Random guy says Grant Shapps stole his idea of ​​compulsory insurance for cyclists

A man from Barrow, Cumbria, has claimed Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who earlier this week said cyclists should be required to carry liability insurance, stole the idea from him.

The North West Evening Mail reports that Mark Bell asked Simon Fell, the Tory MP for Barrow and Furness, to raise the issue with ministers after a child on a bicycle apparently scratched his car a few months ago.

Now he’s championing the idea that cyclists should carry insurance – despite calls for it long before road.cc wore nappies, had Johnson’s Baby Powder sprinkled on his back and had to drink oil of cod liver in the late 2000s.

He told the newspaper: “I sat down and thought, if this happened to me, how many other cars are affected?

“I contacted Simon Fell and said to him, ‘why are cyclists allowed in the cars and we pay for the damage?’ There should be give and take because if we hit a cyclist and they get hurt, they could cost us thousands of dollars.

“Maybe by holding them accountable they could cycle more sensibly and be less at risk.”

In response to her concerns, MP Trudy Harrison, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, said: ‘We have already considered the possibility of introducing a system of compulsory insurance for all who cycle on the motorway, but this could lead to a reduction in the number of cyclists.

“To be effective, such a requirement would also need to be introduced alongside a compulsory licensing and registration system to allow riders to be identified and insurance details to be exchanged at the scene of any incident, which would be costly. and complex.”

“I’m afraid I don’t think that compulsory insurance for everyone who rides a bike would be a proportionate solution,” she added.

Shapps floated the idea earlier this week in an interview with the Daily Mail in which his comments were in direct contrast to those made regularly in recent years by ministers and officials in his own department.

> Grant Shapps: cyclists must have license plates, be insured and subject to speed limits

While North Korea requires cyclists to be licensed, no country in the world currently requires cyclists to have mandatory liability insurance. Switzerland had such a system, requiring cyclists to show a vignette on their bike to prove they only had cover, but it was abandoned as it proved far too cumbersome to administer and enforce.

The fact is that most adult cyclists have potential third party liability insurance for incidents for which they are at fault while riding a bike – whether through their own household insurance policy, membership to a club or their membership of an organization such as British Cycling or Cycling United Kingdom.

Drivers of power-driven vehicles such as cars, vans and trucks are required to have minimum liability cover under the Road Traffic Act 1988, but cyclists are not.

This reflects the greater risk of harm motorists pose to others such as other vehicle occupants or pedestrians.

Legislation aside, the entire insurance industry is based on risk assessment, so some may find it disappointing that a specialist cycling insurer adopted Shapps’ comments this week.

Cycleplan CEO Paul Williams said: “There is no doubt that the government faces a challenge in launching such a scheme as part of any move to make cycle insurance compulsory, particularly given the current crisis. of the cost of living.

“While the legislation should indeed be on the government’s long-term roadmap, particularly as the use of micro-mobility accelerates, many families simply do not need a additional financial burden at the moment.

“However, compulsory cycling insurance would bring huge benefits to victims of incidents involving uninsured cyclists and could also encourage better cycling behavior with stricter rules on dangerous driving, speed limits, traffic lights, etc.”

He added; “It could also help reduce cycling crime – particularly bike theft, which as we know continues to plague London and other major cities”, although the reason why cyclists are forced to take out insurance to third would prevent the theft of their bikes was not explained.

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