The French have made it mandatory to have your bike marked


Good Mornings and hope you're all well,
I was reading that France have announced that there making it mandatory that all new bikes must have an identification mark on them and this will also apply to all second hand ones later on in the year. The only exceptions will be children bikes.
The small article i read was a little vague but from what i gathered, it looks like they have to leg display a bar code on the frame which will identify the rightful owner.
I suppose the police could then simply scan the bar code on the bike to ascertain whether the bike is listed as stolen. I suppose bikes could be quickly checked while there locked up at train stations ect to see if they've got some black mark against them.
The article also suggested the UK may consider a similar thing.
If reduces bike theft and can help reunite a costly bike back to its rightful owners, surely its a good thing.
I would like to think most cyclists are responsible road users, but there is a few who do bend the laws and because we are virtually anonymous with no identity having a bike that's got an legal identity marker could make a few red light jumpers think twice.
Personally i think it's a good step forward considering that bikes nowadays can cost a small fortune and that there relatively easy to steal, and that there populatartiy had soared the last few years
On the other hand, is this the start of making bikes identifiable to which could lead them to be taxed in some way and force the humble cyclist to take out compulsory insurance in the future.
I'm firmly sitting on the wall with this


I think its a good thing.

Sadly, some cyclists are irresponsible but many more cyclists have been victim to theft of their bicycles. Either way it is a good thing.

As to tax, i don't think so. Tax on UK roads in most instances are linked to emissions so im really not worried about that for the foreseeable future.

Insurance on the other hand.... I say give the motorists what they want. Claims against them would strongly outweigh the occasional scratched paint claim against cyclists and would likely increase premiums on motorists... A fact they seemingly want to omit...


Tights of Cydonia
South Glos
This would only work with a compulsory register to be administered by the DVLA or similar. And the road safety benefits would be negligible.

Those who want cyclists to be identifiable want them to wear hi vis vests with a big number on them !
Japan has had a bike registration for decades, although it is based on a traditional number plate. Usually this is used by the police to return bikes to their owners after a drunk salaryman nicked it to ride home from the station.

Some E-bikes in Germany are officially "motorised" (I think it's about the power of the motor or the top speed) and have to have a numberplate, so do some E-Scooters.

I'm not sure a small barcode will help identify a red light jumper in the act.

I wonder how they are going to deal with tourists who occasionally ride across the border?
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Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I think Denmark has a similar scheme. I don't know what bike theft levels there are like.

UK Govt IT projects mean it will probably add cost to bike ownership (even just admin cost not tax) and not work properly. Expect fun when someone else reports your bike stolen.

I doubt any identifier will be readable from red light cameras (do any still exist?) or traffic police (do any still exist?).


Flouncing Nobber
And the people that gave us the Maginot Line, now give us what every bike already has...frame numbers!

We've had frame numbers since time immemorial, it's just that practically no one notes them down or records them in an accessible manner - its3 the latter thatnis the problem, not the lack of any identifiable mark or serial number.

Little evidence that marking reduces theft, although it may make reuiniting bikes with their owners easier.

And as for RLJ'ing... the presence of very large, highly visible, reflective number plates does nothing to make car driving RLJ'ers think twice about zipping though, so I can see no reason why cycling road users would be any different because of a small bar code. As it is, if you've committed an offence and fail to identify yourself to an officer when requested they can arrest you and keep you until you are identified, so there is no additional threat of sanction hanging over any naughty people.
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Children are not able to contract for insurance. If you ask parents to hold the insurance on their behalf it becomes yet another barrier to cycling, especially among the less well off.
Of course but I was talking in reference to the OP and in reference to children's bikes being exempt from identity markers, therefore tax and insurance. I'm not really for insuring bicycles it must be said, more point out the idiocy of the pro bicycle insurance lobbyists...
Children are not able to contract for insurance. If you ask parents to hold the insurance on their behalf it becomes yet another barrier to cycling, especially among the less well off.
Our children were covered by our liability insurance for a few Euro extra par year, is this not possible in the UK?

This once saved us a lot of money after a driver tried to make us pay for damage to his car when he ran into Elder Son (then about four) on a bicycle.

Elder Son was completely unharmed, and the insurance companies lawyers thought the driver's claim was hilarious.
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Legendary Member
I have bikes without frame numbers, or with short ones from custom builders that will no doubt be duplicated elsewhere.

Those of us with a lot of bikes may find any registration scheme very expensive. It's already impractical to insure more than a couple of them when away from home, because insurers refuse to believe you can only ride one at a time.


Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...
A registration sticker, as such, wouldn't be a problem for me, and I already have insurance via Cycling UK.
As for hmgov's comment 'may consider'.. That's a bit waffly, negative and non-committal.
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