The Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex Katy Bourne has said cyclists should "wear some form of identification" so "you can prosecute them for breaking the law.”
According to Rachel Millard of Brighton and Hove paper The Argus, Bourne was repeatedly asked questions about cycling at a public meeting she hosted on Monday.
She told the meeting: “I would like to see cyclists wear some form of identification like cars have.
“So when they go through traffic lights, you can actually identify them and then you can prosecute them for breaking the law.”
As it's not the Police and Crime Commissioner's role to set policy, though, she said the idea was “one for the legislators.”
This was a “debate that should be had,” she said.
After the meeting, Bourne told The Argus: “It is something that has been at the back of my mind for a long time.
“Because when you use the road, if you are driving a car you have your number plate. Other people register, they pay to use the roads.
“Cyclists don’t, admittedly.
“But there have been occasions when I have been sat at red lights and seen cyclists go through.
“And it is never the responsible cyclists that do this – the ones that belong to the clubs, they are great, they are the ones that adhere to all the laws, so it is the few that ruin it for the many.”
Tony Green of the Brighton and Hove Cycling Campaign said that drivers don't pay to use the road. Road.cc readers will probably not need reminding that Vehicle Excise Duty is a charge related to emissions that goes into the Treasury's Big Money Pot and is not ring-fenced for roads.
Green said: “Cyclists are seen as the easy target. I don’t really know what it is, but maybe people think they are getting something for free.
“I agree there are cyclists who break the law but then ten or one hundred times as many motorists break the law.”
Carlton Reid, cycle campaigner and author of Roads were not built for cars, has a thorough debunking of the idea over on ipayroadtax.com.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.