Should cyclists wear identification?

Identification bicycle cyclist video

The Tasmanian Motorcycle Council (TMC) has called for free identification numbers, not registration, for cyclists over 18 so their traffic offences can be reported and riders fined.

It’s an old complaint about cyclists disobeying road rules and not being fined that surfaces every now and then.

Council president Paul Bullock says his call follows “many complaints” from motorcyclists, car drivers, bus drivers and truck drivers about cyclists who behave irresponsibly.

Since his call for cyclist ID, the TMC has received “lots of negative responses from cyclists but very positive from all other road users”.Identification bicycle

Identification not registration

However, this is not the usual call for cyclists to pay registration fees. After all, most cyclists argue that they are already motorists who pay rego that goes into maintaining our roads.

“Cyclists don’t understand it is for identification, not registration. It is to stop cyclists breaking the law. At no cost to the cyclist,” Paul says.

The TMC wants cyclists over 18 to wear some form of reflective identification number on their bike, clothing or helmet. Paul says it could be funded through the road safety levy.

Maritha Keyser Cyclist rule endangers motorcyclists
Tasmanian road sign

Rule breakers

What seems to irk many motorists is that cyclists get political favour, their own lanes, free footpath parking and yet avoid traffic offences.

We receive many complaints of cyclists blocking the road, breaking road rules, running red lights and even speeding down hills.

I was recently overtaken in a 50km/h downhill zone on Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane, by a cyclist who at the end of the road didn’t stop for a stop sign.Identification bicycle

Then there is this video of a rider on a roundabout having to give way to cyclists entering the roundabout … there’s power in numbers!

However, cyclists are not avoiding traffic fines altogether.

In the past two years, Queensland Police alone have booked more than 230 cyclists for speeding and 540 for running red lights.

The TMC also provided this list of traffic offences in Tasmania by cyclists:

Offence Legislation Fine Code Item Penalty
Unit
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian RR 125(1) $81.50 B819 174 0.5
Cyclist ride without due care and attention RR 367(1) $122.25 BC11 441 0.75
Cycle without reasonable consideration for other road users RR 367(2) $81.50 BC12 442 0.5
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian RR 125(1) $81.50 B819 174 0.5
Cyclist not seated astride and facing forward RR 245(a) $81.50 BA97 330 0.5
Cyclist riding with no hands on handlebars RR 245(b) $81.50 BA97 330 0.5
Cyclist seated other than on seat RR 245(c) $81.50 BA98 331 0.5
Cyclist fail to ride in bicycle lane RR 247(1) $122.25 BB01 335 0.75
Cyclist cause traffic hazard (moving into path of driver/pedestrian RR 253 $122.25 BB22 345 0.75
Ride bicycle with no warning device in working order RR 258(b) $81.50 BB38 356 0.5

With identification numbers, more traffic offences could be issued, more than paying for the cost to implement the program.

While the majority of cyclists obey the law there is an element within the cycling fraternity that continually do not,” Paul says.

“They obstruct vehicles travelling on the road; while travelling in a group doing far less speed compared to other vehicles, they will not move into single file to allow vehicles to pass.

“Cyclists use the excuse that they are entitled to ride two abreast on the road, while failing to accept that they are unreasonably obstructing traffic, which is illegal.

“Despite it being legal for cyclists to travel two abreast and laws allowing other vehicle to cross double lines to pass when safe to do so, irresponsible and discourteous rider behaviour puts cyclists and other road users at risk.”

Petitions against cyclist rules

Last year, a Change.org petition was started by Drivers For Registration of Cyclists for cyclists to ride single file.

It has so far received more than 134,000 signatures.

Identification bicycles cyclist
Image from the Change.org.au petition

Meanwhile, a 2017 petition against a rule allowing motorists to cross solid and double white lines to pass cyclists thus endangering oncoming motorcyclists has closed with only 2327 supporters.

Petition organiser Maritha Keyser, who was injured in such an incident, closed the petition after failing to gain the attention of any politicians.

 

30 Comments

  1. Please lay off the cyclists surely Australia came out of the dark ages with the gay marriage vote, there is no need to keep persecuting them

  2. Yes one rule for them and 50,000 for every body else
    Cycling Victoria never admits to any problem with the majority but it’s most of them
    Beach road is a classic they have a complete bike bath but no they have to ride on the road and disrupt traffic flow and risk all other road users of having a collision
    Even the older generation 60 and above think that they don’t have to stop at red lights etc if everybody else has to so should they let alone trailing with flow of traffic and then pulling into the stop traffic waiting for lights to change
    Just make them have plates just like every other road user

  3. In the past I used to ride a cycle for pleasure and exercise and enjoyed it to some degree. Riding along breathing in exhaust fumes knowing how unsafe it is in the mix of motor vehicles, I decided that for my own safety and good health and for my responsibility as a father and husband that it was prudent to not ride a bike on the public roads.

  4. Many of the complaints about cyclists ant-social behaviour actually come from pedestrians
    Who appear to be expected by cyclists to have eyes in the backs of their heads to be on the lookout for speeding cyclists who certainly dont give them a 1.5 metre gap…And can cause injury with absolutely no redress if the rider refuses or gives false details..Really its a no brainer. 2 weeks ago i witnessed a near new 4wd reverse into a parked car and do a runner without leaving any details.Because of his rego number i left his details for him..I have 3 registered bikes and i pay comprehensive insurance on the lot so i can meet my responsibilities if i am at fault…So what makes cyclists so ‘special’?

  5. Looks like the cycle riders and their mates seem to have hi jacked this topic for their own selfish gains and no other reason, but of course push bike riders think them selves to be perfect — just ask them—and above the law with their elitist attitude. Cycle riders enjoy a game called “dob in a motorist” for no other reason than they can, but you can’t touch them.

  6. So let’s see, for all you rego wanting cyclist haters, tell us all how successful you are dobbing in a motorist that you report to the police on your say so. Its okay we can wait. Even with video evidence, police will hardly care at all.

    As for ID not being rego, well this ID is going to be registered in some database, somewhere, ergo it is registration.

    And finally, tell us all how registration has stopped motorists doing dumb stupid dangerous and deadly things. Last time I looked, a cyclist kills a person roughly every 10 years in Australia, motorists over 1200 per year. Talk about a solution to a problem that does not exist. Build a bridge and get over it, there is a reason why cycling does not have rego and licensing, it is a human powered, non motorised endeavour, like walking, running etc.

    What is with the anti cycling rhetoric anyway? Join in, only barrier to entry is the cost of buying one, after that it is free, or is that what irks people, cyclists getting something for nothing? Pissed off at pedestrians, all that free footpath and walkway infrastructure and no rego. Gotta go, there’s some clouds to shout at.

  7. Just a thought. Recently had a friend knocked off her bike by another cyclist. The other cyclist (lets call him Jim as a name) came back, saw she had a broken wrist and then cycled off. My friend was off work for 3 months (she was self employed) due to the severity of the break. Now if Jim,s bike had an identification plate and perhaps insurance (like every other road user) then she would have had an income whilst the wrist was healing. She was disadvantaged because Jim rode away after seeing the damage caused by his irresponsable riding. Not what i would consider a fair event.

  8. “most cyclists are already motorists who pay rego” – so I don’t need to keep paying the rego on my motorcycle because I already pay rego for a 4WD? The damage I cause to the road with my motorcycle is negligible too – and I’m reducing congestion and pollution.
    I’m afraid if you’re on the road – you should be paying for it… end of argument. It might only be a token payment, but it has to cover the administration costs.

    There’s nothing wrong with having cyclists on the road – even our crap, narrow Australian roads. The cyclists to have to understand that there is a big difference between being “legally allowed” to ride in a certain formation, and being “courteous” to other road users. On the flip side – the other vehicles just need to take a chill pill and wait.
    Unfortunately a high percentage of the roads around here where I encounter large groups of cyclists are so poor and narrow, with no fog lines, that it’s impossible to pass them – there are still those cyclists who take their lives into their own hands and ride 2 and 3 abreast. Personally, I just suck it up and wait, however it’s a sphincter tightening moment when I encounter some entitled bogan coming head on over double white lines around a corner because they can’t wait to pass the cyclist.

    Most of the problems are not the cyclists fault – it’s the lack of skill of the other vehicles around them.

    There is one thing that really gets up my goat, though – and Mark has reported it – where Police have fined motorists for driving too slow, and thus being a traffic hazard. What the hell is a group of slow moving cyclists?…. they’re a hazard! Those car drivers should be immediately refunded and be given an apology. What the hell Dept of Transport?… you can’t have your cake and eat it too!

  9. “However, this is not the usual call for cyclists to pay registration fees. After all, most cyclists are already motorists who pay rego that goes into maintaining our roads.”

    Say what??? So why am I paying registration on several motorcycles?

  10. Not this crap again? The vast majority of cyclists follow the road rules and should be congratulated for keeping fit and keeping cars off our roads, to suggest that everyone who rides a bike over the age of 18 needs identification is ridiculous.

    People need to be more patient on the road and stop freaking out about what other people are doing, need to wait 30 seconds to pass a group of cyclists? Big deal, someone else is breaking the law and getting away with it on a bicycle? Who cares?

    Motorcyclists and cyclists as vulnerable and often maligned road users should be on the same side, we shoudlnt be kicking cyclists because they’re an easy target.

    1. Perhaps a new rule requires cyclists ride single file when they have other vehicles behind them and if they need two or more aside they Must have a vehicle following them with a clear sign “ cyclist ahead”, similar as is the case with wide or long loads.

    2. Sure, the vast majority of car drivers and bikers,and other road users all follow the road rules. If that were indeed the case this topic, would not exist.

  11. So certain individuals want labels on cyclists so they can dob them in for, often perceived, infringements. Police already enforce road rules on cyclists like any other road user.
    These same persons by logic will have to put numbers on the side of their cars, so all bystanders can dob in law breakers. Good grief. This great brown land of whingers.
    I often point out to the whingers, that I never hear a complaint about farm and construction machinery on roads, unregistered and taking up whole road lanes.

  12. Ok i’ll bite,a couple of things grind me a bit with this story and its responses.
    First off; i have a registered car but that doesnt mean my motorcycle rego is free and by that rationale nor should a cyclists rego be free.
    Second;cyclists are prolific road rule breakers emboldened by the fact that they lack identification and that the penalties for breaking the road rules are far less than for other road users despite being just as dangerous.
    Third;passing a cyclist two abreast and within the lane as is the law in a cycle lane is absolutely no easier than when they are single file-no difference whatsoever-however when they wander outside the lane as is often the case it is near or in some cases completely impossible to pass whilst giving them the 1.5 metre gap that was made law without realising that most australian roads are simply not wide enough to do so,this law needs to be repealed as all it does is encourage poor behaviour on the cyclist part and animosity in other road users,it is also ridiculous that a driver can cross double unbroken lines and put oncoming traffic at risk to avoid a cyclist with poor decision making ability.
    Just because you can legally cycle somewhere does not make it safe or smart to do so:cyclist need to be responsible for how their affect other road users.
    Identification,licencing and registration for cyclists would go a long way to reducing the animosity towards cyclist by other road users(everyone should pay-if you are on the black stuff:pay up).

    1. Ah yes…the ‘lets throw out wild generalisations in the hope that no one recognises that I am just making stuff up’ argument.

      – “Cyclists are prolific road rule breakers” (where are the stats to back up this statement? How many cyclists are there on Australian Roads? What percentage of those break road rules? Just because you saw a cyclist break a rule doesn’t mean that activity is ‘prolific’.)

      – “most Australian roads are simply not wide enough” (really? Again, how many roads are in Australia and how many of those roads are not wide enough to overtake a cyclist given the 1 or 1.5 metre requirement?)

      – “law needs to be repealed as all it does is encourage poor behaviour on the cyclist part” (what are examples of this rule ‘encouraging’ cyclists behaviour? I’ve not seen any ‘encouragement’ articles, discussions or evidence so I’d appreciate you providing some!!!)

      – “a driver can cross double unbroken lines and put oncoming traffic at risk” (Simply put – they can’t. This is a ridiculous statement that actually IGNORES the full rule [but never let facts get in the way of your flawed argument]. The ACTUAL rule (in QLD) states:
      To pass a bicycle rider—as long as it is safe to do so—you are allowed to:
      drive over centre lines (including double unbroken centre lines) on a 2-way road
      straddle or cross a lane line (including a continuous lane line) on a multi-lane road
      drive on a painted island.
      If it is not safe to pass a bicycle rider, you must wait until it is safe to pass.
      Guess you didn’t like the last sentence hey?”

      – “cyclist need to be responsible for how their affect other road users” (well actually…the are already!)

      – “Identification,licencing and registration for cyclists would go a long way to reducing the animosity ” (This is a very sound argument because identification, licensing and registration has completely SOLVED any animosity [Road Rage] toward car and motorcycle riders hasn’t it?)

      Personally, I think that some cyclists do the wrong thing and acknowledge that that is frustrating but to lump all cyclists into the same boat is just patently ridiculous and to support that with factually incorrect generalisations is pathetic.

      1. Ok,just because you get your feelings al hurt does not remove the validity of my arguments,all statements are based on my experience,i have had oncoming traffic in my lane threatening my existence because cyclists in my experience rely on the law as opposed to using common sense,you probably should google the definition of prolific as its apparent you dont know what it actually means.as for proof send me your email and i can send you a video of 3 abreast cyclists on a single lane road that proceed to run a red light and obstruct traffic,laughing and looking back at motorists like they were untouchable- and no nothing could be done because there was no id for the cyclist(imagine a world with no licence plates for anyone and think how dangerous it would be).dont worry buddy,you are well and truly reinforcing the stereotype of the cyclist who beleives the road belongs to them and them only,you might want to check youtube and social media and see how many of you and your mates are breaking road rules because there is next to no chance of repurcussions for inidentifiable road users.run red lights,turn without indicating,wander across lanes-its a good thing cyclists dont have licences:a large proportion would lose them in under 5km of road travel,use your common sense and see how your actions affect road users,your response is typically lycra fuelled garbage.lemme guess you are against cyclist id?,might mean you would have to be responsible for your action(i have a licence plate…but then again i dont ride like a twat).

      2. Ok,just because you get your feelings al hurt does not remove the validity of my arguments,all statements are based on my experience,i have had oncoming traffic in my lane threatening my existence because cyclists in my experience rely on the law as opposed to using common sense,you probably should google the definition of prolific as its apparent you dont know what it actually means.as for proof send me your email and i can send you a video of 3 abreast cyclists on a single lane road that proceed to run a red light and obstruct traffic,laughing and looking back at motorists like they were untouchable- and no nothing could be done because there was no id for the cyclist(imagine a world with no licence plates for anyone and think how dangerous it would be).dont worry buddy,you are well and truly reinforcing the stereotype of the cyclist who beleives the road belongs to them and them only,you might want to check youtube and social media and see how many of you and your mates are breaking road rules because there is next to no chance of repurcussions for inidentifiable road users.run red lights,turn without indicating,wander across lanes-its a good thing cyclists dont have licences:a large proportion would lose them in under 5km of road travel,use your common sense and see how your actions affect road users,your response is typically lycra fuelled garbage.lemme guess you are against cyclist id?,might mean you would have to be responsible for your action(i have a licence plate…but then again i dont ride like a twat).oh and in case you are unsure-1.5 metres is 150cm-go grab a ruler if you are unsure and put it against the edge of a cycle lane into the vehicle lane on a suburban road and see how much room is left- i have done it and seen less than 1.4 remaining on my road…..have you measured any of your roads….you know,coz you’re all up and against generalisations.

      3. OH, Sounds like the OLD story of ALL Motorcyclists are BIKIES … Welcome to the REAL WORLD of DISCRIMINATION ….. ALL ROAD USERS SHOULD PAY – CYCLISTS INCLUDED – OH, I Forgot we are dealing with the LYCRA WEARING LATTE SIPPING UNTOUCHABLE SET …. Aren’t we …. ?
        IT IS ABOUT TIME YOU POOR LITTLE DARLINGS WERE TREATED AS EVERY OTHER LICENCED REGISTERED ROAD USER … PAY UP, PASS ROAD SAFETY RULES TEST AND BE LICENCED AND HAVE REGISTRATION AND CTP … LIKE WE OTHERS HAVE TO … STOP FLAUNTING THE LAWS AND GROW UP YOU PUSSIES …

        1. So I assume you are going to ban non licensed children. The helmet laws are already unenforced against minors in Qld. You obviously have an axe to grind, and as stated earlier, i bet you do not abuse drivers of unregistered farm machinery when you are out clogging country peoples roads.

  13. Seriously I do see a major safety problem with a percentage of push bike riders; it comes down to attitude & training from all sides on the road.
    In theory the numbering is not a bad idea, however if you report someone for breaking the road rules on a numbered push bike, you also need to supply documented proof of the offense.
    We could also number dog walkers to report them when they don’t pick up poo.
    Photo ID of people getting a numbered shopping trolley, so when it’s left kilometres from the store in front of your place they to can be fined.
    Pedestrians could also be numbered with CCTV recording offenses of crossing roads illegally & fines mailed out.
    OR; we could just use the vehicle horn in various application lengths to warn pushbike riders of our approach with the addition of profane verbal abuse that may be heard in muffled tones through insulated vehicles if they fail not to move into single file.

  14. Seriously I do see a major safety problem with a percentage of push bike riders, it comes down to attitude & training from all sides on the road.
    In theory the numbering is not a bad idea, however if you report someone for breaking the road rules on a numbered push bike, you also need to supply documented proof of the offense.
    We could also number dog walkers to report them when they don’t pick up poo.
    Photo ID of people getting a numbered shopping trolley, so when it’s left kilometers from the store in front of your place they to can be fined.
    Pedestrians could also be numbered with CCTV recording offenses of crossing roads illegally & fines mailed out.
    OR; we could just use the vehicle horn in various application lengths to warn pushbike riders of our approach with the addition of profane verbal abuse that may be heard in muffled tones through insulated vehicles if they fail not to spread out.

  15. People should be encouraged to cycle, not discouraged from doing so. The more cyclists on the road and the fewer other vehicles, the less congested, less polluted and safer the roads become. Just look at countries like the Netherlands, where everyone cycles despite the often inclement weather. The biggest problem in Australia is that drivers are too stupid, too aggressive and too ignorant and uneducated, thanks to the ridiculous situation that allows people to be “taught” by non-professional drivers, such as mum and dad, who can’t drive properly in the first place. I drive buses, I drive a four-wheel drive, I drive a small motorcar, I ride motorcycles and I cycle, so I see it from all perspectives, unlike many who just see things from their own narrow points-of-view. Cyclists need bike lanes, as they are vulnerable road users and Australian drivers are appallingly bad. I’ve done a lot of cycling in the US; as much as I don’t like US culture, I do find the drivers extremely well-behaved towards cyclists. In this country one ventures out on a bicycle on a wing and a prayer.

    1. Just to clear something up for all of us “non professionals”……who first taught you to drive when you were a teenager? And realistically its a moot point that you make as all road users,with the exception of cyclists of course,have to pass the same licencing tests as everyone else.

      1. Moot point? There is a hell of a lot more to driving than just “passing a licence test”, as I’m sure you, as a motorcyclist, would be well aware.

        1. License to operate a vehicle does not mean you know how to “drive”. Unfortunately most people stop learning after getting their license and their skills and awareness of “driving” deteriorates from there.

  16. It’s far It’s a ludicrous idea. Nowhere else in the world has such a system been successful. This is merely the TMC “clickbaiting” and drumming up some publicity for itself using the “us and them” mentality. The TMC should focus on issues here in Tasmania that actually affect us motorcyclists.

    Also cycling two abreast is not only perfectly legal – but makes it far easier to pass a group of cyclists, as it’s a shorter distance the vehicle has to overtake (that info-graphic is misleading)

    Simply overtake when safe to do so, it’s not hard to be courteous and 30 seconds waiting behind a cyclist (or horse rider, slow moving tractor, slower car, whatever) is not going to ruin your day. 🙂

    1. “30 seconds waiting behind a cyclist (or horse rider, slow moving tractor, slower car, whatever) is not going to ruin your day.”

      This is such an important point. Why did everyone get so impatient and selfish, expressing such disdain for their fellow beings? Can’t we all get along on the roads (and perhaps in general)?

      As a daily commuter (by motorcycle) I see lots of people every day forgetting the responsibility they owe themselves and everyone else as they pilot around a 1-2 tonne weapon with gay abandon.

      It’s a horrifying trend, with potential for disastrous consequences.

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