disc", so satisfying demands of those who want cyclists to indeed be insured, registered, traceable, and "paying road tax" (even though we know that is a little unfair) and at five pounds a year would represent more than the current per capita spend nationally, so essentially we could argue that point at every level, both politically and "on the street". Although there would be many cyclists who wouldn't want to subscribe to such a scheme, the satisfaction of being able to point at a "tax disc" would be enormous. And inevitably, even though DVLA receipts aren't ringfenced, there would potentially be more money for cycle related projects.
I don't think we should be too concerned about such a scheme being voluntary, rather than compulsory, since many motorists (around 10 percent apparently) see insurance and VED as optional too. The main thing is to make a start, something that many serious cyclists, tired of the "road tax" conflict, may welcome.
Anyway, this might be one of my radical idea too far, but I'd really appreciate peoples' views.