Sunday, 24 November 2013

A few hundred jailed cyclists should do it

As a cyclist with many thousands of cycle-miles under my belt, I feel as obliged to preface any remarks on my less-responsible brethren with the sort of disclaimer that used to be compulsory for any criticism of immigration. During my lifetime cycling has seen an astounding increase in special provision, from cycling lanes (which are mostly crap and don't work) to cycle boxes at lights (highly effective in giving nervous cyclists the balls to wait in front of an artic)

However, I've also seen the rise of a most unattractive 'militant' cycling - and it's mostly the arrogant young and wealthy who can afford to waste thousands on risible clothing and footwear and inappropriate bikes who are responsible. Riding a bike isn't an excuse to break the law, be aggressive to other road users, selfishly ignore the well-being of pedestrians or to cause general public alarm and dislike of those of us who do none of the above. 

As cycling has come of age as a legitimate and competing transport mode, so the policing of cyclists should evolve. Extending the powers of PCSOs to stop and fine cyclists, and putting a few thousand of them on cycles, should do the job. And for repeat offenders - yes, including the broker-boys of the square mile in their £500 cycling shoes - jail. Poland has over 4,000 cyclists in jail for drinking and cycling. We don't need to match this. A few hundred wealthy young boy racers doing six months in prison should do the job. 


Bernard said...

Prison is expensive for us over-burdened taxpayers.
I suggest the threat of 'crushing' their expensive bikes night do the trick?

Anonymous said...

Better change their clothing first then...spending a few months inside wearing skin-tight lycra will definitely be a lifechanger!

Johnm said...

Better change their clothing first then...spending a few months inside wearing skin-tight lycra will definitely be a lifechanger!

Mark said...

from "arrogant young and wealthy" you've missed out "infantilised" which I suspect is the real problem with pushbike riding and so much else.

I think you've hit the nail on the head: "as cycling has come of age, so should the policing".


And confiscating/crushing these expensive toys, if done only half a dozen times would likely concentrate minds somewhat.

Jonty said...

Cycling on the footpath is illegal. Riding a cycle at night without correct illumination is illegal. I see both of these offences being carried out frequently, and police in their cars passing both types of offender and not taking any action to uphold the law.

R Slicker said...

I wholeheartedly agree with both the opinions expressed in the blog, and with the alternative punishment of confiscating the offenders' bikes - but surely it would be more cost effective to auction them off rather than crushing them?

I second that emotion said...

I have submitted an ePetition to the government. If it is accepted I'll post a link after receipt of confirmation email.

Bill said...

High visibilty refelective clothing should be mandatory for cyclists and bikers.
This should be be enforced by law.

DeeDee99 said...

I'm sick and tired of the cyclists who now infest the Surrey Hills lanes every weekend.

They ride two or three abreast or bunch together with no gap in-between so that it's extremely difficult to get past them on lanes which are often virtually single track roads with bends, vegetation and small hills obscuring oncoming vehicles.

Even Surrey County Council has twigged that its bright idea of closing the roads over whole areas at the weekend for charity bike rides, effectively corralling residents in their own houses, isn't going to get them many votes.

Edward Spalton said...

Why oh why do bicycles no longer have BELLS.

I walk my dog along a footpath used by cyclists who are mostly pleasant people. When approaching me from behind, they usually give a shout and ( if they are not going to fast) I ask " can't you use your bell?".

Very few have them and those who do will not use them.

Walking on a pavement in town I was nearly run over by an eleven year old who whizzed past by a whisker and shouted "ARE YOU BLOODY DEAF?"

We'll, no - but a shout in a noisy street can be anything whilst a bell is distinctive.

Those who ride on pavements should only be allowed to use fairy cycles - with stabilisers!

Brightside Bob said...

Re Bill: "High visibilty refelective clothing should be mandatory for cyclists and bikers.
This should be be enforced by law."

Why stop there. None compliance should result in the offenders being shot on site. Zeig Heil.

Brightside Bob said...

sight, even... sigh!

Ed P said...

It's not just cyclists - car & lorry drivers' road manners are dreadful too.

I see so many cars with one headlamp - the same ones week after week - with overtaking in the inside lane (undertaking? That'll follow), tailgating, etc.

The police do nothing about any of these crimes, seemingly content to stay indoors or find easier, politically-correct targets.

Dave_G said...

Funny how the police will happily issue a ticket for the most minor infringement by a motorist but practically ignores cyclists misdemeanors.
Then again if the fine structure was adjusted to include cyclists then the extra revenue stream would certainly change the situation.

lilith said...

Massive groups of them (often cycling three abreast) on the country lanes round here specialise in waving you on to overtake on blind corners and then get annoyed when you don't.

Anonymous said...

Cycle Nazis. No view but theirs shall prevail. Pedestrians are an impediment to their pavement progress and any accident on the road is obviously the motorist's fault. Usually equipped with helmet cameras (of course the camera never lies) . Responsible for erecting those awful guilt trip white ghost bike "shrines". They should have compulsory insurance like any other road user.

Matt said...

There is no need for compulsory insurance or the introduction of more draconian powers for the "authorities" to steal and destroy private property (which are crimes if anybody else does them). In fact neither of these things should apply to motorists either.

However, if somebody (cyclist or motorist) causes injury or damage through their own negligence or illegal actions then they should be expected to pay for the damage caused (including a possible custodial sentence if they cause death or serious injury). In the scenario that they are unable to pay then - and ONLY then - should there be a valid reason to take their property (and only for the purpose of selling it to pay the amount due). Voluntary insurance may be taken to safeguard against this if the person deems the risk to be worth it.

Compulsory insurance of anything is counterproductive in that it allows insurance companies to charge unreasonable premiums (and make invalid excuses for raising them - overseas and/or terrorist events are NOT a legitimate reason to raise UK private motor insurance premiums!) Unreasonable premiums end up resulting in uninsured road users anyway, with the additional problem that as they have already been criminalised they see little reason to obey other laws.

Anonymous said...

Bill @ 1019. "High visibilty refelective clothing should be mandatory for cyclists and bikers.
This should be be enforced by law."

I find a bobble hat, a sedate speed and a deliberate wobble is enough to ensure I get given a wide berth.!
My reason for cycling is that it is relatively cheap and regulation free. Nothing to do with health or good for the environment. Shame the Wiggins wannabees are set on changing all that.

G. Tingey said...

NO#I know a motorcyclist, who says that (in daylight) it makes motorists come closer)
Should be mandatory after dark, though.

Matt has good points

Declaration of interest
I still cycle - I had a frame made specially, back in the 70's ..
But not a lot, now.
I drive a (real) Land-Rover
I walk
I take the train (a lot - I live in London)
I occasionally use buses

The real death-toll is among pedestrians - anyone noticed that?

Oh, & talking of police inaction.The number of car drivers using their mobile phones is truly scary.

I second that emotion said...

I posted previously that I had submitted an e-petition on this subject, and am pleased to report that it has been approved.

You can view it here:

I note that a couple of comments are against some of the suggestions I have included ( This should not stop you from signing the petition is you feel that the current situation needs rectifying, the first step simply being a debate in the Commons. I find it's always a good tactic to throw in something that the powers that be can reject, whilst going along with the main gist.

I second that emotion said...

Strike "is" insert "if". Sorry!