Monday , September 20 2021

Push for cyclists to wear ID numbers

There has been a call for cyclists to wear unique numbers in order to make it easier for others to identify rule breakers and report them to the police.

The Tasmanian Motorcycle Council (TMC) has submitted a request to the Road Safety Advisory Council asking it to look into establishing a identification process for cyclists.

There are a number of offenses that cyclists can be fined for but the TMC claims it is difficult to hold them responsible, since they do not have number plates like cars and motocycles do.

The council has taken to Facebook to share some of the offenses it believes many cyclists are not being held accountable for, including:

  • Obstructing access to / from a footpath ramp or to / from a path or passageway. This carries $ 40.75 in Tasmania.
  • Ride bicycle with no warning device in working order. This could result in a $ 81.50 fine.
  • Cyclist failing to ride in a bicycle lane. Bike riders caught doing this could cop a $ 122.25 fine.
  • Riding with no hands on the handle bar, which can result in a $ 81.50 fine.
  • Cycle without reasonable pay for other road users. This can also lead to a $ 81.50 fine.

A poll on the TMC's Facebook page, which 1600 people have voted in, reveals that 80 percent of the voters agree with the idea.

TMC President, Paul Bullock, told The Mercury that any cyclist over the age of 18 should be required to display a visible number on their helmet or on a vest so that people can report them just like any other road user.

"While the majority of cyclists obey the law, there is an element within the cycling fraternity that is continually not," he said.

"They are blocking vehicles traveling on the road – while traveling in a group doing far less speed than other vehicles, they will not move into a single file to allow vehicles to pass."

However, it is legal for cyclists in Australia to ride two abreast, so long as they are not more than 1.5m apart. was previously told by Bicycle NSW that riding two abreast is actually safer than a single file.

"Kim Lavender said the communications director," said the communications director.

"It reduces it to two meters of overtaking as opposed to three or more if the riders were in a single file."

She said it would also mean riders could be seen more easily by motorists. If cyclists are in a single file they are less visible and may occur due to accident.

The TMC's push to make cyclists more identifiable has been met with growing criticism, even by some of its fellow motorbike riders.

"Wtf have pushbike rules got to do with the motorcycle council," one person asked.

"Just got back from several days touring around our great state. I did not encounter a single problem with a cyclist the whole trip. I lost count of how many times I had issues with tourists. Surely there are bigger issues to focus on than cyclists having a bell, "wrote another.

Others asked for the council to focus on things that benefit motorcyclists "rather than things that have little to do" with them.

Some people pointed out that making cyclists wear an identifiable number would not do much to prevent people who already regularly break the rules.

The next Road Safety Advisory Meeting is set for March.

"The Government will consider any advice that the RSAC provides in due course," a government spokesman said The Mercury. "We expect all road users to obey the road rules and be respectful and aware of other users."

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