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The price of pop-up bike lanes for one city’s cyclists? Compulsory registration, helmets and side mirrors

Riders in Davao City, Philippines, will have to display licence plates on their bikes

The price of pop-up bike lanes for cyclists in the third most populous city in the Philippines is compulsory registration of bikes and display of license plates, as well as mandatory helmets, side mirrors and bells.

Dionisio Abude, head of the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) in Davao City, population 1.6 million, says that riders will have to pay an annual fee of P150 (£2.36) to register their bicycles.

He said that the scheme would also enable the CTTMO to trace bicycle owners in the event of a road traffic incident, reports

“Registration is important to be used in litigation when road accidents involving a bicycle and its rider occur,” said Abude.

“We have to consider the cases like destruction of life and property.”

A pre-requisite of registration is that bikes must be fitted with a bell, mirrors and lights, and Abude added: “Of course, the wearing of helmet is also mandatory for them.”

He said that it would take between 15 and 20 days to mark out bike lanes in the city, which in common with others around the world has seen a surge in bike riding due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To date, just 250 bikes have been registered with the CTTMO under an ordinance originally introduced 10 years ago but which only started being implemented last year but which looks set to be enforced once the bike lanes – around 72.2 kilometres of them in total – have been introduced.

The original ordinance says that insurance is “generally optional” but “highly recommended for regular and occasional bicycle users,” however it is “strictly required for children bicycle users,” ie those aged 16 and under.

The issue of requiring cyclists to be licensed regularly is regularly raised by those who maintain that cyclists pose a danger to other road users

Here in the UK, the Labour peer Professor Winston and motoring lawyer Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman are both advocates of it being brought in, although the government has repeatedly made it clear there are no plans to do so.

> Mr Loophole lawyer says lockdown has led to “culture of toxic cycling”

But where such schemes have been introduced elsewhere in the world, they are often scrapped shortly afterwards because they prove far too costly to run while not providing any tangible benefits.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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