West Midlands MEP calls for cyclist registration, compulsory high-vis & helmets

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

by John Stevenson   January 21, 2014  

Nikki Sinclaire 1

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.”

112 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Keith Penfold wrote:

It is common sense to wear high viz and helmet and to have a bell and lights - these should not be seen as an imposition. Registration of bikes and a modest levy could also defuse the argument that cyclists make no contribution to road funding and would make cyclists' demands more credible.

Sorry Keith but its not commonsense in relation to the helmet. Everyone knows, even the most steadfast of us who wear one, that they offer little in safety once your over a certain speed. High viz and bells ? well i'm pretty sure the jury are out on that one as well.

Lights - yes 1000% .

The registration of bikes is completely unworkable, who would check them as i, as a serving cop, certainly dont have the time and i WONT pay anything to this govt so i can ride a bike as they take far to much from me in any case.

‘It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.’

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2769 posts]
21st January 2014 - 23:14

28 Likes

Maybe it's people cycling on pavements we have to blame for the recent bad weather Smile

posted by m0rjc [35 posts]
21st January 2014 - 23:24

16 Likes

In the real world its about PR - just look as if you are trying to do the right thing. I accept enforcement would be as ineffective in relation to bad cyclists as they are for bad motorists,. But my point is to try to get the anti-cycling public to stop thinking cyclists are freeloaders and the enemy.

Keef

posted by Keith Penfold [4 posts]
21st January 2014 - 23:28

13 Likes

m0rjc wrote:
Maybe it's people cycling on pavements we have to blame for the recent bad weather Smile

I think it was 2 men on a tandem that caused it

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
21st January 2014 - 23:44

18 Likes

What about mobility scooters?
Roller skates?
Scooters?
Skateboards?
Space hoppers?
Dugs?
Horses ?
Those big ball things that go on water?

Motor Vehicles have a Reggie for one reason.....taxation.

If they can't work out a way to tax it, it won't happen.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [562 posts]
21st January 2014 - 23:51

34 Likes

I'd rather she campaigned on well-fitting helmets.

Predictable tosh from the UKIP raving loonie party.

More pissed off at the regular letters in Cycling Weekly banging on about helmets and hi viz.

posted by paulfg42 [375 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 0:00

23 Likes

cidermart wrote:
Registration of vehicles has worked so why wouldn't it for bicycles? I mean it is easy to trace their owners as they keep the DVLA regularly updated as to when and where they move house and who is driving. They all pay their VED and every single one of them pays insurance, has a licence and keeps said vehicle in tip top roadworthy condition and oh now wait a minute?

Do one you F tard!

Yeah sadly it seems my point passed you by, those again as I stated do nothing since up on the A4 I see plenty of cars go through various red lights that have those various elements I don't see them getting in trouble as guess what...no cops or camera's.

posted by embattle [6 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 0:14

22 Likes

"The mother of idiots is always pregnant", as a Hungarian friend says.

posted by Cauld Lubter [119 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 1:22

19 Likes

khisanth wrote:
I can understand the reasoning behind this, I find so many London cyclists are total idiots and think they can do what they want on the roads. I see them riding through red lights often, I have nearly been hit by plenty as I cross a zebra crossing and so many have a really bad attitude. Its a totally unenforceable law and they should enforce the current laws better before creating new stupid ones.

Long as they dont have it around the Surrey Hills I dont mind Smile


[[[[[[ KHISANTH------the reason you've "nearly been hit by plenty" (of cyclists) is because you're not wearing your screaming-yellow jackety thing! And I suggest also a helmet with a big flashing LED on top, for extra visibility. You can't be too careful, innit!
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [284 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 2:47

20 Likes

IDIOT...NOTHING ELSE WORTH SAYING.

CJStevens

posted by CJSTEVENS1955 [64 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 3:17

15 Likes

I call for registration and mandatory hi-viz straight jackets for all UKIP MEPs Wink

posted by Tony [68 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 9:03

12 Likes

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

Right. Like, say, motorists do?

posted by kitsunegari [20 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 9:58

28 Likes

I can sort of understand where she is coming from!!
I spent 5 days in the West Midlands (Darlaston, Wednesbury area) just before Christmas.
I have never seen so many cyclists riding in the twilight and after dark in filthy weather with no helmet, no hi vis wearing dark clothing and a red glow-worm at the back and a white one at the front or non at all.
I very nearly pulled out in front of 3 and nearly ran one down as I couldn't see them and you know being a cyclist I am looking for other cyclists!!
So what chance has head up the bum Joe tin can driver got.
My wife and I we were so glad to leave the area and come home to get away from the risk of hitting some one.
But as I always say its a two way street cyclists have a responsibility to ensure they can be seen by other road users but other road users need to see us and give us room. Thank the cycle that I live and ride in rural France and yes I wear a bright yellow helmet a hi vis jacket all the time winter and summer and use lights (not glow worms) when the weather is murky or dark
Registration and all the other crap compulsory this and compulsory that no thanks. Cool

posted by sodit [69 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 10:28

11 Likes

Oh dear.

Not a good advert for cycle safety with that helmet.

Hint: straps
Hint: two finger width between eyebrow and helmet

didds

PS this may have been noticed before!

posted by didds [41 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 10:29

15 Likes

Maybe UKIP are onto something - I'm looking out my window at dark grey clouds and a wet patio. This is clearly the fault of the gays, and the rain that is falling on hetero me is just collateral damage as God is clearly aiming it at my neighbours.

That's why the weather in Russia is so pleasant these days - perhaps Putin isn't actually an evil homophobe, he just likes to keep his bike clean when he rides it. He takes, erm, pride in it's appearance.

The rainbow jersey could be an issue though.....

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 10:36

20 Likes

farrell wrote:
Just to clarify, in slightly more than 140 characters, that my reference to Nikki Sinclaire's sexuality or gender weren't meant as a piss take or with any malice, it was more to highlight the way technology has changed. The younger me didn't come into contact with so many people from different walks of life as we all do now via the internet. That's what I find mental.

This comment has since ended up on Twitter, which kind of reinforces my point about communications.

And yes, John Stevenson, feel free to say/think/believe that I am a twat.

So, as an update:

Two cycling journalists have fallen out via Twitter because of what I have written, one of whom is the 'Editor-at-Large' of this website and author of this article and who has publicly decreed that I am a twat and has since blocked the other journalist, Carlton Reid.

One other person is seemingly certain that my sole intention was to 'call out' Nikki Sinclaire purely for her gender and/or sexuality due to my latent homo/transphobia. Said person has conceded that you could, *could*, read what I have written in such a manner that it could possibly be construed as perhaps not actually being a hate piece. Which was nice of them.

It has been suggested that what I had written could be, amongst other things, any of the following:
Erring towards homo/transphobic
Inane predjudice bait
Cultural voyeurism
An analogy of cyclist oppression
A reflection of the opposite direction of changing attitudes to gender and cycling
Tired and flawed
Contentious and messy

And my personal favourite and possibly the most accurate: Irrelevant toss.

All being discussed, analysed and semantically tore apart to find the "true meaning" of a second hand repetition of what I had written by at least seven (7!!) people I have never met, on a completely separate platform, none of which it seems have bothered to actually come to the source and read it.

I'm going to swing back to my original point here and say, whilst not referencing any specifics about any organism that may be living or dead (or even undead), that the internet is a confusing and strange yet wonderful place that offers up constant surprises with who it puts you in contact with. People that may be completely different to yourself and completely off your radar.

It also has a lot of hate and I mean tonnes of it, including bucketloads loads of homo/transphobic hate. It's dead easy to find if you look but you won't actually find any from me, because I'm just not into hating anyone really.

I just want to ride bikes.

posted by farrell [1461 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 10:40

11 Likes

Weather - pleasant in Russia, where? Let me know.
Dark grey clouds, and wet here too, so maybe gays are about Wink

The cyclists are few and far between, normally wearing black coats, and riding on the wrong side of the road in the wet, with no lights, - a bit like many of the cars! Cool

posted by brodibike [12 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 10:47

9 Likes

Keith Penfold wrote:
As a follow up - I don't necessarily agree with how the MEP wants to implement his policy. But my message is that cyclists have to play the PR game to get support. And lets not forget that many cyclists are also drivers so have a foot in both camps - I believe many do not actively campaign for cycling because of this.

The MEP in question is a she.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2207 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 11:13

13 Likes

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

This is the key statement. What is being suggested is effectivly a ban on cycles on certain routes. The intention is clearly that cyclists will reject the idea of registering and wearing the compulsary gear and instead choose alternative routes or methods of transport.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 11:42

15 Likes

Quote:
"The former UKIP MEP, who now sits as a member for the We Demand a Referendum Now party…."

I think I've read all I need to read.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Username's picture

posted by Username [56 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 14:12

12 Likes

forced to wear ... only certain routes.....

where's my rights, freedom and liberties going here !!!

What a complete pillock !

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [716 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 14:27

11 Likes

Keith Penfold wrote:
I am a keen cyclist for pleasure and for commuting. .... Registration of bikes and a modest levy could also defuse the argument that cyclists make no contribution to road funding and would make cyclists' demands more credible.

Keith. Roads are funded from general taxation. Every UK tax payer contributes to road funding. In order to have ever paid any "road tax" at all you would need to be at least 94 years old. You would have needed to have been 17 in 1937 when "road tax" was abolished and owned a car. I'm sure there is someone that can fit those criteria but I doubt more than a handful. Although it could be no-one at all.

Your tax disc does not fund roads. It goes to general taxation it is not hypothecated. As it happens though most adult cyclists are also motorists in fact the CTC found that there was a higher than average level of car ownership amongst cyclists probably because on average cyclists are more represented amongst the better off economically. I personally am a higher rate tax payer and I own three cars and pay vehicle excise duty on all of them.

Would you mind explaining to me why you think a car driver on a low income with one car contributes more to the up keep of the roads than I do.

Maybe instead we should work out what people's net tax contribution is and therefore what percentage of the roads budget they have contributed to and allow people access to the roads based on that. On that basis anyone earning less than £15k is unlikely to be a net tax payer. If they had kids the figure rises by around £1700 a year and if the kids are at school by another £6k per child.

When my kids were at school then I wasn't a net tax payer until I earned around £30k. Luckily for a lot a motorists (and I am a motorist myself as well as a pedestrian and a cyclist) some of us contribute to the net tax take so we can have roads. Many a white van driver out there probably doesn't.

Keith an understanding of where your taxes go, and who pays what for what ought to be on the school curriculum. It isn't and that is a shame but it is no excuse for complete and abject ignorance or for citing taxes that Winston Churchill started the process to abolish in 1926 and that finally were abolished 77 years ago.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [639 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 16:27

19 Likes

Just had a very quick read of this and I think it's a fabulous idea. Am I right in thinking she's suggesting all MP's, MEP's etc all ride bikes instead using taxpayer funded cars? And they wear High Viz jackets with a number so you know which crank you're avoiding (or aiming at!)?

It's a great idea and I commend it to the house!

MikeF

posted by msfergus [18 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 18:12

11 Likes

Does anyone know how long a hi-viz vest stays creased, after you take it out of the packet (for the photo-op)?

Hers looks suspiciously brand-new in that photo. Still, at least she's out having fun on a bike, right?

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [587 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 21:17

12 Likes

oozaveared wrote:
Keith Penfold wrote:
I am a keen cyclist for pleasure and for commuting. .... Registration of bikes and a modest levy could also defuse the argument that cyclists make no contribution to road funding and would make cyclists' demands more credible.

Keith. Roads are funded from general taxation. Every UK tax payer contributes to road funding. In order to have ever paid any "road tax" at all you would need to be at least 94 years old. You would have needed to have been 17 in 1937 when "road tax" was abolished and owned a car. I'm sure there is someone that can fit those criteria but I doubt more than a handful. Although it could be no-one at all.

Your tax disc does not fund roads. It goes to general taxation it is not hypothecated. As it happens though most adult cyclists are also motorists in fact the CTC found that there was a higher than average level of car ownership amongst cyclists probably because on average cyclists are more represented amongst the better off economically. I personally am a higher rate tax payer and I own three cars and pay vehicle excise duty on all of them.

Would you mind explaining to me why you think a car driver on a low income with one car contributes more to the up keep of the roads than I do.

Maybe instead we should work out what people's net tax contribution is and therefore what percentage of the roads budget they have contributed to and allow people access to the roads based on that. On that basis anyone earning less than £15k is unlikely to be a net tax payer. If they had kids the figure rises by around £1700 a year and if the kids are at school by another £6k per child.

When my kids were at school then I wasn't a net tax payer until I earned around £30k. Luckily for a lot a motorists (and I am a motorist myself as well as a pedestrian and a cyclist) some of us contribute to the net tax take so we can have roads. Many a white van driver out there probably doesn't.

Keith an understanding of where your taxes go, and who pays what for what ought to be on the school curriculum. It isn't and that is a shame but it is no excuse for complete and abject ignorance or for citing taxes that Winston Churchill started the process to abolish in 1926 and that finally were abolished 77 years ago.

+1

And I've got a car and two motorbikes, all taxed

In addition, the bureaucracy involved in having bicycle legislation would be complex and expensive and as Stumpy pointed out, the cops have more important things to do.

As for positive PR towards cyclists, I think BC and Britain's race winning cyclists are doing a pretty good job.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2207 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 0:12

11 Likes

That MEP is a nincompoop. Surely there must be something more important for her to do.

posted by Carlp [5 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 1:32

9 Likes

[[[[ Crikey! If the MEP woman insists we must wear the Custard-Coat, I suspect it's because she herself has trouble spotting us....in which case she should be banished from the roads, both as cyclist and driver.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [284 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 2:36

12 Likes

PhilRuss wrote:
[[[[ Crikey! If the MEP woman insists we must wear the Custard-Coat, I suspect it's because she herself has trouble spotting us....in which case she should be banished from the roads, both as cyclist and driver.
P.R.

[[[[[ Come to that, if her eyesight is that bad, she's also a dangerous pedestrian. Stay indoors, dear. You're causing more problems than you're solving.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [284 posts]
24th January 2014 - 14:53

8 Likes

Why should Chris Juden take all the flak ? Laughing

posted by Eric D [5 posts]
25th January 2014 - 1:49

6 Likes

My

Eric D wrote:
Why should Chris Juden take all the flak ? Laughing
was meant as a reply to
wyadvd wrote:
We also need "JUDEN" tattooed on our foreheads I suppose?
The "Reply" button on this forum should say "Comment" instead - there is no 'threading' ...

Incidentally Google Images contains a camouflaged helicopter in the 8 'most visually similar images' to the one above.
http://www.sinaimg.cn/dy/slidenews/8_img/2013_35/428_19125_178599.jpg

Perspicuity vs. conspicuity ?
All-black is conspicuous on a bright day. Camo works by disrupting the outlines.
http://www.woostercollective.com/cubism-razzle-dazzle-camouflage-paintin...

The car is only about a foot away, but her brakes seem to be on, and her feet down, so they may be stationary at traffic lights ... did the car pass close, or did she filter/undertake a stationary car ?

posted by Eric D [5 posts]
25th January 2014 - 2:37

7 Likes