Sussex crime commissioner puts forward idea that cyclists should sport number plates for accountability

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Words by Jack Beavis

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has called for cyclists to wear number plates so that it will be easier for them to be prosecuted for offences.

Despite saying that it was “one for the legislators” she aired the idea at a public meeting that she hosted earlier in the week.

Bourne told the meeting: “I would like to see cyclists wear some form of identification like cars have. So when they go through traffic lights, you can actually identify them and then you can prosecute them for breaking the law.”

Elected to the £85,000 a year post in 2012, she later told the Argus: “It is something that has been at the back of my mind for a long time.

“Because when you use the road, if you are driving a car you have your number plate. Other people register; they pay to use the roads. Cyclists don’t, admittedly.

“But there have been occasions when I have been sat at red lights and seen cyclists go through.”

She did admit that “it is the few that ruin it for the many” however, exonerating local cycling club members, saying: “they are great, they are the ones that adhere to all the laws.”

Tony Green of the Brighton and Hove Cycling Campaign dismissed the idea as “totally unrealistic” in administrative and practical terms.

Green said that cyclists were “easy targets” and that there is a perception from people that “they are getting something for free.”

He also pointed out that car tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) is not for the upkeep of Britain’s roads, instead going into the central government pot.

“Road tax was abolished in 1937” said the 67-year old Brighton resident.