Grant Shapps grilled on Rishi Sunak's tax 'U-turn'
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Mr Shapps suggested that cyclists may need registration plates and will have to observe speed limits in the latest driving law shake-up. As a result, cyclists could face fines and penalty points for speeding and running the red light.
According to reports, mandatory insurance is also being considered meaning any pedestrians seriously injured by reckless riders would be entitled to compensation.
As it stands, cyclists have no legal obligation to respect speed limits in the way that motorists do.
In addition, the news laws being considered by the Transport Secretary may include the creation of a new offence called “death by dangerous cycling”.
At the moment, cyclists who kill people can be jailed for a maximum of two years, whereas motorists can be jailed for life.
The review of road laws would create greater parity amid growing tension following changes to the Highway Code.
The changes, announced by the Government in January, mean cyclists have priority over motorists and are even encouraged to ride in the middle of the road on some streets.
Mr Shapps told the Daily Mail: “Somewhere where cyclists are actually not breaking the law is when they speed, and that cannot be right, so I absolutely propose extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists.
“I don’t want to stop people from getting on their bike, it’s a fantastic way to travel, and we’ve seen a big explosion of cycling during Covid and since.
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“But I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws and be able to get away with it.
“I think we do have to not turn a blind eye to that and I’m proposing setting up a review to do exactly that.”
Mr Shapps also wrote in the Mail+ earlier this month that a “selfish minority” of cyclists believe they are “immune” to red lights.
He said: “We need the cycling equivalent of death by dangerous driving to close a gap in the law and impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care.”
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Under Mr Shapps’ proposals, the new law would be added to the Transport Bill due to be put before Parliament in autumn.
Mr Shapps himself, however, may not be in his current ministerial role when the Cabinet is reshuffled by the new prime minister next month.
He added, however, that if he is no longer Transport Secretary when the next Prime Minister is elected at the start of September, his successor will be pressed to go ahead with the review.
Several people have taken to social media to express their views on the new proposal.
Some drivers rejoiced in the news.
One person said: “Cyclists are the biggest nuisance on the roads! They should have a bike licence, a number plate and insurance.
“And they should stop wasting police time by grassing up motorists for the slightest mistake yet the pratts on the bicycles completely ignore the rules of the road.”
Another user added: “What’s wrong with this? It ensures road safety for everyone using the road, doesn’t it? Or are cyclists exempt?”
Others disagreed pointing out that the rules will deter people from cycling.
One person said: “Please tax and insure pedestrians and make them wear number plates. I was almost knocked off my bike by three of them crossing the road without looking.”
Another Twitter user claimed: “Grant Shapps is a total clown. Firstly he is trying to sack railway staff now he is trying to make cycling more difficult.”
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