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Nikki Sinclaire wants cyclists "accountable" with registration printed on high-vis tabards...

West Midlands European parliamentarian Nikki Sinclaire has called for all cyclists to wear registration markings so that they are “accountable” for their actions.

The former UKIP MEP, who now sits as a member for the We Demand a Referendum Now party, told BBC West Midlands yesterday that cyclists should wear fluorescent vests with registration numbers.

She said: “I think cyclists need to be accountable. They need to observe the Highway Code.”

I’m certainly not anti-cyclist, I’m a cyclist when I can get the time myself.”

Ms Sinclaire tweeted the above picture of herself wearing high-vis.

She told presenter Adrian Goldberg: “I see, time and time again, in Birmingham and London, cyclists running red lights and putting pedestrians in danger.

“I’m not saying the cycle itself should be registered. What I’m seeking is a registration of cyclists - not on all roads, just on main roads in the city.

“We need to encourage more cyclists, but we also need accountability.”

Adrian Goldberg said he had recently had to dodge a cyclist who had run a red light.

Ms Sinclaire said: “Had you hit that cyclist, you would have been prosecuted.”

Graham Hankins, of Birmingham cycling campaign Push Bikes, went on the show to explain why cycling campaigners think registration is a bad idea.

He said: “The registration system would be seen as a barrier to people cycling.

“There are lots of people out there would like to cycle but, the more rules you put in front of them, that would be seen as a barrier to cycling in the first place.”

Ms Sinclaire followed up her comments yesterday afternoon on BBC Hereford and Worcester.

She said: “For a start I think we need helmets, I should it be compulsory for people to wear helmets.”

She said that she only wanted cyclist registration plates in towns and cities, where it would be effective because of pervasive surveillance.

“The reason this would work in the UK, I don’t think it would work anywhere else in the world, is that we’ve got the most cameraed cities and towns in the world.”

Ms Sinclaire’s attitude to cyclists mirrors that of her former UKIP colleagues. In its 2010 election manifesto, the party said: “There needs to be a better balance of rights and responsibilities for pedal cyclists” and claimed there was “too much aggressive abuse of red lights, pedestrian crossings and a lack of basic safety and road courtesy.”

At the time, Chris Peck, policy co-ordinator at national cyclists’ organisation CTC, said: “UKIP are living up to their reputation with their cycling policy - it’s classic anti-cyclist third-pint-in stuff.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

113 comments

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STATO [501 posts] 2 years ago
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Is that her in the pic, helmet dosnt look very well fitted?

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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the helmet looks right, its her stupid head thats out of proportion  24

Call me paranoid, but a fascist political group demanding registration of certain parts of the community concerns me

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jmaccelari [241 posts] 2 years ago
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Her head is too big.

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Gashead [33 posts] 2 years ago
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In London my biggest hazard is anonymous pedestrians walking out into the road in front of me busy on their mobiles. Hi Viz vests with registration numbers on are the only solution. Black cabs, no Hi Viz cabs, makes sense. How many motorist die from head injuries compared to cyclists, compulsory helmets.

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md6 [181 posts] 2 years ago
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I will happily register as a 'cyclist' and wear a mandated stupid peice of clothing when pedestrians have to do the same. As this is about safety, I would like to make the following, unconnected statemnts:
I have never been mugged by a cyclist.
I have never seen a cyclist attack someone for apparently no reason
I have never had a cyclist throw things at me as i pass them.
I have however, seen or experienced all those things from pedestrians.

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southseabythesea [148 posts] 2 years ago
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That's not a woman in the pic is it?!!  13

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Bikebikebike [231 posts] 2 years ago
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So there is a party more made than UKrap?

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Bikebikebike [231 posts] 2 years ago
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mad

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Paul_C [463 posts] 2 years ago
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jason.timothy.jones wrote:

the helmet looks right, its her stupid head thats out of proportion  24

Call me paranoid, but a fascist political group demanding registration of certain parts of the community concerns me

well what do you know... the Nazis inflicted compulsory bycycle registration upon occupied countries so they could trace dissidents more easily.

http://ipayroadtax.com/licensed-to-cycle/licensed-to-cycle/

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 2 years ago
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Incredible that someone who herself is in a minority group - she is transsexual - can be so ignorant and state such badly thought out policies. Idiot.

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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I think she is jumping on the anti cyclist bandwagon, there must be an election coming up, be prepared for more rubbish

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Ridededog [3 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah, I don't like that idea, especially the helmets compulsory idea. If you look at Australia, there were twice as many cyclists as there were after the compulsory helmet law was brought in.
Sure, lots of cyclists and commuters will wear the helmet.

The License plate idea is a good idea, however, I don't want it on a hi-vis jacket, I already wear a hi-vis rain coat to help keep the wind and cold off me. So if you put it on the bike, even better! But then again, one person could ride many bikes, or it's a rental bike, so it's more to the owner of the bike that the license plate should be, however, they should be small, don't create wind drag, or be easily removed for thieves

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philly [41 posts] 2 years ago
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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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Paul_C wrote:
jason.timothy.jones wrote:

the helmet looks right, its her stupid head thats out of proportion  24

Call me paranoid, but a fascist political group demanding registration of certain parts of the community concerns me

well what do you know... the Nazis inflicted compulsory bycycle registration upon occupied countries so they could trace dissidents more easily.

http://ipayroadtax.com/licensed-to-cycle/licensed-to-cycle/

That video is brilliant

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NIrish [20 posts] 2 years ago
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So a reg number on a vest, is it front or back. I wear a backpack and ride in a tucked position so who is going to see.

To stay away from any slander towards her I would just point out her point, she cycles when she has time...

Commuters cycle out of choice/necessity not because we have time.

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qwerky [184 posts] 2 years ago
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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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Absolutely bat shit mental this one.

If somebody had told me ten years ago I'd be sending electronic messages about a Thatcher loving, transexual, lesbian, anti-Europe scouser who wanted me to be forced by law in to wearing a registration number on my person I'd have tried to have them sectioned.

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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farrell wrote:

Absolutely bat shit mental this one.

If somebody had told me ten years ago I'd be sending electronic messages about a Thatcher loving, transexual, lesbian, anti-Europe scouser who wanted me to be forced by law in to wearing a registration number on my person I'd have tried to have them sectioned.

That is the quote of the year, this man deserves a pair of sox

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Jtyler24 [3 posts] 2 years ago
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its a small minority that dont obey the highway code and theres just as many drivers (particularly when it comes to the treatment of cyclists) that dont obey it either! if not more! plus we're far less likely to kill people by doing something wrong!

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bendertherobot [1077 posts] 2 years ago
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Insignificant individual. Deny airtime.

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pirnie [199 posts] 2 years ago
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While, I disagree generally with what she's actually said, I personally don't think the idea of making cyclists more accountable is a bad one. If we want to be taken seriously as road users and given equal respect then we should take equal responsibility, and making it easier to identify and punish irresponsible cyclists is part of that. Idiot cyclists and drivers are both a menace.

Cyclists who follow the rules of the road should have nothing to fear from being identifiable.

How you implement it sensibly is another matter entirely.....

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lushmiester [187 posts] 2 years ago
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“I think cyclists need to be accountable. They need to observe the Highway Code.”

Surely this applies to all road users not just cyclists.

I’m certainly not anti-cyclist, I’m a cyclist when I can get the time myself.

Being a cyclist does not per say mean your views are right or that you have good knowledge of cycling issues. It may give you some insight into riding a bike but that will be limited to where you ride your bike.

What I’m seeking is a registration of cyclists - not on all roads, just on main roads in the city.

Even if we disregard the sheer impracticability of this. It still demonstrates a total misunderstanding the risks of cycling city vs country. As the Times ( February 4 2012) writes;

...for every billion kilometres cycled on a minor road, there are 28 more deaths in the countryside than in urban areas.

As ever when politics and cycling meet there tends to be ill informed assertion and rarely is there much informed opinion.

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Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
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lushmiester wrote:

What I’m seeking is a registration of cyclists - not on all roads, just on main roads in the city.

Even if we disregard the sheer impracticability of this. It still demonstrates a total misunderstanding the risks of cycling city vs country. As the Times ( February 4 2012) writes;

...for every billion kilometres cycled on a minor road, there are 28 more deaths in the countryside than in urban areas.

She's not talking about the risk to cyclists though, she's talking about the risk she seems to think they pose to everyone else.
That this risk demonstrably doesn't really exist outside the mind of Daily Mail readers and UKIP MPs is presumably beside the point.

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Ush [693 posts] 2 years ago
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pirnie wrote:

If we want to be taken seriously as road users and given equal respect then we should take equal responsibility, and making it easier to identify and punish irresponsible cyclists is part of that.

I completely disagree. The provision of registration and licensing for motorists is because the motorized vehicle is so bloody dangerous. Bicycles just are not. It is of course possible to injure people seriously with them, but nothing to the extent that it is possible with cars. Most of the recent cases I can think of were ones in which the cyclist was identified. No need for a license plate then.

Taken to its logical conclusion you could argue that anyone doing anything which might cause damage should be easily identifiable. I do not want to live in a society like that.

The car is a dangerous, inappropriate mode of transport for dense, urban societies. It needs special regulation because of its unusual danger.

Cyclists deserve respect for the same reason that anyone deserve respect: as individuals we have done nothing wrong. If other road users are incapable of affording us, not just "respect", but actually following the laws regulating their own behaviour then they need to be removed.

I'm heartily sick of this "cyclists need respect" meme.

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pauldavies83 [16 posts] 2 years ago
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Cyclists don't run red lights. Motorists don't red lights.

People run red lights.

There is an easy way to stop people like this getting their platform to spout generalist rubbish and suggesting their sensationalist solutions - educate and encourage the PEOPLE around you on bikes or in cars to stop going through red lights, and encourage these people to follow the rules of the road like the majority of other road using people out there.

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Ush [693 posts] 2 years ago
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Agreed. The helmet is not down low enough on the brow. Whether the head is too fat or the helmet too small I'll leave as an exercise to the reader.

The magic nature of the helmet talisman (not just a prophylactic, but also an indicator of some sort of morality) never ceases to amaze me, but it does give me a good chuckle when I see someone blethering about them wearing one incorrectly.

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zanf [838 posts] 2 years ago
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pirnie wrote:

While, I disagree generally with what she's actually said, I personally don't think the idea of making cyclists more accountable is a bad one. If we want to be taken seriously as road users and given equal respect then we should take equal responsibility, and making it easier to identify and punish irresponsible cyclists is part of that. Idiot cyclists and drivers are both a menace.

Cyclists who follow the rules of the road should have nothing to fear from being identifiable.

How you implement it sensibly is another matter entirely.....

Sorry but there is so much wrong with this that I'm SMH.

>If we want to be taken seriously as road users and given equal respect then we should take equal responsibility

Its not a case of *if we want to be taken seriously*. We are legally entitled to. It is more a case of that motorised road users need to recognise this.

>then we should take equal responsibility, and making it easier to identify and punish irresponsible cyclists is part of that

No its not.

"Idiot cyclists and drivers are both a menace."

But not an equal one.

>Cyclists who follow the rules of the road should have nothing to fear from being identifiable.

This can only be described as the mad ramblings of a fascist.

Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders have RIGHT OF ACCESS to the PUBLIC highways. Vehicles may only do so under LICENCE. One of the conditions of that licence is that they are identifiable so that infringement can be punished with withdrawal of it.

You cannot stop someone riding a bicycle and you certainly cannot deny them access to the public highways.

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bici1977 [42 posts] 2 years ago
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Look at it this way: Lets say they do force cyclist and their bikes be registered and such. I would finally mean that we can claim what is already rightfully ours - THE MIDDLE OF THE LANE!

If all it takes to put a number on my commuter or such... bring it on! But be certain, that every car that violates my given right (by law) will be followed up and noted for traffic violations.

Guess its one way to keep the police busy  19

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AWPeleton [3325 posts] 2 years ago
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She wants to make cyclists accountable yet she is an MEP who claim ££££££££'s in expenses and is accountable to no one.

She should bugger off and mind her own business.

She will be following the latest UKIP buffoon who blamed all the floods on gay marriages and God striking them down.

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Jimmy Ray Will [470 posts] 2 years ago
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pirnie wrote:

While, I disagree generally with what she's actually said, I personally don't think the idea of making cyclists more accountable is a bad one. If we want to be taken seriously as road users and given equal respect then we should take equal responsibility, and making it easier to identify and punish irresponsible cyclists is part of that. Idiot cyclists and drivers are both a menace.

Cyclists who follow the rules of the road should have nothing to fear from being identifiable.

How you implement it sensibly is another matter entirely.....

I think you can use that argument for every law that sneaks a bit more of your civil liberties.

However, to answer your specific point, what I'd fear is being forced to wear a Hi-viz jacket whenever I chose to ride a bike. More significantly, what I fear is the inevitable associated registration fee, which would need to be on a par with that of a driving licence or passport.

Whilst it is totally sensible to wear a hi-viz jacket, I don't really want to be forced to, and I certainly don't want my cycling to become more expensive.

As for taking responsibility, I actually think the vast majority of cycling enthuisiasts and regular cyclists (not just people that happen to ride a bike) are responsible. There are the minority of offenders yes, but its not as 'bad' as people say, or the common perception suspects.

Why? Well its simple. You are only every going to see the offenders. You will either not consciously register the majority doing as they should, or more than likely not see them at all as they will all be behind/ahead of you obeying the laws as you are. The only cyclists you will see are the ones getting ahead by breaking the rules. The perception is far worse than the reality.

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