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Old 09-13-12, 08:46 AM   #1
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Bicycle licensing panned as impractical and punitive

"The issue of licensing comes up so frequently that the City of Toronto has a website devoted to its history, and Cycle Toronto has a statement online. The group opposes the idea on the grounds that creates unnecessary and costly red tape, when legislation already exists. Also, it discourages cycling."

Read the full article:
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/tran...l-and-punitive
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Old 09-13-12, 08:51 AM   #2
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Well your subject heading and the article missed a key point, "panned by many in the cycling community."

Of course a group doesn't want itself to be regulated... What a shock...
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Old 09-13-12, 09:29 AM   #3
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Well your subject heading and the article missed a key point, "panned by many in the cycling community."

Of course a group doesn't want itself to be regulated... What a shock...
Would we next license and fee pedestrians, as the next group to move under their own human power that is heretofore unregulated?
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Old 09-13-12, 09:33 AM   #4
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A bike license is just plain stupid. Can you see a court with a four year old being charged with the crime of ridding his unlicensed bike?
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Old 09-13-12, 09:34 AM   #5
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I would think that the "licensing" of a bicycle operator is a bit of over regulation of a past-time.
So, would a 6 year old that gets a new bike for birthday or Christmas need to procure a license?
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Old 09-13-12, 09:40 AM   #6
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I don't see the advantage. Is the idea that motorists would be able to phone the police and report cyclists when they break traffic laws? I'm not sure how practical that is, given that virtually never happens with cars now.

What would be the point otherwise?
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Old 09-13-12, 09:45 AM   #7
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generally the trend has been in the other direction. Around here, the registration system is next to worthless. If you let the registration expire, you have to start all over again, they don't maintain records. If your bike is stolen, the police can't seem to figure out that it's registered. It's just a waste of time
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Old 09-13-12, 09:53 AM   #8
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Well your subject heading and the article missed a key point, "panned by many in the cycling community."

Of course a group doesn't want itself to be regulated... What a shock...
Locally, most cyclists generally do not ride in a scofflaw manner for very long, with many cyclists learning the art of urban riding survival skills rather quickly.

Most informed cites see the use of the bicycles as a means of reducing their road maintenance expense, especially in light of how little of the collected fuel tax makes it back to the city.
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Old 09-13-12, 09:56 AM   #9
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I don't see the advantage. Is the idea that motorists would be able to phone the police and report cyclists when they break traffic laws? I'm not sure how practical that is, given that virtually never happens with cars now.

What would be the point otherwise?
Not only is it not likely to happen, I fail to see how it would work given the size constraints of bicycles. Around here, bicycle couriers have little metal license plates. They're about the size of a hand, so let's use that as an example of the practical size of a bicycle license plate.

In order to read said plate, you have to be fairly close. Let's say a cyclist runs a red light. Is the reporting motorist going to run the red light as well in order to chase down the cyclist? Even if the light turns and the motorist catches up, now we've got someone distractedly driving a motor vehicle while trying to peer down to read the letters of a hand-sized license plate on a bike.

That scenario sounds more deadly than if there were no plates...
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Old 09-13-12, 09:58 AM   #10
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I don't see the advantage. Is the idea that motorists would be able to phone the police and report cyclists when they break traffic laws? I'm not sure how practical that is, given that virtually never happens with cars now.

What would be the point otherwise?

In the case that a cyclist has to sport a license or large sticker, I can see law enforcement being inundated with reports of cyclists taking the lane, and I can see some motorist tailgating my ass on an empty 3 lane road way, just to get my license number.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:01 AM   #11
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Would we next license and fee pedestrians, as the next group to move under their own human power that is heretofore unregulated?

Why not, it is another revenue source. There is the basic source of the licensing fees, then the impound fees for unlicensed bicycles (shoes), ticketing fees... The potential is pretty good.

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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
A bike license is just plain stupid. Can you see a court with a four year old being charged with the crime of ridding his unlicensed bike?
No, in that case the parent would be the one charged, after all they are responsible for their little plague carriers...

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Originally Posted by Surfmonkey View Post
I would think that the "licensing" of a bicycle operator is a bit of over regulation of a past-time.
So, would a 6 year old that gets a new bike for birthday or Christmas need to procure a license?
You might be surprised to find that many folks consider bicycles a valid mode of transportation, not just recreation. We already require children to get social security cards, why not licenses...

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I don't see the advantage. Is the idea that motorists would be able to phone the police and report cyclists when they break traffic laws? I'm not sure how practical that is, given that virtually never happens with cars now.
Considering the revenue generated from tickets, it most certainly does happen and appears practical. Just imagine how much revenue NYC could generate if they had these additional offenses to charge those cyclists with...

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What would be the point otherwise?
It would be an additional revenue source--why else...
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Old 09-13-12, 10:02 AM   #12
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Not only is it not likely to happen, I fail to see how it would work given the size constraints of bicycles. Around here, bicycle couriers have little metal license plates. They're about the size of a hand, so let's use that as an example of the practical size of a bicycle license plate.

In order to read said plate, you have to be fairly close. Let's say a cyclist runs a red light. Is the reporting motorist going to run the red light as well in order to chase down the cyclist? Even if the light turns and the motorist catches up, now we've got someone distractedly driving a motor vehicle while trying to peer down to read the letters of a hand-sized license plate on a bike.

That scenario sounds more deadly than if there were no plates...
I agree, but what do people who want these things actually want to accomplish? I mean, what's their argument?
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Old 09-13-12, 10:02 AM   #13
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here in hawaii you have to register your bike before you even get it out the door. you can get a ticket with out the sticker and i have heard they can impound your bike with out it too.honestly i think its just another way fro them to get money out of people.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:03 AM   #14
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...
Considering the revenue generated from tickets, it most certainly does happen and appears practical. Just imagine how much revenue NYC could generate if they had these additional offenses to charge those cyclists with...



It would be an additional revenue source--why else...
Tickets are given by cops, who can already pull over cyclists.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:04 AM   #15
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Not only is it not likely to happen, I fail to see how it would work given the size constraints of bicycles. Around here, bicycle couriers have little metal license plates. They're about the size of a hand, so let's use that as an example of the practical size of a bicycle license plate.

In order to read said plate, you have to be fairly close. Let's say a cyclist runs a red light. Is the reporting motorist going to run the red light as well in order to chase down the cyclist? Even if the light turns and the motorist catches up, now we've got someone distractedly driving a motor vehicle while trying to peer down to read the letters of a hand-sized license plate on a bike.

That scenario sounds more deadly than if there were no plates...
Hi resolution digital cameras, it is the wave of the future!
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Old 09-13-12, 10:05 AM   #16
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Tickets are given by cops, who can already pull over cyclists.
Ah, but failure to have license would provide additional ticketing offence, hence more potential revenue...
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Old 09-13-12, 10:07 AM   #17
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“This notion that if people have a licence they’d be better cyclists, that hasn’t stopped drivers from crashing into each other,” said Daniel Egan.

Eleanor McMahon, founder of Share the Road, says many people assume that a licence is a way to “control or change behaviour.”
This is right on. Around here, the current level of enforcement for "scofflaw" motorists and cyclists is low. This has led to almost everybody rolling through stops and blasting through red lights within 10 seconds of them changing from yellow. When the probability of getting caught is so low, there is no real way that change will happen.

Although additional enforcement will have some affect on behavior change, the only real way to change it is to work on the underlying personal values.

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Old 09-13-12, 10:10 AM   #18
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Hi resolution digital cameras, it is the wave of the future!

I only use them to report motorists who exhibit driving habits that directly endanger my personal safety, and not in my going around and being a junior deputy.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:15 AM   #19
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This is right on. Around here, the current level of enforcement for "scofflaw" motorists and cyclists is low. This has led to almost everybody rolling through stops and blasting through red lights within 10 seconds of them changing from yellow. When the probability of getting caught is so low, there is no real way that change will happen.

Although additional enforcement will have some affect on behavior change, the only real way to change it is to work on the underlying personal values.

-G
As I said earlier, those cyclists that you see exhibiting scofflaw tendencies generally do not do it for very long, and I have plenty of videos of motorists rolling stop signs and running red lights in my video data base, and with the motorist having the ability to do considerably more damage.
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Old 09-13-12, 11:08 AM   #20
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Why not, it is another revenue source. There is the basic source of the licensing fees, then the impound fees for unlicensed bicycles (shoes), ticketing fees... The potential is pretty good.
I have yet to see anyone show that license fees are a revenue source... as a matter of fact every study I have seen shows that typical Motor Vehicle departments are actually a burden on the states. Tickets themselves may be a "revenue source," but due to the few numbers of cyclists actually out on the roads, I would suspect this is a rather limited source of funds.
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Old 09-13-12, 11:55 AM   #21
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I have yet to see anyone show that license fees are a revenue source... as a matter of fact every study I have seen shows that typical Motor Vehicle departments are actually a burden on the states. Tickets themselves may be a "revenue source," but due to the few numbers of cyclists actually out on the roads, I would suspect this is a rather limited source of funds.
Care to provide a reference to those 'studies?'
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Old 09-13-12, 12:20 PM   #22
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Care to provide a reference to those 'studies?'
Search BF, this has been discussed ad nauseum.
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Old 09-13-12, 12:23 PM   #23
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here in hawaii you have to register your bike before you even get it out the door. you can get a ticket with out the sticker and i have heard they can impound your bike with out it too.honestly i think its just another way fro them to get money out of people.
(I'm just curious now) If someone flies in with their bike to get around, do they have some sort of security against impound or other registration-related issues?
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Old 09-13-12, 12:55 PM   #24
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http://www.seattlepi.com/local/trans...de-1259833.php

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The idea of charging cyclists a registration fee has been floated by lawmakers in Olympia, but not seriously considered in recent years. For each of the past several years, legislators have asked transportation officials at look into the idea of establishing such a program, said Paula Reeves, of the state Department of Transportation.

After talking with other states, the department believes the programs raise little money -- if any -- beyond what they cost to run, Reeves said. "We wouldn't see a big opportunity to improve facilities with that kind of a program," she said. "We also have some survey results that are fairly recent that show that most cyclists also own a car or multiple cars, so they're paying license fees and gas taxes."
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/trans...#ixzz26NPcoCrT

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Highway advocates often claim that roads "pay for themselves," with gasoline taxes and other charges to motorists covering—or nearly covering—the full cost of highway construction and maintenance.

They are wrong.

Highways do not—and, except for brief periods in our nation’s history—never have paid for themselves through the taxes that highway advocates label ěuser fees.î Yet highway advocates continue to suggest they do in an attempt to secure preferential access to scarce public resources and to shape how those resources are spent.
http://www.calpirg.org/reports/caf/d...tation-funding

Now let me set the record straight, I said that license fees and the like provide no revenue... and that is NOT correct, as revenue is basically the straight income into the state coffers... but bear in mind that the revenue is then used to pay expenses, such as roads and for licenses bureaus and the like. If states raised the fees, then indeed there would be a profit difference that could be used for such things as road improvement, beyond basic maintenance, but thus far no state has chosen to do this. (I think Montana may the exception)

Several jurisdictions have tried to license and tax cyclists and have generally found that the expenses and the income were a wash and that ultimately it wasn't worth the hassle. Odd as one would think that if this were a profitable thing, the states would jump all over it. Perhaps the real issue is that there really are not enough regular cyclists in the US to make this work, and charging cyclists just seems to discourage cycling.
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Old 09-13-12, 01:06 PM   #25
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Search BF, this has been discussed ad nauseum.
Yes, ad nauseum, but I haven't seen a single referenced 'study', just opinions...
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