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Should cyclists need to be insured?

By Tom Gibson | February 15, 2022

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The recent Highway Code changes have certainly got our readers talking with many of you making valid points with regards to the new rulings.

Should cyclists need to be insured?

One question a few of you have asked is… is it now time for cyclists to be insured?

If you haven’t yet seen the updated Highway Code guidance you can read more on that here, but to summarise cyclists have been given increased priority in many areas in the hope that it leads to increased road safety.

Within the guidance, cyclists don’t need to use cycle lanes if they feel it is safer to ride on the road. With that, and the new changes in mind, it’s understandable many people are looking to protect their own cars by asking insurance for cyclists to become a legality.

Others are calling for road-going cyclists to undertake mandatory training, or even sit a test in the same way motorists need to. But would licencing cycling simply put people off when we’re trying to more to a low emission society?

We take a look at some pros and cons here.

Pros for the introduction of licensing and insuring cyclists

Increased road safety - Motorists are required by law to sit a theory and practical driving test to make sure they can drive safely on the roads which we share. So should cyclists have to do the same?

Protection for vehicle owners - If a cyclist causes damage to a car, unless they voluntarily stop and essentially hand themselves in, you have virtually no chance of identifying the cyclist or getting compensation for the incident to cover any damage. Installing number plates and making insurance compulsory would solve this headache.

The cons of introducing licensing and insurance for cyclists

The main arguments against compulsory licensing and insurance is that such a scheme would be costly to set-up and would discourage people from cycling.

Difficult to manage - Cars are generally owned by adults and change hands infrequently, whereas many cycles are owned by children and are often passed onto siblings and friends – who would manage this bike ownership issue and would it be a good use of resource to police?

Is now the time to discourage cycling? - The Government is under pressure to tackle the obesity crises that is costing the NHS billions each year and to meet climate change targets by reducing CO2 emission. Encouraging cycling people to ditch their cars and cycle helps the government to meet these objectives.

Let us know where you stand on this issue in the comment box below.

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