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Smaller registration plates are already used on motorbikes and now Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has offered his initial support for regs being used by some cyclists

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has given his initial approval for the concept of registration plates being introduced for some cyclists on the roads of the Republic. The idea was mooted with him in the Dáil and Mr Varadkar said he agreed it should be considered.

He added he planned to raise the concept with Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers TD in the context of enhancing road safety.

If the idea results in registration plates for “professional cyclists”, it would be the first time in the history of the State cyclists would be required to register and have a registration plate that would make them identifiable and traceable on the roads.

The idea was raised in the Dáil by Emer Higgins TD, a Fine Gael colleague of Mr Varadkar’s and a representative for the Dublin Mid West constituency.

She said the Government was “encouraging more and more people to use their bike and leave their cars at home”, adding she believed “professional cyclists should be setting a good example to new and commuting cyclists by creating a safe road share culture”.

“Yet many of us will be aware of incidents and near misses involving delivery cyclists who have broken red lights, who have face timed while they cycled or who have cycled the wrong way down a street,” she said. “I believe we should consider a form of visible identification such as a car or motorcycle number plate solely for professional delivery cyclists.

“This would encourage safer cycling and hold those who break the law to account. There is no denying that food delivery cyclists experience their own challenges in terms of theft and their own personal safety but no one should have to fear walking or driving down the streets because of reckless behaviour of any kind.

“Will the Government legislate for unique identifiers for professional cyclists? By professional cyclists, I mean those who display company branding and who spend their entire working day on our roads.”
Mr Varadkar, who is a cyclist and has competed in triathlons, gave a position response to the idea, stressing it only related to cyclists who are working on their bikes.

“I appreciate the Deputy is being very clear that she is referring here to professional commercial cyclists and not everyday leisure or commuter cyclists,” he said.

“It is something that should be considered and I will speak to the Minister of State, Deputy Chambers, about this in the context of our road safety committee. I do not make a commitment either way but it is something to which we can give some consideration.”

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