A bicycling baron has called for riding with ear plugs to be outlawed to cut the accident toll on Britain’s roads.
Former law lord Lord Scott of Foscote said a cyclist’s main protection should be his or her own eyes and ears.
“The eyes are there to warn against impending danger from the front and the ears ought to assist in identifying impending danger from behind.”
Independent crossbencher Lord Scott told peers at question time that he cycled regularly from his London flat to Westminster.
“I am appalled by the number of cyclists who bicycle with ear plugs in their ears listening to music.”
To murmurs of support, he added: “If they listen to music, they can’t possibly hear any danger approaching from behind.
“There are regulations to ensure the use of lights on bicycles in dark or dingy weather.
“Shouldn’t there also be a regulation to prevent the highly-dangerous practice to which I have referred?”
Transport minister Baroness Kramer said it was important for everyone to do all they could to improve cycle safety.
She said in London many of the recent “incredibly sad” deaths of cyclists had resulted from collisions with heavy goods vehicles.
New rules on goods vehicles were being adopted as a result and London was taking this further with its “safer lorries” scheme.
Independent crossbencher and former Cabinet secretary Lord Butler of Brockwell pressed her further.
“Will you address the question about the case for regulation to prevent cyclists cycling with ear plugs in their ears?” he demanded.
Lady Kramer said “enforceability” was “absolutely crucial”.
She added: “I hesitate to tell cyclists exactly what they should do when there is so much scope for us to make improvements in other areas.”