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Old 02-21-08, 11:45 AM   #1
nun
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Riding tests and bike registration?

When I was at school my friends and I all took the "National Cycling Proficiency" test. It was a voluntary test to teach kids how to ride safely, basically in a VC manner. Given the frightening way many cyclists ride, I wonder what's people's opinion about requiring a riding test to ride on the street. Also what about requiring bikes to be registered and to display a license plate of some sort. I think this would help in the quest to get bikes more respect and better treatment by government and other road users.

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Old 02-21-08, 12:14 PM   #2
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When I was at school my friends and I all took the "National Cycling Proficiency" test. It was a voluntary test to teach kids how to ride safely, basically in a VC manner. Given the frightening way many cyclists ride, I wonder what's people's opinion about requiring a riding test to ride on the street. Also what about requiring bikes to be registered and to display a license plate of some sort. I think this would help in the quest to get bikes more respect and better treatment by government and other road users.
I'm going to take a wild stab here and guess that nun does not have the word Freedom tattooed across his or her chest.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:24 PM   #3
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Testing hasn't seemed helped with the frightening way many motorists drive. My local government considers cyclists a priority road user group. And motorists disrespect me no more than they disrespect each other.

Is there any pedestrian training courses we should look into?
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Old 02-21-08, 12:28 PM   #4
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Government only wants us licensed so:
a. they can generate more revenue
b. keep tabs on us

My bike is my freedom machine, I dont want that freedom taken away from me. I obey the road rules and that's that.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:37 PM   #5
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Testing hasn't seemed helped with the frightening way many motorists drive. My local government considers cyclists a priority road user group. And motorists disrespect me no more than they disrespect each other.

Is there any pedestrian training courses we should look into?
Do you think that if no testing, or for that matter no license, was required to drive a motor vehicle on public roads that the driving conditions would be the same as today? (With same level of law enforcement in place)

I agree that cyclist licensing is a bad idea.

But yes, we should require a license to walk on public highways. That would stop pedestrians from jaywalking and overall help reduce their numbers making it safer for everyone.

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Old 02-21-08, 01:03 PM   #6
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I'm going to take a wild stab here and guess that nun does not have the word Freedom tattooed across his or her chest.
That's right, but I am an anarchist. What I'd like to see is a test that is organized by cyclists and our organizations, I'm not necessarily big on mandates, but it would be good to get as many of us taking the course as possible. The registration thing is probably a step too far.
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Old 02-21-08, 01:13 PM   #7
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What I'd like to see is a test that is organized by cyclists and our organizations, I'm not necessarily big on mandates, but it would be good to get as many of us taking the course as possible.
There's Safe Routes to Schools in some communities, and LAB has Road 1 ... Unfortunately not enough cyclists aer involved.
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Old 02-21-08, 03:31 PM   #8
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Do you think that if no testing, or for that matter no license, was required to drive a motor vehicle on public roads that the driving conditions would be the same as today? (With same level of law enforcement in place)
No. Although a recent study conducted in Ontario determined that new drivers who take a training course prior to getting there license are involved in statistically more at-fault accidents than those who had no training and simply passed the test.

I was pointing out, of course, that road user groups with required certification are not by definition any less "scary" than anyone else. Certification is often based on vehicle size; Heavy commercial trucks, for instance, require even more stringent testing to get a license for operation. However this vehicle class is overrepresented in cyclist fatalities. Collisions with other bicycles are under-represented. For this reason combined with my own experience on the roads, I don't find other cyclists "scary".
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Old 02-21-08, 05:20 PM   #9
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I'm going to take a wild stab here and guess that nun does not have the word Freedom tattooed across his or her chest.
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Old 02-21-08, 05:53 PM   #10
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If they also required a test to own a gun and reproduce, I might go along with it.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:12 PM   #11
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No way to enforce it, it's a waste of money, if people want education and safety there are more than enough resources for them to gather themselves.
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Old 02-21-08, 10:51 PM   #12
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I was recently pulled by a cop for turning left in the left turn lane - he didn't like it and told me I was wrong. Well I made the mistake of telling him he was wrong and the sh-poo hit the fan from there... he threatened to confiscate my bicycle (my only vehicle mind you) because it was not registered. I was upset and told him that was not in the law (apparently in my state it is not the law, but city to city it can be) and he got more upset - thankfully I got away with my bike - loaded with a week worth of groceries and he didn't want to deal with that - I got home and found out that the only violation that they can take your bike for in my city is no registration! So needless to say, all my bikes are registered, a big F-U to the local cops who do not know the bicycle laws - which do state that I am supposed to be in the left lane for a turn in a multiple lane road. They really should advertise that stuff

Of course the registration process was completely by the honor system - no one even came out (both times, 2 bikes) to verify that the bike was what I said it was before I put the sticker on it. Makes the whole process pretty pointless - just an excuse to confiscate when the cop feels that he isn't getting the "bow down" respect he wants

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Old 02-22-08, 06:25 AM   #13
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But yes, we should require a license to walk on public highways. That would stop pedestrians from jaywalking and overall help reduce their numbers making it safer for everyone.

Al
Al, you're so wrong here. What we need are dedicated lanes on sidewalks for slow moving pedestrians who have unique characteristics relative to other legged animals. Right now, there's no space on sidewalks for anyone who doesn't move at the speed of the runners. Put the lanes in (just cut a line in the concrete to clearly show where slow moving peds should walk/shuffle) and the number of slow moving peds will increase, and that will increase their safety. Don't you care that Grandma can't run?
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Old 02-22-08, 10:32 AM   #14
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The opportunity for cyclists to voluntarily get/know about a good safety course is virtually nil. It is a shame that in most people's eyes that in order to correct that they need require a cycling testing/license. How about providing and advertising a free (or low cost) course at all the community colleges or fire stations first and then if that does not work out then think about mandatory testing.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:44 AM   #15
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The bike club I paid $10/yr to be part of pays in full for any member to take the range of cycling in traffic courses.

Hardly anyone takes on this great offer as no one wants to 'waste' both a Sat and Sun taking the classes when they could instead be out on a recreational ride with the sense of 'safety' due to being in a large group.

Al
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Old 02-22-08, 11:05 AM   #16
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I tried to sign up for a LAB course and couldn't find one in my area. I even contacted one or two instructors and still nothing. Maybe I'll try again this spring.
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Old 02-22-08, 12:58 PM   #17
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I tried to sign up for a LAB course and couldn't find one in my area. I even contacted one or two instructors and still nothing. Maybe I'll try again this spring.
I had the same problem in trying to find a Road I course a few years back, now the local bike club gives a free instructional ride series and a community collage (20 miles away) offers a Road I course every year.
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Old 03-04-08, 09:03 PM   #18
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I'm going to take a wild stab here and guess that nun does not have the word Freedom tattooed across his or her chest.
I can tell you where you can get one of those, if you want.

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Old 03-04-08, 09:06 PM   #19
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That's right, but I am an anarchist. What I'd like to see is a test that is organized by cyclists and our organizations, I'm not necessarily big on mandates, but it would be good to get as many of us taking the course as possible. The registration thing is probably a step too far.
What organizations would that be? You want to test yourself, fine, but I have little patience for so-called advocates that place barriers to entry into something as simple as riding a bicycle.
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Old 03-05-08, 02:04 PM   #20
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What organizations would that be? You want to test yourself, fine, but I have little patience for so-called advocates that place barriers to entry into something as simple as riding a bicycle.
Riding a bicycle is simple, but riding a bicycle in traffic is not. Arguably, it's more complex than driving a car or riding a motorcycle in traffic, though the potential to cause harm to others is significantly less.

While bike riding generally occurs at a relatively slow speed as compared to motoring, the relative slowness actually makes maneuvering in traffic more complex than it is when riding a motorcycle that can accelerate and keep up with other traffic easily.

I don't think this all adds up to requiring licensing for bicyclists, but I think it's important to keep in mind that cycling in traffic is not nearly as simple as riding a bicycle.
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Old 03-05-08, 02:56 PM   #21
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Riding a bicycle is simple, but riding a bicycle in traffic is not. Arguably, it's more complex than driving a car or riding a motorcycle in traffic, though the potential to cause harm to others is significantly less.
Bulltwinkle, Batman. The only thing that is hard about riding a bike in traffic for most people is overcoming their fear because they are not surrounded by a steel cage to protect them from their own stupidity. When you grow up doing it, taint hard at all...problem is too many people surrendered to the car culture and forgot how to ride a bike by the time they rediscovered it in middle age. The rules of the road are the same on a bike as they are in a car...the only rule that is different is who wins in a pissing contest.
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Old 03-05-08, 03:30 PM   #22
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...the only rule that is different is who wins in a pissing contest.
That's a cute way of putting it.
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Old 03-05-08, 03:31 PM   #23
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Bulltwinkle, Batman. The only thing that is hard about riding a bike in traffic for most people is overcoming their fear because they are not surrounded by a steel cage to protect them from their own stupidity. When you grow up doing it, taint hard at all...problem is too many people surrendered to the car culture and forgot how to ride a bike by the time they rediscovered it in middle age. The rules of the road are the same on a bike as they are in a car...the only rule that is different is who wins in a pissing contest.
Well, "hard", "complex" and "simple" are relative terms - meaningless when not comparing something to something else.

I'm just saying that on the simple-complex scale, regardless of where "riding a bike" may fall, "riding a bike in traffic" falls a significant distance to the right of that, and arguably right of (more towards complex) "driving a car in traffic" and maybe even right of "riding a motorcycle in traffic".

I also think many people underestimate the amount of additional complexity that "in traffic" adds to "riding a bike", though many also over-estimate it, believing that it is so complex that doing it safely is not possible. Perhaps that's what you're trying to say?
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Old 03-05-08, 03:53 PM   #24
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Well, "hard", "complex" and "simple" are relative terms - meaningless when not comparing something to something else.

I'm just saying that on the simple-complex scale, regardless of where "riding a bike" may fall, "riding a bike in traffic" falls a significant distance to the right of that, and arguably right of (more towards complex) "driving a car in traffic" and maybe even right of "riding a motorcycle in traffic".

I also think many people underestimate the amount of additional complexity that "in traffic" adds to "riding a bike", though many also over-estimate it, believing that it is so complex that doing it safely is not possible. Perhaps that's what you're trying to say?
I don't agree...having 'driven' bikes, motorcycles, cars and trucks 'in traffic' for most of my life. Of the three, the bicycle is the simplest, the motorcycle the most enjoyable (and most dangerous), IMO, the car/truck the most complex. On a bike, you only have to pay close attention to what is going on around you and much less attention (relatively) on the vehicle and its controls, features and toys. The rules of the road are the same, no matter the vehicle, less vehicle specific laws and capabilities. I understand that you like to think it is complex...but really it isn't. I think you tend to over think it in an attempt to explain it, while I just do it and don't try to over analyze it.
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Old 03-05-08, 04:16 PM   #25
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In Maryland 68% of our traffic bike crashes are under the age of 30. By the age of 30 you have pretty much figured out "the rules of the road." To me this implies it is hard for kids to figure out how to ride a bike safely and for adults it is almost second nature how to ride "safely".
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