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Mobile Phone Driving Ban


thewilliam 6 4.7k
25 Apr 2013 12:56PM
The system can't even enforce the law for compulsory motor insurance. One commentator said that if we're in an other-person's-fault accident, there's a 1 in 4 chance that they're uninsured. I imagine that in the case of a hit and run, lack of insurance is a certainty as a couple of local cases have shown.

Is there any chance of enforcing compulsory third-party cycle insurance?

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lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 1:10PM

Quote:Is there any chance of enforcing compulsory third-party cycle insurance


None at all since there are millions of bikes out there which would need to be registered. How? Make them all buy number plates? Plus there are no restrictions on importing them from abroad, so each one brought in would have to be identified and logged and its destination logged and.....the cost to governent would be vast. And who mould pay? The cyclist? Most people faced with a road tax bill every year on a bike would just stop using it. More cars, more overcrowding on public transport. I sometimes wonder if people put their brain in gear before they make such daft suggestions.

And what would be the point of insurance? Cars kill and injure hundreds of thousands in the UK every single year. Bicycles almost never cause injury when they do, to the rider. Who would check that a bike was insured? How? It's idiotic as an idea, so stupid that a government minister might have thought of it.

Interestingly , here in France, there is not yearly vehicle tax. you pay a sum when you buy the car, about 300 as I Recall and that is it. But you do have to show your insurance certificate in the position on the windscreen where we show the VED. That solves the problem of people driving without insurance. Too simple for us Brits, though. We'd prefer to spend tens of millions collecting a tax off cyclists that would cost more than it ever bring in.
thewilliam 6 4.7k
25 Apr 2013 2:13PM
Lemmy, never underestimate the stupidity of a government when it comes to new legislation.

What is now the booster-seat rule for young/small passengers started life as an April Fool. Some bored civil servants had a brainstorm for the most ridiculous proposal for new legislation and sent it to the Mminister. Much to their surprise, it was taken seriously and became law.

My first wife was a civil servant and came up with a good cost-saving measure for one April 1st. She proposed that all punched cards (yes, it was a long time ago) were re-used by turning them over so they could be punched again from the back.
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 2:21PM

Quote:My first wife was a civil servant and came up with a good cost-saving measure for one April 1st. She proposed that all punched cards (yes, it was a long time ago) were re-used by turning them over so they could be punched again from the back.


That's really funny Grin

But the legislation, I agree. Government seems to get out of touch so quickly.
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 2:52PM
The biggest threat to public sanity is a government who makes up laws for no other reason than to be seen to be doing something. Although all governments have done this, Blair and Brown were arch exponents of such 'gesture' politics - I remember one story that came out of a cabinet meeting that it was a slow week and they spent an hour twiddling their thumbs with the orders to 'think of new legislation'. Probably apocryphal but I don't think too far from the truth.
Evertonian 1 461 England
25 Apr 2013 5:50PM

Quote:
And what would be the point of insurance?



Ever had a cyclist scratch your car with one of his pedals whilst attempting to pass you whilst you are stationary at traffic lights? Then whilst at the head of the queue he zooms across the lights on red and you never see him again! Now if only you could read his number plate!
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 7:55PM

Quote:Now if only you could read his number plate!


The tens of millions of pounds or more to register every bike. Every child going out on the road on his new bicycle, must they register? Is a scooter a bicycle? Where would you put the registration plate on a bicycle so that it was big enough to read as he zooms across the red light? On the mudguard? Most bikes don't have them. So a new law that they must have mudguards?

Like I said, ideas written on the back of fag packets are what governments specialize in. Can't we leave dumb ideas to them?

I have had three occasions of damage to my cars in the past few years. One was from another car driver, who, like 30% of car drivers in the UK was not insured. Two were by, presumably, yobs, who ran a coin down the side. Maybe pedestrians should have registration plates and insurance, following your logic.

Like I said, I cycle and drive. Most cyclists are perfectly ok and safe. So are most car drivers. In answer to your question, no. My son, however, was recently knocked off his bike by a car turning right across him. The bike cost 35 to repair. The driver sped off without stopping. My son, laying on the ground with a cut to his head, did not manage to read the registration plate. Even if he had the driver quite likely would not have had insurance.

If we cannot enforce insurance on car drivers, how do you propose to enforce it on cyclists?
Evertonian 1 461 England
26 Apr 2013 4:32PM

Quote:
If we cannot enforce insurance on car drivers, how do you propose to enforce it on cyclists?



Do we just give up on registering cars then just because most are uninsured?
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
26 Apr 2013 5:10PM

Quote:Do we just give up on registering cars then just because most are uninsured?


No but as Einstein said, madness consists of doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result.

My question was, since we cannot enforce insurance even with registered cars with number plates and heavy penalties for non-compliance, how would you propose to enforce it with bicycles?

The introduction of legislation that cannot and will not be enforced just makes a laughing stock of the police and the government. Dogs muzzled? Mobile phones on the move? ASBOs? Cycling on pavements? Speed limits? Litter laws? Just what we need, millions of bicycles to be registered and insured, yet more woolly and unenforceable meaningless waffle disguised as legislation.

Around my way, cycle lanes are often unusable because of cars parked right across them. The cars are parked illegally. Motorcycles use the lanes to get up inside the traffic. Nothing is done. Now someone wants me to fill in forms, pay license money, fit number plates and pay insurance so that I can legally negotiate the illegally parked cars and motor-cycles some 30% of which themselves are uninsured.

I think I might not support that and neither would I want tens of millions of tax payers money spent on it. Would anyone after a moment's sensible thought?
thewilliam 6 4.7k
26 Apr 2013 11:15PM

Quote:My question was, since we cannot enforce insurance even with registered cars with number plates and heavy penalties for non-compliance, how would you propose to enforce it with bicycles?



Glancing through the Court pages of my local paper, the penalty of driving without insurance is much the same as I pay Saga each quarter and I'm not exactly high risk - in my 60s,driving a Passat and with an decade of NCD. My nephew pays roughly the same each month to insure his Corsa.

Hardly a heavy penalty!
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
27 Apr 2013 7:35AM

Quote:Hardly a heavy penalty!


It's hard to understand that rationale, isn't it? If you're irresponsible enough, don't bother with insurance and if you're caught the penalty is low. Get away with it for a couple of years and you're quids in.

The official figures are 30% of cars not insured - no wonder.
thewilliam 6 4.7k
27 Apr 2013 10:37AM
Some years back, I read a suggestion that, for several decades, it's been the government policy to allow criminal types to prey on the ordinary people with little or no sanction. The payoff is that the n'er-do-wells won't do anything that threatens the government.

Youngsters who choose a life of crime find themselves "punished" by a succession of "community orders" and suspended prison sentences. By the time they do eventually get to prison, they're eminently qualified to enter the "university of crime" so that their education can be completed.

If our government really wanted to rid us of uninsured drivers, it could be done almost overnight by taking the French or Irish approach. Each car would need an "insurance" disk fixed to the windscreen. All uninsured cars would immediately be confiscated and penalties stiffened to the point where it becomes cheaper to insure than not.

We've had a few cases locally where uninsured drivers have killed cyclists by irresponsiblity or gross incompetence at the wheel. This should be manslaughter but penalties haven't reflected the seriousness of the offence.
collywobles 10 3.3k 9 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2013 11:38AM

Quote:Each car would need an "insurance" disk fixed to the windscreen. All uninsured cars would immediately be confiscated and penalties stiffened to the point where it becomes cheaper to insure than not.


Erm we do!

o The tax disc is in effect a confirmed insurance document - at the time of taxing the car.

o Now with ANPR, cars are confiscated when they do not comply with the rules.

o Certainly agree on the last point, but if they cant afford insurance how the hell do you think they will pay "penalties stiffened to the point where it becomes cheaper to insure"

o Finally if you think someone is driving 'uninsured' check on ASKMID and let the local Police Force know.
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
27 Apr 2013 12:54PM

Quote:The tax disc is in effect a confirmed insurance document - at the time of taxing the car


Yes but it doesn't apparently work well enough yet, though I agree efforts are being made . The Motor Insurers Bureau which deals with claims for people injured by uninsured drivers says it pays out for about 160 deaths and 23,000 injured per annum. That's obviously just the tip of an iceberg, since most accidents don't involve injuries to a person but damage to a car. The MIB say, the fines are so low as not to form deterrent. The cops are seizing more cars now which is good.

On your third point, about how will they pay fines if they can't pay insurance, I'd say that in many cases it's not can't but won't pay. And also the unthinkable, the unacceptable point that f you cannot afford to run a car, it may be necessary not to run car. A heresy, I know.

On your final point, how do I l know if someone is uninsured or not?

I think that the order of priorities of France and the UK are different. One thinks it more important that you have paid your tax on the vehicle. The other thinks it more important that you should be insured. I can see both points of view but I'd probably opt for showing insurance as a preference, though I don't see why both is impossible.
thewilliam 6 4.7k
27 Apr 2013 5:51PM
Here in the UK, the most heinous possible crime seems to be failing to pay a tax. The safety of citizens is a far lower priority.

Compare the maximum penalty for an un-taxed car or an unlicensed television with the fine for assault by beating, drunk driving or other offences where people get hurt.

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