A member of the House of Lords has called for a ban on using a mobile phone while riding on a bike or e-scooter after being involved in an incident with a cyclist.
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering wants to see a change in the law that would see cyclists or e-scooter riders prosecuted for using a phone, like drivers are if they are using a device.
At present, it is not an offence for cyclists or e-scooters riders taking part in one of the legal trial schemes to use their mobile when riding. However, bike users can be prosecuted for careless or dangerous cycling, which can incur a fine of up to £2,500.
The calls for a change in the law by the former Thirsk and Malton MP come after the Highway Code was updated in January to include a hierarchy of road users. It was introduced to protect more vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
To reinforce her calls for change,Baroness McIntosh described how she had been walking to the Houses of Parliament and noticed a cyclist using a mobile phone travelling towards her on the wrong side of the road. She added: "I wasn't clear whether he was going to stop or not."
Transport minister Baroness Vere of Norbition responded by saying that the current Highway Code already bans cyclists and e-scooter riders from using a mobile phone.
"It is not a specific offence to cycle and use a mobile phone or headphones, but cyclists and e-scooter riders can be prosecuted by the police for careless and dangerous cycling with maximum fines of £1000 and £2500 respectively,” said Baroness Vere.
At present it is illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter on public roads and pavements. Only rental devices can be used in such areas.
Baroness Vere said that while the current e-scooter trial scheme was ongoing, anyone seen to be riding and using a mobile phone could be fined and get six penalty points.