There has recently been some debate over whether or not it should be compulsory for cyclists to purchase insurance and show registration in order to protect them in accidents. Due to a rise in the number of bikes there are on the road in the last twenty years, accidents involving cyclists are increasing too.
Some 111 were killed on the roads in 2010, the latest figures show, with 2,660 seriously injured and 14,414 slightly injured. Most of these occurred during rush hour. These figures show how the increase in cyclists has led to an increase in accidents on the road, but would insurance and registration help to prevent these?
Making insurance compulsory for cyclists is likely to stop a lot of people from cycling. A second year student said: “I already fork out lots of money for tax and insurance on my car, and so if I had to pay extra to use my bike I wouldn’t use it.”
Like this student and many others, a bike is used recreationally or as a tool to get around when the weather is nice and for extra exercise. Making everyone pay for insurance and registration on their bikes would stop those who cycle for fun, for exercise, or even with their children as a fun day out. Also, if people stopped using their bikes it would mean that more people are driving on the roads, leading to huge impacts on the environment.
There may however be some positive effects for some cyclists, but I think that this will only impact those who cycle on a regular basis. Having insurance may put cyclists on a more equal ground to cars, meaning that the ongoing feud between the two could be stopped or decreased.
The insurance price would also be quite cheap and may save the cyclist a lot of money if they caused an accident and would have otherwise had to pay the expenditure themselves. However, just like everything else, the insurance price is bound to go up year after year.
Even though the opposing arguments are valid, I think cycling, a fun day out for some people, could be ruined by imposing this law upon them, all because of those that think it is okay to ride recklessly, jumping red lights and cutting in front of cars. Whilst I am not suggesting that all cyclists ride like this, there is nothing to say that making them pay would stop some cyclists riding like they do now.
Everything is becoming too regulated and I think cyclists should have the freedom of choice as to whether or not they want to protect themselves and pay for insurance. This way it can be mostly used by those who cycle daily rather than those who only get out in the summer.
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