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"Dangerous" cyclists "entirely unaccountable" and should have number plates, argues former Met Police chief

The Met's former commissioner told the House of Lords: "I fear that cyclists, particularly in London, seem to be entirely unaccountable."...

The discussion around number plates for cyclists has been reignited today in the House of Lords, the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Lord Hogan-Howe, claiming that to tackle danger cyclists should need "a registration plate somewhere on the back" in order to avoid being "entirely unaccountable".

The topic has enjoyed an extended spell out of the public eye since last summer, when then-transport secretary Grant Shapps aired, then quickly backed out of, the idea during a frantic few days which culminated with the Department for Transport telling this website it was "just proposals" and that the views expressed in a contradictory interview downplaying his original idea were closer to "his position".

> Department for Transport assures MP it has no intention to make cyclists carry number plates and insurance

Shapps ultimately stated he was "not attracted to bureaucracy" of number plates for cyclists and said there are "no plans" for such legislation. The matter has largely avoided the limelight since then, that was until Lord Hogan-Howe's comments in the House of Lords today.

Speaking during a debate on measures to regulate pedicabs, the Evening Standard reports the former chief of the Metropolitan Police, who held his position between 2011 and 2017, asked "if we learn any lessons about holding pedicab drivers and owners to account, could we consider whether we take those lessons and apply them to cyclists?"

"I fear that my list of people who are dangerous is longer than just people who have electric scooters and electrically charged cycles," he said. "I fear that cyclists, particularly in London, seem to be entirely unaccountable.

"Even having a registration plate somewhere on the back would not be a bad idea to make sure that people are held to account and it is not totally without consequences if they choose to ignore things that are meant to keep us all safe. On occasion they have terribly injured people, and on some occasions killed them."

The debate also heard from former Tory minister Lord Blencathra who argued the pedicab bill is a "trivial little measure" compared to e-scooters and called for their complete ban in England and "greater penalties" for pavement cycling.

"I want to amend this Bill to ban all e-scooters in England from any public highway, including pavements, and give police powers to immediately confiscate any they find in use on public roads," he said.

"All rental e-scooter trials should cease immediately and greater penalties imposed on cyclists on pavements, especially if they're commercial couriers."

> London school makes pupils who cycle put number plates on bikes

In June, Italy's transport minister Matteo Salvini outlined plans for a road safety bill which would force cyclists to carry number plates on their bikes, pay insurance, and make helmets and indicators mandatory.

In a speech to the Italian parliament in the summer, Salvini outlined his plans to increase road safety in the country through legislation which he says will guarantee "more rules, more education, and more safety on Italian roads".

Salvini, who leads the Lega party, which forms part of the right-wing coalition led by prime minister Giorgia Meloni, said that under the plans cyclists will be forced to wear helmets and carry licence plates and indicators on their bikes, while also paying insurance.

Just days later and Salvini backpedalled, insisting that the rules were aimed solely at people riding scooters.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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41 comments

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the little onion | 8 months ago
5 likes

institutionally anti-cyclist 

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ktache replied to the little onion | 8 months ago
12 likes

Don't forget that on his watch he allowed his force to stay institutionally corrupt, racist, misogynistic and homophobic.

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wtjs | 8 months ago
18 likes

Bollocks to this! Look how the police deal with car number plates:

This, yet again, is WU59 UMH at his most recent filming (although I saw him charging past Garstang Library at 12:59 on 22.11.23) on 12th November. 6 1/2 years no MOT/ insurance, failed MOT for serious defects 23rd September, no VED for almost 6 years, reported several times on 2 different portals to Lancashire Constabulary with numerous excellent photos since 25.7.23, has a Facebook page, driver identifiable on a couple of photos. No response whatsoever from LC, incidents immediately closed by  several (of course, I can't tell because they're...) un-named LC officers.

So, all these cycle number plates would achieve is retaliatory heavy action against cyclists from the highly anti-cyclist forces like Scotland and Lancashire, while offending motorists would continue to be treated with indulgent affection by The Filth

Avatar
open_roads replied to wtjs | 8 months ago
0 likes

Write to the Home Secretary, your local MP and the Chief Constable highlighting the lack of police action.

Cc'ing them in to each other works wonders.

 

 

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bobbinogs replied to open_roads | 8 months ago
1 like

When I think of people who can get things done where others have failed...the list doesn't usually include any Home Secretary, any local MP or any Chief Constable!

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wtjs replied to open_roads | 8 months ago
1 like

Write to the Home Secretary, your local MP and the Chief Constable highlighting the lack of police action. Cc'ing them in to each other works wonders

No it doesn't- not in Lancashire! The response of Snowden, Lancashire PCC, to my .pdf with all the pictures showing WU59 UMH, no MOT/ insurance/ VED for 6+ years driving around Garstang on numerous occasions and including the driver's Facebook page and phone numbers, was 'we don't interfere with operational police decisions'. Ben Wallace MP said I should complain to Lancashire Constabulary about Lancashire Constabulary- we have seen on here numerous examples of what a futile procedure that is. I apologise for repeating this yet again, but the response of the joke LC 'Professional Standards Department' to my complaint about the complete inaction over the incident below was that they couldn't do anything because there was no confirmatory video from the offending vehicle (actually, APC admitted that it did hold a dashcam 'but it wasn't switched on'). This is an early version of the ScotFilth dodge that if the offender can't remember the incident, it didn't happen.

https://upride.cc/incident/md68fwc_apcovernight_whitelinecross/

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eburtthebike | 8 months ago
15 likes

"On occasion they have terribly injured people, and on some occasions killed them."

When?  How often?  How many compared to cars?  How many people are killed by drivers who are not arrested or punished or who are let off with such pathetic excuses as "the sun was in my eyes" or "I thought I hit a sack of potatoes."  No, let's attack an out group whose transgressions are so minor that they barely register.

I don't know Lord Hogan-Howe's politics, but I'm guessing it's slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun, confirmed by the fact that the only other such proposal seems to have come from the far right Italians.  Disturbing that such intolerant views should be expressed by an ex-top cop.

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Safety replied to eburtthebike | 8 months ago
8 likes

"Disturbing that such intolerant views should be expressed by an ex-top cop."
Disturbing but not surprising.

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morgoth985 replied to eburtthebike | 8 months ago
7 likes

It's not his politics that are the problem (or not the only one anyway).  It's his total, TOTAL, lack of judgement.  He is a disgrace for many reasons.  This is sadly the least of them.

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Steve K replied to morgoth985 | 8 months ago
5 likes

Morgoth985 wrote:

It's not his politics that are the problem (or not the only one anyway).  It's his total, TOTAL, lack of judgement.  He is a disgrace for many reasons.  This is sadly the least of them.

It is a relief that he is no longer in charge of the Met.  Would you trust this man to prioritise the use of police resources, or to understand the unintended consequences of actions.

Avatar
Tom_77 | 8 months ago
12 likes

"electrically charged cycles" ?!?

And if he's worried about the deaths and injuries caused by e-scooters he's going to shit a brick when he founds out about cars.

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