The Safety of Cyclists
Gareth Bennett AM
Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
Spoken Contribution – 14:01
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There are issues of cyclist safety, as have been raised by the last two Members, and we do need to make steps to encourage safe cycling. Unfortunately, when cyclists come off the road and onto the pavement, they can also become a danger to pedestrians. In Peterborough, the council are currently issuing PSPO notices, which are public space protection orders, to stop dangerous cyclists. One thousand cyclists have been fined in three months. We do have powers to issue PSPOs in Wales as well, so should we encourage Welsh councils to use similar notices to tackle the growing problem of dangerous cycling?
Carwyn Jones AM
Title: First Minister of Wales Party: Welsh Labour
Well, this is something I know that the UK Government is considering. The current law that deals with dangerous cycling is a law that dates back to the furious driving of horses and carts in Victorian times, which has not been updated, although a prosecution was successful, of course, along those lines. I do get concerned. I think, first of all, it’s important for us to understand that, just like most drivers, most cyclists are responsible cyclists, who are well-illuminated as well at night. But I’ve seen cyclists on pavements, I’ve seen people cycling at night with no lights and they’re invisible, frankly. There’s literally nothing on them that’ll identify them to cars. But they are a minority. So, I think what is hugely important is that we continue to emphasise that for cyclists’ own safety, it’s massively important that they have lights on at night, they don’t wear entirely dark clothing so they can’t be seen, for their own safety and of course to enable cars to see them. But we are talking about a small minority of people. There is a duty on car drivers, obviously, to consider the safety of cyclists, but it is important as well that cyclists take steps to ensure that they can be seen.