It was only during a recent cycling outing with friends that I learned that the point reduction penalty for drivers also applies to cyclists with a driving license. In Hong Kong, if a driver commits a serious traffic offence, such as speeding or ignoring the red traffic light, it would lead to a deduction of points. An accumulation of 15 points would result in suspension of the license. According to my cycling friends, if a cyclist commits such offences, points will be deducted from his driving license, if he has one.
The rationale, I was told, is that cyclists are road users and they should abide by traffic regulations. While this may sound fair, I do have a couple of fundamental reasons for contesting the linkage of a cyclist’s traffic offence to the driving license he may possess. First, a driving license is exactly what the name suggests – it’s a license for driving, not cycling. One gets it after passing a driving test. The whole process has nothing to do with cycling so why should cycling have anything to do with it? Second, why should a cyclist in possession of a driving license receive additional penalty for committing the same offence as another cyclist without the license? Third, if a cyclist is a road user because he is cycling on the road, is a pedestrian not also a road user when he crosses the road? Is there a difference between a cyclist ignoring a red light and a pedestrian doing the same? If not, shouldn’t a pedestrian in possession of a driving license receive the additional penalty because he, too, is a road user?
The whole thing doesn’t seem to make sense to me. I wonder what the court would say if a cyclist being so penalised were to take legal action one day.