A new clause inserted by backbencher Steve Barclay MP into the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill will give police community support officers (PCSOs) in England and Wales expansive new powers to stop and fine cyclists who do not have lights on their bikes. PCSOs will also be able to stop and fine cyclists if they don’t have reflectors on their bicycles, including on the pedals. Clipless pedals don’t have reflectors fitted to them but to be street legal all bicycles used at night will need to have a rear reflector and two reflectors on each pedal.
The Government has now gone further. Thanks to a later amendment tabled in the Lords, PCSOs will also get much wider powers to enforce traffic offences by drivers and cyclists alike. These will include giving out on-the-spot fines to cyclists having more than one person on a bike; cyclists who fail to comply with traffic directions; and cyclists who ignore red traffic lights. PCSOs will also be able to fine drivers parking in school zones and other motoring offences.
While the Government seems unable to do much to protect cyclists’ safety on the roads with legislation that would actually make a difference it has spent time on a clause that could be used to harass cyclists who may be highly visible, with hundreds of pounds worth of lights but who don’t have pedal reflectors worth pennies.
[Source: Bike Bizz]