The argument about which roads drivers license/registration/fuel taxes pay for is a strong argument against the "cyclists don't pay for the roads" argument, but it can't really be turned around to say "motorists don't pay for the roads". They do, just like cyclists do.
But more to the point, I was countering your statement that --
And of course the fact that they pay sales, properly and income taxes just like cyclists further complicates the claim, but I'll assume you meant "fees that come directly from some aspect of driving".
Last edited by dougmc; 08-19-13 at 04:56 PM.
Check on that registration fee thing... In CA that funding goes to pay not only for the DMV, but also for various print materials and very little of it goes to the state coffers.
But bottom line, since most cyclists are also drivers, they pay for all the above, and don't cause the same wear and tear on the roads while they bike, thus, the cyclists' taxes and fees subsidize the roads for motorists.
I drive my car less than average, and it's a subcompact so it gets good mileage -- but I still pay hundreds of dollars in fuel taxes on it each year. Those mostly go straight to paying for roads, without a whole lot of infrastructure needed to actually collect this money.
And in Texas 25% of the state fuel tax goes to education (and by that I mean public schools, not even driver's education.) But even so, it's a bunch of money, and doesn't cost much to collect (not compared to what is collected, anyways), and while it doesn't pay for all the roads -- it certainly does pay for a significant chunk of them.Check on that registration fee thing... In CA that funding goes to pay not only for the DMV, but also for various print materials and very little of it goes to the state coffers.
It doesn't cost that much to collect registration fees. Around here, it's $70 bucks or so each year, you get new plates every seven years that are included, and the administration is basically accepting a check and mailing out a fancy paper with your new tags on them. They even charge a $1 fee if you do it by mail.
I don't know anything about these print materials you're referring to, but even if the money is siphoned off to pay for something else, that doesn't mean that the "Fees collected barely pay for the licensing services themselves". But that statement probably does apply to drivers licenses -- here they cost $25 but that includes a new picture, finger print, eye test, etc. But it lasts for six years. (And the rates went up recently. Used to be $16 and last for ten years.)
The problem with this argument is that passenger cars don't cause significant wear and tear on the roads either. (Big trucks do, however. But they also pay a bunch of additional fees in addition to their higher fuel taxes due to their higher fuel consumption. Is it enough to pay for their additional wear and tear? I do not know, but I suspect not.)But bottom line, since most cyclists are also drivers, they pay for all the above, and don't cause the same wear and tear on the roads while they bike, thus, the cyclists' taxes and fees subsidize the roads for motorists.
Most of the time, most of the wear and tear is caused by mother nature and/or time. Still costs money to fix, and building the road in the first place still costs money.
Okay, read the back-and-forth between you two, and I have to commend you both -- disagreeing without being disagreeable. It's a skill that's rusted up pretty well for me, lol.
What I find to be a blemish on society is the automatic assumption that, if you have to part with your MONEY for something, you're automatically BUYING it, or that it BELONGS to you. Not just the roads, either -- over the past several winters, I've noticed fewer and fewer people shoveling snow off the sidewalks in front of their houses; some of it, I'm sure, has to do with 'renters', who feel little obligation (around here, anyway) to maintain anything -- some don't even mow the lawn! When I checked into the city code, it requires sidewalks to be cleared by 9AM after a snow. YEAH, RIGHT........ I've had 'dialogues' with people, and when they are told it's their responsibility to clear the sidewalk, their answer is invariably some version of, "That makes it MY sidewalk, then!"
OK, back OT......
Truthfully, regardless of the size of the fees, I have a hard time accepting that they pay a significant portion of road costs -- I base this on the staggering COSTS of road work that get quoted locally! I broke down the $$ on one a couple years ago, divided it by the population of the city, and it STILL came out to about 4 months' pay for EVERYONE! (Don't still have the numbers, sorry, can't supply 'em anymore) It DID actually help me deal with drivers who spout the "you don't pay for the road" line -- I just laugh loudly at them. Boy, do they hate THAT!
It's particularly odious when it's applied to governmental spending. Said to a public servant, "I pay your salary, so you owe me something/have to do what I say". Or said to somebody receiving any form of governmental assistance "I pay for you to live, so I get some say in how you live/what you spend the money on".What I find to be a blemish on society is the automatic assumption that, if you have to part with your MONEY for something, you're automatically BUYING it, or that it BELONGS to you.
Oddly enough, the eligible forms of government assistance for such statements never includes the sort of assistance that the speaker is receiving (tax breaks for encouraged behaviors, tuition assistance, energy rebates, etc.)
So a third of the total income of this particular area went to road work? There must be something wrong with your math, or you must have picked a particularly perverse time/situation or something. That would be like the US spending $5 trillion dollars on the roads every year.I base this on the staggering COSTS of road work that get quoted locally! I broke down the $$ on one a couple years ago, divided it by the population of the city, and it STILL came out to about 4 months' pay for EVERYONE!
The math that finds that fuel taxes pay 33-50% of certain roads (usually the highway systems) is fairly well established -- and that's certainly a significant chunk. Of course, if 33-50% is paid for, that means 50-67% is not, so certainly, it doesn't pay for everything.
Now as to the actual costs of road work annually, that would indeed be an interesting figure, especially compared to the amount of registration fees and gas tax collected.
Local and state governments tend to muddy the lines of where monies go, so in attempting to "follow the monies" I have found that it is quite difficult to pin down exactly what funds go where.
Just saw this:
Every owner of a motor vehicle, ... every owner of a bicycle, and every owner of a trailer shall, during the owner's registration period in each year, register such vehicle as provided in this chapter and obtain a license to operate it for the 12 month period until such person's next registration period."
"Any person purchasing or acquiring a bicycle shall register and obtain, or transfer, a license plate to operate such bicycle upon streets with motor vehicle traffic from the county tag agent in his or her county of residence no later than 30 days after the date of purchase or acquisition of the bicycle."
"...License plates which shall be at least four inches wide and not less than seven inches in length..."
"Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall ride single file except on bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when a special event permit issued by a local governing authority permits riding more than single file. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall ride no more than four riders per single file line, and at least four feet shall separate each bicycle. At least 50 feet shall be maintained between each line of four riders at all times."
this is one time when the Republicans "GOV Regulation stink" mantra would be useful
Long live freedom of travel!
I don't think the actual bicycles themselves should be licensed. I do think, however, that bicycle riders who choose to ride their bikes on the public roads with cars should have to have a "bare bones" lowest level drivers license that can be easily applied for online by just answering a dozen check the box multiple choice questions or so that cover the most basic rules of the road (which side of the road to ride on, lights required after dark, don't run red lights and stop signs when there is someone else coming on the cross street with right of way and they will have to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you).
Such a very basic drivers license would mainly serve two primary purposes:
----- 1 ~ So that ignorance that bikes must also follow the most basic rules of the road is not an excuse (especially for Kamikaze, Salmon, and Night-Ninja bicyclists)
----- 2 ~ Such a bicycle drivers license serves as a pre-requisite to getting a car drivers license and no future car drivers licenses are issued unless the future car driver first knows what its like to ride a bike on the roads.
It would be a mandatory requirement for me to support such a basic bicycle drivers license for riding a bicycle on the public roads that such a license can only be revoked by special court order if the license holder by their confirmed, verifiable, provable actions has demonstrated themselves to be a reckless danger to the lives and health of other vulnerable road users (AKA = cyclists that run down pedestrians and are unrepentant for doing so, etc . . . ). And also that the cost would be nothing at all for the basic license that does not serve as official government photo ID (prints out right on your printer for the temp copy and the permanent laminated version shows up in the mail a week or two later) and if you want it as official government photo ID (have to go down town to the office with documentation you are who you say you are and get your photo taken just like a car drivers license) the cost is no more then a basic photo ID card costs.
Under those strict conditions where such a "bare bones" bicycle drivers license is very easy and cheap to get and very hard to loose I think it would be a very good idea for the two specific reasons I list. Especially if it was available to youth at a much younger age then they can get a car drivers license (raise that age to at least 18 at the same time) so it would basically serve as the learners drivers license. I would like to see a day in the future where all new car drivers have experience riding a bike on the road and know what its like to be the little guy, I think it would ultimately lead to cyclists getting treated much better by car drivers on the public roadways especially over time as old drivers were replaced by newer generations. In addition I would like other cyclists on the road to at least respect the most basic rules of the road. I've already had multiple close calls and a couple injuries, one a very serious hospitalization injury, as a direct result of another cyclist riding aggressively in direct violation of the most basic rules of the road.
Last edited by turbo1889; 09-28-13 at 08:47 AM.
I would gladly pay a licensing fee AFTER the rollerbladers and riding scooters do.
Otherwise no, and ditto on 99% of what was said above.
Proud builder of a frankenbike: My Shrek Antenental Contilope named The Dirty Gertie
cycling community at large."
My opinion is that anything that benefits the cycling community at large (e.g. bike lanes, marked bike routes, bike paths, bike education, etc) also benefits the motor vehicle community at large. I'm a proponent of separation of bike traffic and motor vehicle traffic, not only for cyclist's safety, but simply for avoiding conflict between traffic of varying speeds. When I'm driving, I don't like being stuck behind a cyclist pedaling 10-15 mph when the speed limit is 35 or 40 mph, and when I'm cycling, I don't like slowing up traffic because I need to take the lane.
The more of these improvements to roads that there are, the less bikes will be required to take the lane and slow down motor vehicle traffic.
"With more money safer facilities could be constructed."
I'd be willing to voluntarily contribute money towards these safer facilities, if given the opportunity.
"Are we freeloaders?"
We all pay taxes (okay...most of us). Motor vehicle drivers are not solely funding all road and bike improvement construction.
I know it's been said in this thread before, but GEEZ -- just the ADMIN costs of a program like that would bankrupt it. Costs more to DO than you can COLLECT. There are MULTIPLE examples in North America of this.
Cars/drivers were required to be licensed due to rampant carnage on streets, a Mad Max level of death and mayhem, basically; the same need never has, and still DOESN'T, exist for bikes. Do like some of the Euros do, and teach what can be called 'bicycle citizenship' in grade school and/or middle school (and DO AWAY with "concept math" and English courses where you're required to DIAGRAM a sentence! I never HEARD of such shiitake until my 2nd wave of kids hit middle school!). Ask test questions on an every-ten-year re-test that REQUIRES a high passing grade to retain your license, that pertain to bike laws.
Not to get off topic but diagramming a sentence is actually a very good and useful thing that does need to be taught. It's a means of exercising and developing critical thinking skills in understanding of written language. Or in other words how to actually read and understand what someone else has written while removing "what you thought they said" and leaving only "what they actually said." Its not the only means of exercising and developing that skill but it is one of them and with a mix of students you need multiple ways of teaching the same basic skill because some methods work for some students and not for others depending on personality (contrary to some educators belief people are not cookie cut outs all the same). So for those students for which that method works to teach that critical skill it most certainly is necessary and for others some other method is necessary but every student must ultimately learn the ultimate life skill I speak of and suggesting throwing out a method proven to work in many cases for such a critical skill is not a wise course of action.
This ultimate life skill of critical thinking exercise with written language and learning to read and understand "what the writer is actually saying" rather then "whaty you think the writer is saying" I dare say many posters on this forum, especially this section did not learn, or at least did not learn well enough for the lesson to stick. Some of whom could have learned the lesson if they had done more sentence diagrams earlier in life.
A "Mad Max level of death and mayhem" has never existed for cars in this country.a Mad Max level of death and mayhem, basically; the same need never has, and still DOESN'T, exist for bikes.
Now, I realize that this was just hyperbole, but many drivers do think that cyclists perpetuate "motorist levels of mayhem -- or more". Now, such beliefs do tend to be based on sensationalized news stories and false equivalences , but the beliefs are real and coupled with a "it's not fair", "they don't pay their fair share" and "I don't like them in front of me anyways" and it could get pushed through.
As for what the drivers are thinking of, they think of cyclists running red lights and stop signs (and conveniently forget that motorists do the same as well.)
"If a car runs a red light, I can call in the plate. What can I call in for a cyclists?" (Of course, this is based on a few incorrect premises right there -- 1) people don't call in drivers running red lights, 2) if they did call in a driver running a red light, the police would not do anything, even with the license plate, and 3) in general the police couldn't give tickets based on license plates anyways -- they cite people, not cars (or the owners of cars), and 4) even with clear video of the red light being run, capturing the plate and driver clearly, the police still wouldn't do anything in the majority of cases. Also, as for "sensationalized news stories", I'm thinking of reports of hooliganism in things like Critical Mass rides. Things that do happen, but are extremely rare. Like that recent "Hollywood Stuntz" mob of motorcyclists attacking the car.)
Last edited by dougmc; 10-11-13 at 09:19 AM.
I've called the cops on cyclists for not obeying traffic control devices, for riding against traffic, as well as for carrying children on the handlebars. When I've talked with they've told me that all calls ARE investigated.
And even though we don't have plates, a description of both bike and driver can be used to identify the operator, and have appropriate action taken.
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Why liscense? So the government can hire more people with bad attitudes to do nothing all day long? I've been to CA DMV....
I don't understand why everyone assumes this is new. Bikes had license plates in the 1950s I have one from my state and a neighboring state. If one does an internet search, many other states can be found.
The idea was used and then discontinued already. They had small metal plates just like a car. Metal plates being made would absolutely make this a money loss., if you include paperwork, and enforcement it's easy to see why it would lose money. Anyone who understands business and has seen all the work required in all the paperwork can see easily way too much spent on just the paper. Same for anyone who has been in manufacturing can understand the cost of a plate. Are you going to charge someone $40 a year who owns a $10 bike? The paperwork alone could easily be $20. Probably higher.
Do you need a title or bill of sale to register your bike? Do you give tickets for illegal riding? How do you handle a stolen bike? How do you know someone registering a bike does not have a stolen bike. The costs and problems go on and on and on................
not enough money will be collected to offset the extra hassle/work of it all = bad idea.
Henrico County Virginia Bicycle Registration Requirement Already in Effect:
Sec. 22-351. - Certificate of registration required; display of registration number.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or use a bicycle propelled wholly or in part by muscular power upon any of the streets, roads or public highways of the county without first obtaining a certificate of registration from the chief of police and attaching to such bicycle a metallic registration number.
(Code 1980, § 14-73; Code 1995, § 22-342)
Sec. 22-352. - Registration plate generally; records of registered bicycles.
The county shall provide metallic registration plates and seals, together with registration cards. The metallic registration plates and registration cards shall be numbered in numerical order, beginning with number 1, and the design, color and identification lettering thereon shall be approved by the chief of police. It shall be the duty of the chief of police to cause to be attached one of such metallic registration plates to the frame of each bicycle and to issue a corresponding registration card to the owner of such bicycle upon the payment of the registration fee required by section 22-356. Such metallic registration plate shall remain attached to the bicycle for which it was issued during the period such bicycle is operated within the county. The chief of police shall keep a permanent register in which shall be entered the name, address and age of the owner of each registered bicycle, the date of registration and sufficient information to identify such bicycle.
(Code 1980, § 14-74; Code 1995, § 22-343)
Sec. 22-353. - Notification of police on transfer of ownership; transfer of registration.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or transfer ownership of any bicycle without reporting to the chief of police within 48 hours from the time thereof full and complete information relative to such transfer so that such bicycle may be registered in the name of the transferee. The purchaser or transferee of any such bicycle shall apply for a transfer of registration therefor within five days from the time it is acquired by him.
(Code 1980, § 14-75; Code 1995, § 22-344)
Sec. 22-354. - Report of purchases by dealers of secondhand bicycles and parts.
It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in the business of buying secondhand bicycles, or any parts of secondhand bicycles, to fail to report to the chief of police within 48 hours after acquiring any secondhand bicycle, or part thereof. Such report shall include the registration number of such bicycle, a description of each bicycle acquired, and the frame number thereof, together with the name and address of the person from whom it was acquired. In case of the purchase of any parts of bicycles, the report shall describe each part and give the name and address of the person from whom it was acquired.
(Code 1980, § 14-76; Code 1995, § 22-345)
Sec. 22-355. - Removal, destruction or alteration of frame number, registration plate or registration card.
It shall be unlawful for any person willfully or maliciously to remove, destroy, mutilate or alter the number of any bicycle frame registered pursuant to this chapter. It shall also be unlawful for any person willfully or maliciously to remove, destroy, mutilate or alter any registration plate or registration card issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter during the time in which such registration plate or card is operative. It shall also be unlawful for any person to possess a bicycle whose frame number has been removed, destroyed or altered; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the chief of police from stamping a number on the frame of a bicycle on which no serial number can be found or on which such number is illegible or insufficient for identification purposes.
(Code 1980, § 14-77; Code 1995, § 22-346)
Sec. 22-356. - Registration fee; transfer of plates; replacement of plates.
The registration fee to be paid for each bicycle registered shall be $1.00. Upon the sale or other transfer of a licensed bicycle the licensee shall remove the license plate and shall either surrender it to the chief of police or may upon proper application, but without payment of an additional fee, have such plate assigned to another bicycle owned by the applicant. Once a bicycle has been registered in a given name, the registration thereof may be transferred from one owner to another without the payment of an additional fee. The fee required in this section shall cover all charges incident to registration and issuance of registration plates and cards. All fees collected shall be paid into the county treasury. Should the metallic registration number attached to any bicycle become lost, altered or mutilated, the owner thereof shall apply to the chief of police for another such number, certifying by a writing under oath that the metallic registration number has been so lost, altered or mutilated, and the chief of police shall then issue to such person a metallic registration number identical with that theretofore issued and cause it to be attached to the bicycle upon the payment by such owner of a fee of $1.00.
(Code 1980, § 14-78; Code 1995, § 22-347)
Not sure if I've posted this elsewhere on this forum, but the following is my response to a politician who proposed something similar in the UK. FYI, DVLA is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, SORN is the Standard Off-Road Notification if you take your MV off the road and don't pay your annual car tax and ANPR is the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system used with patrol car dashboard cameras.
Ah yes, the usual knee jerk reaction. Just what would be involved, I wonder.
1. Set up duplicate DVLA because there are approx. 12 million bikes in the country
2. Register all bikes (except bikes with less than 20" size wheels (for kids) using their serial number (if it's not rusted away or unreadable because of damage
3. Set up and monitor SORN system for all bikes just like motor vehicles
4. Re-introduce tax disc set-up (about to be cancelled for cars
5, Make sure that any such disc is properly attached in accordance with regulations so that the position is appropriate for (deep breath) BMXs, road bikes, tourers, racing bikes, mtbs (rigid, front suspension, full suspension, recumbents, trikes, tandems, etc. (double cost for tandems since they carry two people, because there isn't a consistent place on them to fix the disc holder
6. Include regulations for number plates. Would need to be or the same size as existing ones so that ANPR cameras in police cars can catch untaxed riders. Of course, you would have to write appropriate regulations (see tax disc above). Just where would you put such plates? Seat pin? Seat stay? Cross Bar? Handlebars? Cross bar out because police car ANPR cameras point straight ahead. If you attach it to the seat stay, that means there will be 3 edges free, so you would have to involve H&SE in writing regulations to make sure that no-one gets cut in the event of an accident (sound of parliamentary draughtsmen rubbing their hand in glee).
6a. And, of course, the police and the courts would just lurve to fill up those empty hours when they're doing nothing to catch and prosecute untaxed cyclists, wouldn't they?
7. Then there's the cost, excluding £multi-million computer system (ready at 3 times original budget and 5 years late) which would be pretty much the same as for motor vehicles, say £5 per bike per year.
8. Since bikes do no measurable damage to road surface, say £5 on top, raising, say, 6m bikes x £5 = £30m (drop in the ocean). So let's make it admin plus £20 (x 6 = £120m (slightly larger drop in the ocean)
9. Oh, but someone driving a certain £50,000 American electric sports car pays nowt (Zero CO2), while my rusty old bike costs £25 p.a. Oh, and if you're a keen cyclist with 5 bikes, that's £125 per year - may as well buy the electric sports car and clog up the road.
Please suggest this to your local MP - she/he would love to introduce it as a private member's bill
The difference is that our diabolical law here in Henrico (above) has been in effect since 1980. Oddly enough, I have never ever seen a Henrico County license plate on a bicycle in the 28 years I've lived here. In fact, had never heard of this law until researching online last week. I sure don't look forward to having the chief of police stamp frame numbers on my two oldest bikes which were built before their manufacturers were using serial numbers. And I certainly don't enjoy the thought of having a piece of tin with a number on it, like some jailbird's mug shot, hanging off the back end of my Colnago. I think I'll wait until I'm arrested and thrown in the clink.