bike riding licenses why not?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by wolfgang, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

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    I'm not sure if this has been posted about much before, but people should have to pass a test and obtain a license to ride a bike in public. It seems that would be the way to get more respect from motorists and less antogonism toward cyclists. A few bike riders make all cyclists look bad--people riding on sidewalks, riding the wrong way on the road, not signaling, etc.

    It may be hard to enforce though.
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    And what about all young kids who ride bikes? Are you going to be the one to tell a 5 year old that he or she has to get a license? Licensing has done nothing to reduce the number of stupid drivers or drivers that make other drivers look bad.
     
  3. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    The amount of legal regulation an activity needs is proportional to its potential for doing harm to others.

    Laws that treat cyclists exactly like motorists may seem fair, but are IMO lazy and short-sighted for not recognizing the different abilities, needs, and potential for harm between the two vehicles.
     
  4. mattyb

    mattyb New Member

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    It would open the door for laws to be passed against group riding - distance between bikes - no drafting .... no thanks
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The one that pisses me off the most is other cyclists who believe that red lights don't apply to them. Hit them with the same fine that motorist get, which is $371 around these parts... and top that off with a dangerous riding fine, again a similar fine to what a car driver would get.
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +1. If you're going to be a road user, you should be subject to the same laws and penalties to which the other road users are subject.
     
  7. pm0203

    pm0203 New Member

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  8. bigpedaler

    bigpedaler New Member

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  9. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Not that I support cyclists ignoring traffic lights, but why do you feel this way? My problem with your statement is that the laws and even the roads themselves are designed with cars in mind, and often do not adequately address the needs of bicycles as a result. Likewise, some of the penalties which are in place for the sake of motorist safety need not apply to bicycles at all.

    As an example, many state laws do not contain language describing what minimum safe distance should be maintained while one vehicle is passing another. For cars that language is probably unnecessary, and essentially means that if you don't strike the other vehicle then the pass was probably conducted 'safely'. Obviously, that omission does not adequately address the safety of cyclists.

    Operating on the shoulder is another example of road rules which do not work for bicycles. Most state laws prohibit vehicles from operating on the shoulders of the road, or at least cause them to forfeit any right of way over vehicles operating in the lanes of traffic (ie, yield to *all* traffic at intersections, even those approaching from behind or turning across your line of travel).

    Laws aren't just there to limit what we can do, they're supposed to protect us as well. A one-size fits all approach puts cyclists at the mercy of motor-centric laws, and gives drivers the impression that as long as they don't hit us, everything's okay, and that it's the cyclist's responsibility not to obstruct the path of the passing vehicles. Read the bicycle statutes in your area and see if you feel that they give the other motorists ample guidance about how to safely operate around you as a cyclist. "Bicycles shall have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles on the road" doesn't cut it.
     
  10. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    This has been done to death on the local Aus forums, so I can't believe I'm getting into it, but.....

    One thing that annoys me is this intimation (or even suggestion) that as soon as cyclicts pay some sort of license or registration, all the motorists will suddenly be happy with us sharing the road, and all the complaining and anti-cyclist anger will go away. This is bullshit! Drivers who hate cyclists will still hate us, no matter what.


    As far as I know, there was a feasibility study done some time ago in some Aus city (maybe it's just a rumour) about the logistics of registering cyclists, and the result was that the price of registration would have to be "too high" to cover admin and all over related costs.
     
  11. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    You are already subject to those laws now... at least in most states in the US, the laws typically state that a bicycle must comply with all laws of the road, which includes such things as sharing lanes, following distance etc...

    Why it is not enforced is a question for your local law enforcement officials, but the laws are just as enforceable against a bicyclist as a motorist in most states today.

    If a car cuts off a group of cyclists, and everyone in the group goes down, frankly, the only one who has a clear claim against the driver is the first one in the line... and the rest of them are open to being cited for following too close, driving too fast for conditions, or both.
     
  12. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

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    Lots of good comment on here. Yeah, maybe licenses isn't that great of an idea. However, I do believe that what causes a lot of drivers' resent towards cyclists is people riding a bike on the street like it's just a toy. There's no doubt that when a cyclist follows all the laws and rides responsibly and safely, they make all riders look good and help gain the respect of motorists.

    Perhaps more enforcement (as in ticketing and education) of the laws is what's needed.
     
  13. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that driver's resentment is due to cyclists who ride like the bike is a toy. I think that the drivers have a perception that a bicycle is just a toy rather than a legitimate form of transportation, and they resent the fact that someone is "playing" in the road. With the high price of gasoline last summer, there were a lot more cyclists on the road so the driver's perception was dampened a bit, but I am sure that it will be back with a vengenance now that gas prices have dropped again.
     
  14. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The rules of the road apply to all who use public roads.

    Unless there's a specific subsection in the "drivers handbook", or whatever your state/country has for you to study from before your test, that states that bikes need to do x, y and z then bikes should be subject to the same laws that other road users face. At the very least it puts people on the same page as far as what you can 'expect' others to do whilst on the road. I say expect because there's always someone doing some weird stuff that ultimately gets them tagged as road kill.

    Besides, some people are just too stupid to be trusted with their, and other peoples, wellbeing and safety. They need to be told that red light = stop, especially when they're on the bike, even if it's just for their own protection. Same deal with simple stuff like lights - red on the back, white on the front and turn them on when it's dark.

    Personally, if someone on a bike decides it's their place to ride through a red light and ends up with their brains scrambled all over a windshield, then I'm gonna feel more sorry for whomever was driving the car.
     
  15. pm0203

    pm0203 New Member

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    I was expecting a Bogun bomb to have been thrown and wipe out the good guys tyres.

    But no the good guys have slamed the Boguns!!!!!!!!


    2255
    Yes Share the road

    1173
    No get of the road ya bum or ryiailll thwro arg bogun bomb artt yaaahh


    Aust Term: Bogun = US term: Trailer Trash

    Bogun Bomb = Beer bottle thrown at cycle lane way designed specifically to puncture bike tyres.
     
  16. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

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    Sorry, but your first two sentences seem to contradict each other. I'm not sure if you agree or disagree with me.
     
  17. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Your third sentence in your original post seemed to me to say that there are some cyclists who ride a bicycle like it is a toy and that that is what angers some drivers. I was disagreeing with this idea. I believe that most drivers think that a bicycle is only a toy, regardless of who is riding it, and that there is no place on the road for someone who is riding a toy.

    Most children in the US get a bicycle as a toy at some point in their life. The drivers that have a problem with cyclists remember the toy bike that they had or maybe that they gave to their own children, and do not differentiate a child on a juvenile bicycle from an adult on an adult's bike. When they see an adult on a serious bicycle, they feel that the cyclist is playing, regardless of the fact that he might be using his bike to commute, train, or just relax.

    Concerning bicycle riding licenses, the less governmental interference there is in my hobby, the better it is. They tend to muck up anything that they get involved in so please don't give them any ideas.
     
  18. rooman

    rooman New Member

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    doh!, that would be a NO....because...that's why!

    in Australia in the very rare case that a bicycle rider has killed a pedestrian the rider is not unidentified and a license serves no practical purpose. Cars are the lethal weapons that kill huge numbers, that is, huge numbers of passengers, huge numbers of other drivers, the driver themselves and vulnerable road users...that is why drivers of same are licensed, that is why such vehicles have compulsory insurance for personal injuries and that is why it must never be the same for bicycles or pedestrians to be licensed to use the roadway. I include peds as they are the most unpredictable of road users, is anyone suggesting they have a license, their shoes be registered and they have compulsory insurance for the crashes they cause when they cross a road suddelny, & cars do a nose to tail and the ped. wanders off scott free.... forget it... you will only give the politicans and anti bike lobby fuel and ammunition... in 15 years cars will be extinct, let's allow them to die peacefully and not prolong the agony by restricting other legal road users... we could however introduce laws that ensure strict liability on cars and trucks over vulnerable road users, now that is a step in the right direction...
     
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