Like this site? Help us to make it better.


More than half of Queenslanders would like to see licences on bicycles

But most admit motorists are generally more to blame for collisions

More than half of people in Queensland, Australia, believe that bicycles should be licenced, in order to discourage reckless riding, but most people do concede that motorists are generally more to blame for collisions, a poll found.

53 per cent of those surveyed wanted cyclists to be licensed in some way, with women and older people being more likely to be in favour.

41 per cent believed intolerance of motorists was largely to blame for run-ins with cyclists, while slightly fewer people blamed reckless riding by cyclists at 37 per cent.

There is no city in the world that currently requires bicycles to be licenced. In Switzerland until recently there was a requirement to have a small numberplate. Anyone caught riding a bike without a license was subject to a CHF40 (£30) fine.

The small fee for the licence covered third party insurance for use in the case of a collision. In 2010 it was decided to abolish the licence.

Bicycle Queensland CEO Ben Wilson said the poll results were representative of the section of the population that chose to ride a bike.

"The results pretty much represent what we've got. Nearly half the people in the state are bike riders, a bit more than half aren't," he told The Australian.

Paul Turner from peak motoring body RACQ said it would be impossible to administrate.

"The reason it's complex is many cyclists have multiple bikes, and then you have children riding," he said.

"While we understand some people believe there would be advantages in registration, it's extraordinarily difficult to implement."

But Brisbane cyclist and surgeon Caroline Acton, 60, said she "saw the logic" in requiring riders to be licensed.

"I think it would be a sign of goodwill because there is a lot of antagonism between drivers and cyclists," she said.

"There are examples of silly behaviour from drivers and cyclists, but I'm an injury-prevention researcher and we usually come off worse."

A spokeswoman for Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the Government was not considering requiring cyclists to be registered or licensed.

"A cyclist is still at risk of being fined if they fail to adhere to road rules," she said.

Australian legislators and cyclists have been at loggerheads before, particularly over the issue of compulsory helmets.

Cyclists riding without a helmet in Victoria currently face a fine of A$176.

Australia’s compulsory helmet laws have been blamed for usage of bike-sharing schemes in Brisbane and Melbourne that is at low levels compared to those in cities elsewhere, as outlined in this On Your Bike blog post written by Michael O'Reilly and published in The Age.

Latest Comments