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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 09-26-06, 02:30 AM   #1
Bud_311
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Should ALL cyclists be on the road?

I'm not trying to kick a dead horse in this forum, just want some opinions on a thought that occured to me. The more I ride, the safer I feel on the road. Granted there are certain roads I try to avoid (for the sake of not inconveniencing a whole traffic system, and to avoid danger).

However, I'm wondering if EVERYONE should be allowed on the road? Obviously drivers need a state issued license to operate a vehicle on the roads, but should the same be necessary for cyclists? I'm comfortable with the idea of a licensed driver (or at least a legally-aged cyclist) on the road, but I must admit I don't like the idea of a minor operating any type of transportation on the road. I've seen kids who looked as young as their early pre-teens trying to ride their bmx bikes in the middle of a busy highway. So my question is if the roads should be open to all, or only a certain age group?
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Old 09-26-06, 02:53 AM   #2
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Only adults who have proven themselves through a license test should be riding registered bikes on public roads.

Drivers should need to first qualify for a bicycle license and only be allowed to drive a car after a period of time. Drivers would then have an understanding of what being a cyclist on public roads means. It's the same progression to driving large trucks, first you have to have a car license for a certain period (you do here, anyway) before you can obtain a truck license.

I also think that bicycles that are ridden by adults on public streets should be registered and display an identification plate just like every single other legal road vehichle needs to.
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Old 09-26-06, 03:10 AM   #3
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Of course all bicycles and riders should be allowed to use the road, if they wish.

How would you ban a certain segment and still have equal protection under the law? You can't. It's a
preposterous idea.
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Old 09-26-06, 03:23 AM   #4
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Registration of cyclists has been looked into many times and been shown to be unviable from an economic perspective. In the end, registration is just another tax, and economics is what decides whether taxes are implemented in the real world. I've also seen enough incompetent, licenced drivers that I'm starting to think of licensing as something similar.
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Old 09-26-06, 05:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chris L
Registration of cyclists has been looked into many times and been shown to be unviable from an economic perspective. In the end, registration is just another tax, and economics is what decides whether taxes are implemented in the real world. I've also seen enough incompetent, licenced drivers that I'm starting to think of licensing as something similar.

I agree.

Licensing doesn't really guarantee that someone knows how to drive, or will drive appropriately.

Just look at all of the incompetent drivers out there every single day
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Old 09-26-06, 07:00 AM   #6
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We can't even get the police and various levels of government to enforce existing traffic regulations with cars much less bicycles. It would merely be another tax grab that would be unenforceable.
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Old 09-26-06, 07:04 AM   #7
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IMHO moderating traffic is and should be pretty far down the enforcement totem pole. Around here young kids tend to stick to sidewalks in the city. I agree there are definately some I would agree shouldn't be on the road. That said some might say that about me..
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Old 09-26-06, 07:54 AM   #8
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I would say that it should be up to the individual and/or their legal guardian. If a person acts consistently irresponsible on the road, perhaps they could be banned by a judge.

As for licensing, I feel it would be a serious civil rights violation to regulate who can use public roads and who can't. I can appreciate the need for licensing drivers of motor vehicles because motor vehicles are particularly powerful and dangerous machines but that doesn't extend to bicycles. It's like, we might require someone to be licensed to operate a backhoe, but that doesn't mean they should need a license to use a regular shovel.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
I would say that it should be up to the individual and/or their legal guardian. If a person acts consistently irresponsible on the road, perhaps they could be banned by a judge.

As for licensing, I feel it would be a serious civil rights violation to regulate who can use public roads and who can't. I can appreciate the need for licensing drivers of motor vehicles because motor vehicles are particularly powerful and dangerous machines but that doesn't extend to bicycles. It's like, we might require someone to be licensed to operate a backhoe, but that doesn't mean they should need a license to use a regular shovel.
I am going to have to disagree with you on this one!

I beleive anyone using a regular shovel on a public road needs to be licensed, there are far to many instances of shovel users runing red lights
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Old 09-26-06, 08:38 AM   #10
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The only shovel users I see on the road are just standing there, looking at the ground.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tomcryar
The only shovel users I see on the road are just standing there, looking at the ground.
Yeh but you cant tell what they are thinking,I bet they are daydreaming about speeding down the road, and running red lights with their shovel
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Old 09-26-06, 09:17 AM   #12
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I expect that "unlicensed" bicyclists would continue to ride on sidewalks, where they are more dangerous to innocent people than on the roadway (according to the stats available). Many police and members of the public falsely believe that licenses and registration are allowed for roadway use but not for travel outside the travel lanes. This is why I see many golf car drivers operating on the sidewalks where I live, with the police looking the other way, as long as they don't try to use the travel lanes. Also, the motoring public will pressure the police to ticket unlicensed cyclists on the roadway, in order to get them off of the roadway for motorists' convenience, but will ignore them on the sidewalks.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud_311
I'm not trying to kick a dead horse in this forum, just want some opinions on a thought that occured to me...However, I'm wondering if EVERYONE should be allowed on the road? Obviously drivers need a state issued license to operate a vehicle on the roads, but should the same be necessary for cyclists?

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Old 09-26-06, 09:23 AM   #14
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Excellent idea. Let's make it so people have to pass a test BEFORE they can ride a bike on the street. That will get the Mexican and other poor riders off the street. Oh wait they already have that for cars and it doesn;t seem to stop poor (economically speaking) drivers from driving without a license and insurance.

But it might reduce people taking their friends out for a ride with them and getting someone into cycling. It will for sure kill businesses htat rent bikes in resort areas. (And with it a major entryway into cycling).

Yes this is a great idea.

IF YOU WANT TO GET RID OF CYCLISTS!

Prevent the next generation of cyclists from getting into cycling. That is all this idea has a chance of doing.

Of course previous posters have the just of what will really happen. It will be one more unenforced law on the books. Likely with only a minimal effect. But that effext will be on the most responsible and law abiding part of society.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by R-Wells
Yeh but you cant tell what they are thinking,I bet they are daydreaming about speeding down the road, and running red lights with their shovel

shovel-heads............what 'r 'ya gonna do?
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Old 09-26-06, 10:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
I expect that "unlicensed" bicyclists would continue to ride on sidewalks, where they are more dangerous to innocent people than on the roadway (according to the stats available). Many police and members of the public falsely believe that licenses and registration are allowed for roadway use but not for travel outside the travel lanes. This is why I see many golf car drivers operating on the sidewalks where I live, with the police looking the other way, as long as they don't try to use the travel lanes. Also, the motoring public will pressure the police to ticket unlicensed cyclists on the roadway, in order to get them off of the roadway for motorists' convenience, but will ignore them on the sidewalks.
I think you are right except for the "sidewalks, where they are more dangerous to innocent people than on the roadway (according to the stats available)." where are these stats that say this?
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Old 09-26-06, 10:26 AM   #17
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I think more would be gotten out of an effort to provide comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle safety instruction to school-age children, perhaps something that would complement any future driver's education they might have. It won't solve the problem of the adults out there right now, but if you really want a long term solution on a large scale, you've got to get to the kids.
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Old 09-26-06, 10:30 AM   #18
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I think more would be gotten out of an effort to provide comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle safety instruction to school-age children, perhaps something that would complement any future driver's education they might have. It won't solve the problem of the adults out there right now, but if you really want a long term solution on a large scale, you've got to get to the kids.
I agree with this 200%.
But do we make it mandatory?
And who would pay for it?
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Old 09-26-06, 11:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud_311
However, I'm wondering if EVERYONE should be allowed on the road? Obviously drivers need a state issued license to operate a vehicle on the roads, but should the same be necessary for cyclists?
Getting a license is a joke in the US. Although I've heard of people failing a drivers test, I've never heard of anyone failing to eventually get a license unless they were blind or afflicted by some ailment that specifically precluded getting a license.

There is little value of having a test that everyone passes -- especially if people aren't retested with some regularity. Even if they knew how to drive, an insane number of yak on the phone, read, or watch videos while driving.

Safety comes from using your head, not from credentials.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:08 AM   #20
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Getting a license is a joke in the US. Although I've heard of people failing a drivers test, I've never heard of anyone failing to eventually get a license unless they were blind or afflicted by some ailment that specifically precluded getting a license.

There is little value of having a test that everyone passes -- especially if people aren't retested with some regularity. Even if they knew how to drive, an insane number of yak on the phone, read, or watch videos while driving.

Safety comes from using your head, not from credentials.
Hey I knew a guy who was considered legaly blind that got a license.

He was required to wear these special glasses that looked like mini binoculars.
The good thing was he never yelled or honked at or threw things at cyclists.
He couldnt see them
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Old 09-26-06, 11:09 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by R-Wells
I agree with this 200%.
But do we make it mandatory?
And who would pay for it?
The public... the very people wanting licenses.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:14 AM   #22
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Yes.
Maybe if some do-gooder wants to try something, perhaps convince insurance companies to give auto insurance price reduction with proof of cycling road certification. They will want data that shows that folks who take road cycling course cost them less (few and/or lower claims)
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Old 09-26-06, 11:16 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by donnamb
I think more would be gotten out of an effort to provide comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle safety instruction to school-age children, perhaps something that would complement any future driver's education they might have. It won't solve the problem of the adults out there right now, but if you really want a long term solution on a large scale, you've got to get to the kids.
I agree.

BTW, a license is needed to drive heavy motor vehicles because the operation of heavy equipment poses an extraordinary danger to other people and their property. The operation of light equipment (such as human powered vehicles) only poses an ordinary level of danger.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:19 AM   #24
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I think a large part of the thinking of having licenses is the danger that people operating heavy machinery on the public thorough fares poses.

I just looked up auto accident fatalities. In 2002, it was 42,000. Pedestrian fatalities were 4,200 in 2001. So why don't we have pedestrian licenses for walking on sidewalks or crossing the street? It is dangerous after all. The reason we don't is I believe that pedestrian fatalities are caused by motorized vehicles turning people into road kills. Even a totally out of it pedestrian is not much of a threat to the public.

Now, poor drivers are a threat to the public. Almost half of the total fatalities on the road ways (17,000) involve drunken drivers.

As for cyclists, there are about 800 cycling fatalities per year. Cyclists do not pose a meaningful threat to motorists or pedestrians. 80% of the cycling fatalities involve motorized vehicles. So while cyclists do manage to kill themselves without the aid of a motorized vehicle most of the time one is involved.

So what point is served by forcing cyclists to get licenses? They pose little if any threat to the public. Also the process of testing cyclists for licenses would cost money which governments do not like to expend. On top of that, many americans would view requiring a license to ride a bicycle to be an unwarranted intrusion of government into personal matters.

I can understand that the impulse to have a license for cyclists is well meaning. Requiring a license and fee might even lesson some of the motorist hostility one encounters on the road. On second thought, given the instances of road rage that I have observed, I think not.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:29 AM   #25
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I think a large part of the thinking of having licenses is the danger that people operating heavy machinery on the public thorough fares poses.

I just looked up auto accident fatalities. In 2002, it was 42,000. Pedestrian fatalities were 4,200 in 2001. So why don't we have pedestrian licenses for walking on sidewalks or crossing the street? It is dangerous after all. The reason we don't is I believe that pedestrian fatalities are caused by motorized vehicles turning people into road kills. Even a totally out of it pedestrian is not much of a threat to the public.

Now, poor drivers are a threat to the public. Almost half of the total fatalities on the road ways (17,000) involve drunken drivers.

As for cyclists, there are about 800 cycling fatalities per year. Cyclists do not pose a meaningful threat to motorists or pedestrians. 80% of the cycling fatalities involve motorized vehicles. So while cyclists do manage to kill themselves without the aid of a motorized vehicle most of the time one is involved.

So what point is served by forcing cyclists to get licenses? They pose little if any threat to the public. Also the process of testing cyclists for licenses would cost money which governments do not like to expend. On top of that, many americans would view requiring a license to ride a bicycle to be an unwarranted intrusion of government into personal matters.

I can understand that the impulse to have a license for cyclists is well meaning. Requiring a license and fee might even lesson some of the motorist hostility one encounters on the road. On second thought, given the instances of road rage that I have observed, I think not.
This is a really legitamate argument.

However do you truly believe that would still be the case if we had no cars and every one rode a bike?
What if there were 300 million bikes on the road every day?

The reall objective is to get the vast majority to ride instead of drive.
That means a serious amount of what most cyclist call stupid people would then be riding.
But the concensus seems to be that 300 million stupid people on bikes is a good thing
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