Clause 22 - Breach of requirements as to control of vehicle, mobile telephones etc.

Part of Road Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 27th January 2005.

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Photo of Charlotte Atkins Charlotte Atkins Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport 10:45 am, 27th January 2005

This is the first time I have risen to speak in this Committee, and it would be remiss of me not to say what a pleasure it is to serve under your excellent chairmanship, Mr Pike.

I fully agree with hon. Members opposite. Cyclists should not use mobile phones while cycling. The Highway Code makes it absolutely clear that cyclists need to keep both hands on the handlebars, except when they need to signal or change gear. We have no evidence, however, that cyclists have caused accidents as the result of using a mobile phone. The hon. Member for Christchurch is clearly very unlucky to have come across cyclists who are using mobile phones and consistently do not cycle safely. Although cyclists certainly do break the law, there is no evidence of a need for particular legislation to stop cyclists using mobile phones. Plus, the cyclist is probably putting themselves at greater risk than they are other road users. A cycle is a relatively small vehicle which would probably cause damage to a pedestrian, but in the uneven battle between a car and a cyclist, the cyclist is far more likely to come off worst.