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Force all cyclists to register, says politician
A WORCESTERSHIRE politician is calling for compulsory registration for all cyclists - claiming too many "ignore the highway code".
Nikki Sinclaire has courted controversy by suggesting cyclists should be forced to wear fluorescent jackets emblazoned with a registration number, much like a car.
The MEP says the idea would increase accountability and reduce the number of cyclists breaking the rules.
Ms Sinclaire says she is an occasional cyclist herself, and often spots others flouting the highway code.
Her stance has been criticised as an unnecessary "state intrusion" that would encourage more people to take the car.
It comes as more and more cyclists are seen taking to Worcester's streets.
She said: "Often I see cyclists ignoring the highway code, endangering themselves and the lives of others.
"Wearing a fluorescent high-visibility vest not only makes them more visible to cars and pedestrians alike, but a registration number would ensure that cyclists are responsible for their actions.
"As an occasional cyclist myself, and someone who would like to see the concept of ‘Boris Bikes’ here in the West Midlands, I feel that it is time that cyclists could become more accountable.
"If a cyclist jumps a red light and causes damage to another road users car, they are able to cycle off with no way of tracing them.
"Registration of the cyclist themselves is a simple way of increased responsibility for all."
Worcester MP Robin Walker said: "It's the kind of state intrusion we're against unless it's absolutely necessary, in fact we've tried to go the other way for drivers by trying to get rid of the paper tax disc.
"On balance, I think we need to encourage people to be cyclists and forcing them to register would be very difficult and come at a cost.
"Where I do sympathise is that it can be enormously frustrating when you are in a car and see cyclists jump red lights.
"But when cyclists do break the law there can be severe consequences if they are caught.
"This would only discourage them from cycling."
Cyclists say they would rather ignore the policy than take part.
Colin Taylor, 45, a painter and decorator from Ombersley Road, Worcester, said: "I cycle from my house to work every day, unless it's more than about 15 miles away.
"I won't be giving the Government any of my details for something like this.
"It's none of their business."
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