Poll: Should cyclists be given harsher fines?

cyclistsatredlight_thumbIn this second of our London Cyclist week of polls I’m heading to a very hot topic of the moment. There was recently news about Westminster council raising the fines for cyclists to £100. Any cyclist therefore caught skipping red lights, on pavements or ignoring one way signs would receive a fairly harsh fine of £100. (This used to be £30).

The post back then raised a lot of debate with a total of 37 comments left.

Those for the harsher fines: Will argue that cyclists are not above the law and they are governed by the highway code in the same way as any motorist. The harsher fine may help to discourage those that keep flouting the laws. The cyclists for the higher fines will talk about how those that do skip red lights are painting a less positive picture of cycling and likely to cause less people to want to start cycling. Many people will also talk about the anger people seem to express at pavement cycling and the dangers that poses for pedestrians.

Those against the harsher fines: Will argue that the road system in the UK was designed around cars and not bikes. This often leaves cyclists in less than safe positions and the occasional bit of red light skipping actually helps to prevent danger. Whilst they don’t encourage flouting all the laws they acknowledge a bit of rule bending is necessary to stay safe. They will point out that the number of accidents caused by cyclists is extremely low and deaths even lower to none existent. The harsher fines will only serve to discourage new cyclists to join as they keep hearing stories about people receiving big fines. They may also argue that a harsh fine is not the correct way to discourage people and instead better cycling facilities should be built.

Do you think cyclists should receive harsher fines for breaking the rules?

Also don’t forget to vote in yesterdays poll on the London Cycle Hire scheme which is just 2 people short of 100!

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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