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  1. #1
    Senior Member fholt's Avatar
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    Iowa Lawmaker proposes law requiring cycling license

    Well I'm from Iowa, but not familiar with this particular situation. Nonetheless, this came in from one of the groups who mail me today.

    Begin Blatant Paste:
    Today, Senator Putney has filed SF2006. This bill requires all persons who operate or ride a bicycle on a primary or secondary road to have a bicyclist's license. A nonresident bicyclist is not required to obtain a license. A license is not required to ride on a municipal street or designated bicycle path. A license is also not required to ride a bicycle while participating in a race or event of more than 30 participants where one of the primary activities is riding a bicycle. A person who violates the new requirement is guilty of a simple misdemeanor and must pay a scheduled fine of $10.

    At a time when we should be encouraging more bicycling, the legislature is proposing another barrier. What is most troublesome is as many as 250,000 cyclists will just hang up their bikes - adding to traffic congestion, air pollution, and more damage to our roads. On the surface, it seems like a means to generate revenue, but if you take a look at http://www.vtpi.org/whoserd.pdf you may think differently. No other state in the US requires a license to drive a bicycle.

    Do we really need to ask our third graders to cough up $10 so they can ride their bikes to school rather than suffer from obesity related health issues?

    What can you do? 1. Join the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. 2. Come to the Bicyclists Day on the Hill on Thursday. 3. Attend Bike Night on Saturday at the Capitol Room in Des Moines. 4. Come to the Iowa Bicycle Summit on Friday or Saturday or both days. More on this and more at http://www.iowabicyclecoalition.org


    Discuss-
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  2. #2
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    I just read this tonight myself...and I am from Iowa. I've never really gotten involved in politics of any kind, but I will be writing my state representatives. This is crazy. There seems to be a lot of anti bike sentiment going on in our state right now.

    Do any other states have anything like this?

  3. #3
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    When I was a kid in Montreal, Quebec you had to have a city license. I think they dropped it around 1965,

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    Quote Originally Posted by fholt View Post
    Do we really need to ask our third graders to cough up $10 so they can ride their bikes to school rather than suffer from obesity related health issues?
    No we don't. From your post:

    "This bill requires all persons who operate or ride a bicycle on a primary or secondary road to have a bicyclist's license. A nonresident bicyclist is not required to obtain a license. A license is not required to ride on a municipal street or designated bicycle path."

    I'm guessing primary and secondary roads are probably roads where you don't want your third grader mixing in traffic, and it clearly points out that a license isn't required to ride on municipal streets - such as where schools might be. I imagine larger streets will have sidewalks that would accomodate third graders as well. So I think you're going for the reactionary example when it clearly doesn't apply.

    The other side of this is that performing licensing does a few things: 1) it sets a base level of competency for cyclists just as is done for motorists on the busier, higher-speed roads. I'm having a hard time seeing the downside if it's done well. 2)it completely legitimizes our presence on those roads. No more 'get on the sidewalk!', because the easy comeback is 'I have a license!'

    It doesn't seem to be an attempt to overregulate kids riding bikes on a cul-de-sac. It seems to be a fair attempt to treat cyclists as traffic, with the rights and responsibilities it entails. That's not bad, is it? I'm also not buying the stated alarmist stuff about casual riders not biking anymore - in my experience, those people aren't riding in traffic on primary roads anyway. Those people are riding on the paths and small roads that are clearly exempted from the law for the very reasons you cite.

    So I'd want to see how it's implemented, but I'm not against it on face. If I were an Iowan cycling advocate, I would think about how this thing could be shaped as an advantage by working with legislators - particularly the obvious advantage of the next time a cop harasses you about riding in the street, you can show him your cycling license.

  5. #5
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    I guess that Putney was annoyed by all of the bikers he encounters while driving to his farm in Gladbrook. I hate the part about keeping lists of the licensees, that sounds like *** ownership. We want to track all of those bikers. At least you'll have something to say when pickup drivers yell out the window, "you don't have a right to the road" or your friends say that you do not belong because you dont pay road taxes. It looks like if you refuse the state will not issue you a license for a year.


    http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Coo...2&hbill=SF2006

    Senate File 2006 - Introduced



    SENATE FILE
    BY PUTNEY


    Passed Senate, Date Passed House, Date
    Vote: Ayes Nays Vote: Ayes Nays
    Approved

    A BILL FOR

    1 An Act requiring bicyclists riding on state or county highways to
    2 have a license and providing for fees and penalties.
    3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
    4 TLSB 5062SS 82
    5 md/nh/14

    PAG LIN



    1 1 Section 1. Section 321.236, subsection 10, Code Supplement
    1 2 2007, is amended to read as follows:
    1 3 10. Regulating the operation of bicycles and requiring the
    1 4 registration and licensing of the same, including the
    1 5 requirement of a registration fee. However, the regulations
    1 6 shall not conflict with the provisions of section 321.234 or
    1 7 321.275A.
    1 8 Sec. 2. NEW SECTION. 321.275A BICYCLIST'S LICENSES ==
    1 9 FEES == PENALTIES.
    1 10 1. As used in this section:
    1 11 a. "License" means a privilege granted by the department
    1 12 to ride or operate a bicycle.
    1 13 b. "License agent" means an individual, business, or
    1 14 governmental agency authorized to sell a license.
    1 15 c. "Person" means a person who meets the requirements for
    1 16 residency described in section 321.1A.
    1 17 2. a. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph "b", a
    1 18 person shall not operate or ride a bicycle on a primary or
    1 19 secondary road, including bicycle lanes, without first
    1 20 obtaining a license and paying a ten dollar license fee.
    1 21 b. A license issued pursuant to this section shall not be
    1 22 required:
    1 23 (1) To ride or operate a bicycle on a municipal street.
    1 24 (2) To ride or operate a bicycle on a designated bicycle
    1 25 path.
    1 26 (3) To participate in a race or event of more than thirty
    1 27 participants where one of the primary activities of the race
    1 28 or event is riding or operating a bicycle.
    1 29 (4) To ride or operate a bicycle as a participant of a
    1 30 parade.
    1 31 c. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a
    1 32 simple misdemeanor punishable as a scheduled violation under
    1 33 section 805.8A, subsection 4, paragraph "d".
    1 34 3. a. A license issued pursuant to this section shall be
    1 35 issued by the department or a license agent as specified by
    2 1 rule of the department.
    2 2 b. A license is valid from the date issued for a period of
    2 3 five years.
    2 4 c. A license shall contain all of the following:
    2 5 (1) The licensee's name.
    2 6 (2) The licensee's date of birth.
    2 7 (3) The licensee's address.
    2 8 (4) The licensee's signature.
    2 9 (5) The date the license was issued.
    2 10 (6) The license number.
    2 11 d. Licenses shall be upon such forms as the department
    2 12 shall adopt. Blank licenses shall be printed by the
    2 13 department and distributed to license agents.
    2 14 e. All information on the license shall be in ink.
    2 15 f. The department may authorize the sale of licenses
    2 16 through the department's web site.
    2 17 4. a. The department may designate license agents for the
    2 18 sale of licenses, but in so doing the interest of the state
    2 19 shall be fully protected.
    2 20 b. A license agent shall be responsible for all of the
    2 21 following:
    2 22 (1) Collecting all fees for licenses sold by the license
    2 23 agent.
    2 24 (2) Recording and remitting to the department all
    2 25 information contained on each license document.
    2 26 (3) Maintaining the information and fees collected by the
    2 27 license agent in a secure location.
    2 28 c. A license agent shall retain a writing fee of one
    2 29 dollar from the sale of each license. The remaining fees
    2 30 shall be remitted to the department.
    2 31 d. Fees collected by the department under this section
    2 32 shall be deposited in the road use tax fund.
    2 33 e. The department shall maintain a database of all
    2 34 information contained on license documents.
    2 35 f. The department shall establish, by rule, specific
    3 1 requirements for remittance of funds and license document
    3 2 information, and the necessary accounting and reporting
    3 3 requirements based on the manner and location of the issuance
    3 4 of a license document.
    3 5 g. All unused license forms shall be surrendered by the
    3 6 license agent to the department upon the department's demand.
    3 7 5. When a license has been lost, destroyed, or stolen, the
    3 8 department may issue a replacement license if, on examination
    3 9 of the evidence, the department is satisfied that the license
    3 10 has been lost, destroyed, or stolen. A replacement license
    3 11 shall be plainly marked "duplicate". The replacement shall
    3 12 serve in lieu of the original license and it shall contain the
    3 13 same information as the original. Each replacement license
    3 14 shall require a two dollar fee paid to the department. The
    3 15 department shall deposit all fees collected from the issuance
    3 16 of replacement licenses in the road use tax fund. License
    3 17 agents shall not issue replacement licenses.
    3 18 6. A person riding or operating a bicycle on a primary or
    3 19 secondary road shall show the person's license to any peace
    3 20 officer when requested by the peace officer to do so. A
    3 21 failure to carry or refusal to show or exhibit the person's
    3 22 license is a violation of this subsection. A person who
    3 23 violates this subsection is guilty of a simple misdemeanor
    3 24 punishable as a scheduled violation under section 805.8A,
    3 25 subsection 4, paragraph "d". Upon the conviction of a person
    3 26 under this subsection, the person's license shall be revoked
    3 27 by the department. Upon revocation of a license the
    3 28 department or a license agent shall not grant the person a new
    3 29 license for a period of one year. However, a person charged
    3 30 with violating this subsection shall not be convicted if the
    3 31 person produces in court, prior to the court date indicated on
    3 32 the citation, a license issued to the person and valid when
    3 33 the person was charged with a violation of this subsection.
    3 34 7. When a license is revoked, the date, cause, and tenure
    3 35 of such revocation shall be kept on file with the department.
    4 1 The department shall refuse to issue a new license to any
    4 2 person whose privilege for obtaining a license is revoked.
    4 3 8. The department may establish, by rule, fees for lists
    4 4 of licensees. Notwithstanding section 22.3, the fee for a
    4 5 list of licensees may exceed the cost of preparing the list
    4 6 and providing the copying service.
    4 7 Sec. 3. Section 805.8A, subsection 4, Code 2007, is
    4 8 amended to read as follows:
    4 9 4. Driver's license and bicyclist's license violations.
    4 10 a. For violations under sections 321.174A, 321.180,
    4 11 321.180B, 321.193, and 321.194, the scheduled fine is thirty
    4 12 dollars.
    4 13 b. For a violation of section 321.216, the scheduled fine
    4 14 is seventy=five dollars.
    4 15 c. For violations under sections 321.174, 321.216B,
    4 16 321.216C, 321.219, and 321.220, the scheduled fine is one
    4 17 hundred dollars.
    4 18 d. For violations under section 321.275A, the scheduled
    4 19 fine is ten dollars.
    4 20 EXPLANATION
    4 21 This bill requires all persons who operate or ride a
    4 22 bicycle on a primary or secondary road to have a bicyclist's
    4 23 license. A nonresident bicyclist is not required to obtain a
    4 24 license. A license is not required to ride on a municipal
    4 25 street or designated bicycle path. A license is also not
    4 26 required to ride a bicycle while participating in a race or
    4 27 event of more than 30 participants where one of the primary
    4 28 activities is riding a bicycle. A person who violates the new
    4 29 requirement is guilty of a simple misdemeanor and must pay a
    4 30 scheduled fine of $10.
    4 31 The bill allows the department of transportation or a
    4 32 specified license agent to grant licenses. The bill also
    4 33 authorizes the department to sell licenses through the
    4 34 department's web site. Each license requires payment of a $10
    4 35 fee and is valid for five years. Every license must contain
    5 1 the licensee's name, date of birth, address, and signature, as
    5 2 well as the license number and date the license was issued.
    5 3 The bill requires the department to maintain a database of all
    5 4 information contained on the license.
    5 5 License agents designated by the department are responsible
    5 6 for collecting all fees for licenses sold by the license
    5 7 agent, recording and remitting to the department all
    5 8 information contained on each license document, and
    5 9 maintaining the information and fees collected in a secure
    5 10 location. The bill requires each license agent to retain $1
    5 11 of the $10 license fee. The remaining portion of the fee is
    5 12 remitted to the department for deposit in the road use tax
    5 13 fund.
    5 14 Replacement licenses may be issued by the department if the
    5 15 department is satisfied that the license has been lost,
    5 16 destroyed, or stolen. The replacement license costs $2 and
    5 17 must be labeled as a "duplicate". Fees collected from the
    5 18 issuance of replacement licenses must be deposited in the road
    5 19 use tax fund. License agents are not permitted to issue
    5 20 replacement licenses.
    5 21 The bill requires every person riding a bicycle on a
    5 22 primary or secondary road to show the person's license to any
    5 23 peace officer when requested by the peace officer to do so. A
    5 24 failure to carry or a refusal to show the person's license
    5 25 constitutes a simple misdemeanor and a $10 fine is imposed. A
    5 26 conviction for failing to carry or refusing to show a license
    5 27 also results in the revocation of the license and a suspension
    5 28 of the person's privilege to obtain a license for a period of
    5 29 one year. A charge of failing to carry or refusal to show a
    5 30 license will be dismissed if the person produces in court,
    5 31 prior to the court date indicated on the citation, a license
    5 32 issued to the person that was valid when the person was
    5 33 charged with a violation.
    5 34 When a license is revoked, the date, cause, and tenure of
    5 35 the revocation must be kept on file with the department. Upon
    6 1 revocation of a license, the department or a license agent
    6 2 shall not grant a new license for a period of one year.
    6 3 The bill also authorizes the department to establish fees
    6 4 for lists of licensees.
    6 5 LSB 5062SS 82
    6 6 md/nh/14


    These names where listed under " Lobbyist Declarations for SF 2006"

    JANUARY 15, 2008 21:57:11
    82nd General Assembly
    SF 2006
    A bill for an act requiring bicyclists riding on state or county
    highways to have a license and providing for fees and penalties.


    Mark Smith JANUARY 15, 2008
    Undecided State Public Defender's Office

    Royce Fichtner JANUARY 15, 2008
    Undecided IA. County Engineers Assn.

  6. #6
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
    it sets a base level of competency for cyclists just as is done for motorists on the busier,
    I dont see that in the bill. Unless you mean ability to pay $10, and sign your name.

    I'd would like to see the money go to training and bicycle awareness. These things are found in this bill-

    http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Coo...82&hbill=SF101

    SF 101 A bill for an act creating a bicycle traffic safety fund and a special share-the-road motor vehicle registration plate, establishing fees, and making an appropriation.
    2 14 EXPLANATION
    2 15 This bill establishes a special "share=the=road" motor
    2 16 vehicle registration plate, which is to be designed by the
    2 17 department of transportation and feature an emblem with an
    2 18 image of a bicycle. The special share=the=road fee for
    2 19 initial issuance of the plate is $45 for letter number
    2 20 designated plates. A fee of $25 is required for a
    2 21 personalized plate in addition to the special fee. The
    2 22 special share=the=road annual renewal fee is $25 in addition
    2 23 to the regular annual registration fee. A $5 fee applies for
    2 24 renewal of personalized plates in addition to the special fee
    2 25 and the regular annual renewal fee.
    2 26 The bill creates a bicycle traffic safety fund in the state
    2 27 treasury to be administered by the department of
    2 28 transportation. Moneys in the fund are appropriated to the
    2 29 department to fund bicycle safety initiatives for both
    2 30 bicyclists and motorists and to provide signage. The special
    2 31 fees from issuance and renewal of share=the=road registration
    2 32 plates are credited to the fund.
    Last edited by slagjumper; 01-15-08 at 09:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Would little kids be willing attend Cycler's Ed classes in order to get real authentic state licenses with their picture on it just like a teenager?

  8. #8
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    Right now there is a lot of anti bike rhetoric flying around because of a very public lawsuit involving RAGBRAI (indirectly) and Crawford county. (you can find that elsewhere on bikeforum.) This just adds to it. I see no compelling reason for this and there is no testing requirement to obtain this license so the competency thing is out. I've just sent an email to my district senator about so I'll see what happens.
    Last edited by one_beatnik; 01-15-08 at 09:42 PM. Reason: corrections of spelling and phrasing

  9. #9
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
    I'm guessing primary and secondary roads are probably roads where you don't want your third grader mixing in traffic, and it clearly points out that a license isn't required to ride on municipal streets - such as where schools might be. I imagine larger streets will have sidewalks that would accomodate third graders as well. So I think you're going for the reactionary example when it clearly doesn't apply.

    The other side of this is that performing licensing does a few things: 1) it sets a base level of competency for cyclists just as is done for motorists on the busier, higher-speed roads. I'm having a hard time seeing the downside if it's done well. 2)it completely legitimizes our presence on those roads. No more 'get on the sidewalk!', because the easy comeback is 'I have a license!'
    - I've never heard of a "municipal street", but every school I can think of off the top of my head is located on what I would refer to as a secondary street, or even arterial.

    - I don't ride on the sidewalk, why would I teach my kid to?

    - Higher level of competency? Licensing does not imply testing. Take a fishing, hunting, marriage license.

    Personally, I think this nothing more than an attempt to reduce the number of cyclists on the road inconveniencing drivers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    - I've never heard of a "municipal street", but every school I can think of off the top of my head is located on what I would refer to as a secondary street, or even arterial.

    - I don't ride on the sidewalk, why would I teach my kid to?

    .
    Municipal street=city owned/maintained street

    In my city ( municipality), under 12 are required to ride on the sidewalk by municipal code. Over 12 required to ride on the street.
    Not too much to say here

  11. #11
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    On the surface I am against this. But, it would remove the "outlaw" status that I believe most drivers believe on the road bikes have. That is if people know about it. But you would certainly have less casual bikers, and casual bikers somtimes become fanatic bikers. So probably this would mean less bikes on the road.
    I don't see it, but if this were to pass, could people with suspended driver's licenses get these?
    Not too much to say here

  12. #12
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Would the license comply with the Real ID act?

  13. #13
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    I strongly suspect bicyclist licensing would have no effect on motorist behavior towards bicycles. Most motorists wouldn't know about, none would care.

    Most cyclists would obey laws if they were made aware of them by public service announcements and tips on TV in all reasonable languages and by moderate enforcement. If licensing provided funds for that type of thing it might be OK. But that's not how it would work. Money would pass into a general fund and vaporize.

    Any bicycle regulation really needs to be part of a broad program moving towards safe and efficient use of our roads as the vehicle mix changes over the coming decades. I'm not going to hold my breath.

  14. #14
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    Now on the flip side of this, talking to one of our local radio station managers who is also a cyclist, this money from the license goes to the road taxes. That means that the other issues with roads not being designed for bicycles would be out. Now they would have to since bicyclists are paying a use tax just like cars. Still don't like the idea of the whole thing.

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
    I strongly suspect bicyclist licensing would have no effect on motorist behavior towards bicycles. Most motorists wouldn't know about, none would care.

    Most cyclists would obey laws if they were made aware of them by public service announcements and tips on TV in all reasonable languages and by moderate enforcement. If licensing provided funds for that type of thing it might be OK. But that's not how it would work. Money would pass into a general fund and vaporize.

    Any bicycle regulation really needs to be part of a broad program moving towards safe and efficient use of our roads as the vehicle mix changes over the coming decades. I'm not going to hold my breath.
    The fee is not enough to do this, but if it were applied in such a manner as to both improve education and promote cycling as you suggest. I'd do it in a heartbeat. Heck I'd be willing to pony over $25 for such a license. (I already pay that annually for membership in an advocacy organization)

  16. #16
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    In PA, I see a lot of Motorcycle safty messages. In vehical registration renewal paperwork the PDOT sent a pamphlet warning motorists to look out for motorcyclists. I've also seen the electronic road sign on Pittsburgh's parkway east with a motorcycle safty message. Why not for bicycles? In Iowa, they could use SF 101 to pay for that type of thing.

  17. #17
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    The fee is not enough to do this, but if it were applied in such a manner as to both improve education and promote cycling as you suggest. I'd do it in a heartbeat. Heck I'd be willing to pony over $25 for such a license. (I already pay that annually for membership in an advocacy organization)
    $10 isn't enough to start the program, or maintain the program, or even create the registration website for that matter.

    This is a net loser... I'm not sure what we're trying to accomplish. Is it a way to force ID on the poorest of the cyclists?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    3 18 6. A person riding or operating a bicycle on a primary or
    3 19 secondary road shall show the person's license to any peace
    3 20 officer when requested by the peace officer to do so.
    I think this one would get the ACLU involved. And since the PROPOSED law does not seem to include the typical 'if any part of this law is declared void it shall not effect other provisions...' it would likely mean the whole thing would get thrown out.

    But I'd bet it never even sees the floor.


    Oh and looking at the parts about agents it looks like absolutely no testing and really not much of a license in reality, just a tax.

  19. #19
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    I think it's a good idea and about time.

    Note that the law does not require out of state riders to have licenses--it doesn't address a lot of the issues surrounding the RAGBRAI or the lawsuit fiasco.

    Otherwise, as road vehicle users, why should cyclists be exempt? Or why is this any different than having to have a driver's license to operate another type of vehicle--automobile for instance--on the road? I would, however, advocate a change in the language so that instead of a special license, there was at least an option to have it as an endorsement on your driver's license as well.

    If you're opposed to it...:

    If you live in Iowa, write the sponsor of the bill and copy your own Senator. Follow the matter on the state.gov website--on the senate page there should be a place to find bill info by bill no., which will lead to a status page. Stay on top of that, check it weekly to see if anything changes. It will list the floor readings in the Senate and, if it gets forwarded to committee, which committee it is going to. If it gets to committee, figure out which one and write all members of the committee in opposition--again, copy your own senator on all correspondence. And above all SHOW UP AT THE PUBLIC HEARING TO OPPOSE IT. Nothing comes across as effectively as live opposition. If it leaves committee intact with a recommended "yes" vote, you're basically screwed. So if you are going to take action against it, from now until it leaves committee is the time to do it.

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    Ah. yes. Let's try to solve a non-existent problem with more bureaucracy!

    As for why bikes should be exempt wheras cars & trucks are not the answer is simple: We don't make a habit of killing 40,000 people each year. We license car drivers so that maybe they'll show a minimal amount of competency on the road. Amish buggies are not required to have licenses either.

    Keith99 is right, this is just a tax.
    Remember: 98% of Drivers rate themselves as at least "Above Average".

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    Why not? I don't know about Iowa, but Ohio can't even get all car drivers to have legally required licenses, registration, and insurance. I'm guessing enforcement for bicycles will be nearly impossible.

  22. #22
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    Here's the latest on bikeiowa.com:

    DES MOINES, Iowa -- A bill introduced Monday to the Iowa Legislature would require all bicyclists, adults and children, who ride on primary or secondary roads to have a bicyclist's license.

    Under the proposed bill, the license would cost $10 and would be good for five years.

    State Sen. John Putney introduced the bill and said he believes it's a small amount of money to ask bicyclists to pay.

    "I think it's a very small thing to ask folks that do want to use our roads and highways to contribute $2 a year," Putney said.

    The bill would not require bikers to have a license while they're riding on bike paths, in bike races, or riding on city streets.

    Putney said the exemptions would allow children riding their bikes to school or just for fun to ride without a license, but children riding on county blacktop roads would need their license.

    Out-of-state bikers would also be exempt.

    Lisa Hein, president of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, said the bill raises a few questions.

    "How will it decrease bicycling? Will it increase bicycling? Will it make the roads safer for bicyclists?" Hein said.

    Hein said her concern is that the bill would prevent people from riding their bikes.

    If the bill were to pass, then the money raised would go to enhancing bikes paths and trails.

    Iowa would be the first state in the nation to require a bicycle license for primary and secondary roads, if the bill passes.

    At this point the bill has just been introduced to a committee and it's unknown when it might be voted on in committee.

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    If you need a licence for using a bicycle than should they also not require a licence to walk... After that maybe we should get a licence for anyone operating a bady stroller, if you loose control you could put you. Lets see what else we can licence. Since there is not education or testing involved this is just a silly way to collect more fees, yet it does nothing to address the issue of road safety and both cyclists AND motorists learning how they should legally interact on the road.

    Happy riding,
    André

  24. #24
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Clearly this bill is not intended for safety purposes, as there is no education or enforcement component aimed at how bicycles or other vehicles are operated.

    It is, by the legislator's description, purely a revenue generator. Fine. If the government wants to generate revenue from bicyclists, the important question is, is this method an effective way to do it? It creates a licensing bureaucracy that in all likelihood will cost in overhead a large portion of the license fee. The money raised does not even go to the improvement of the roads covered by the fee requirement, it goes to to off-road facilities instead. That is, these cyclists wouldn't be paying any more for the facilities they are actually using. The law is difficult to impossible to enforce because police will have no way to verify out-of-state residency claims by cyclists not carrying or volunteering IDs. (Many cyclists like myself ride solo or in a small group for exercise or fun when out of their home state.) Lastly, the burden it creates will discourage cycling for transportation, because in many areas, the roads covered by the license are the only ones that connect different land uses like residences, shopping, schools, and offices.

    A more progressive and effective revenue scheme would be to operate voluntary programs such as share-the-road plates with annual fees, or to divert some portion of sales taxes from bike shops into the DOT.

    If the state and local DOTs wish to encourage transportation bicycling, they must see this bill as discouraging such. I would encourage opponents of this bill to obtain opinions from DOT representatives about its likely effect on transportation bicycling.

    Lastly, the idea that taxes and licenses establish legitimacy on the road is hogwash. Everybody has an inalienable right to use their road system for basic freedom of movement. One cannot have liberty without the right to travel. Revenue can be collected by the government and those who refuse to pay the taxes can be punished for their refusal, but this is independent of the right to use the public road system. Licenses based on competence can be required to ensure safe operation of certain types of dangerous vehicles and those who cannot meet the competence requirement can use safer vehicles on the same roads. This bill does nothing for safety and is of limited revenue potential; it is clearly an effort to place a greater burden on those who attempt to travel by bicycle on useful roads that serve useful destinations, at a time when most government agencies are trying to lessen that burden.

    -Steve Goodridge
    Last edited by sggoodri; 01-17-08 at 08:24 AM.

  25. #25
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
    Clearly this bill is not intended for safety purposes, as there is no education or enforcement component aimed at how bicycles or other vehicles are operated. ... -Steve Goodridge
    Your entire post is spot on, Steve!
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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