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

Part of Road Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 27th January 2005.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 11:00 am, 27th January 2005

In exactly the same way, motorists who are using mobile phones can be prosecuted. There is a lot to be said for equivalence. There is a feeling among some road users about actions of the cycling fraternity, or at least some of them. I do not want to generalise or make people think that I am prejudiced against cyclists. That is not true, because I am a cyclist. The fact that, many years ago, a cyclist coming down a one-way street in the wrong direction hit my wife and her dog does not mean I have a longstanding resentment against all cyclists. On that occasion, the cycle touring club were generous enough to write us a letter, expressing sympathy over the behaviour of that cyclist.

However, I believe that it is important that all road users should recognise a degree of equivalence. There is nothing more annoying for a motorist than to see a cyclist with a mobile phone cycling along with impunity, when he knows that if he were to use a mobile phone, he would be slapped down with a fixed penalty and an endorsement. The argument for equivalence is a strong one, and I hope that other Committee members will support me.

Question put, That the amendment be made:— 

The Committee divided: Ayes 4, Noes 13.