Comment 112597

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2015 at 09:40:50 in reply to Comment 112594

However, as bikes become more prevalent they should be registered if used on a road so that they can be traced by the police and there should be some form of insurance available to cover off negligence claims.

Sorry, but this is ridiculous. The cost of a registration program would utterly dwarf the negligible damage that cycling might cause, and would act as a significant deterrent to would-be cyclists. It's a faux-reasonable solution to a non-problem. As Mikael Colville-Andersen writes in Copenhagenize:

there are half a billion citizens in the European Union alone. 100 million of them ride a bicycle for transport according to the European Cyclists' Federation. None of them are inconvenienced by bicycle licences, least of all the Netherlands or Denmark - the two countries with most bike usage.

[...]

In Denmark we've determined that cycling is much more cost-efficient than cars. Indeed, for every kilometre cycled the nation enjoys a net profit of 25 cents. For every kilometre driven by car, the nation suffers a net loss of 16 cents. Due to a host of health factors, wear and tear/road maintenance factors, etc.

We register and insure cars because cars are inherently extremely dangerous and have a tremendous capacity to kill people and destroy property. Compare the kinetic energy of a large person on a heavy bike with a variety of automobiles:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Vehicle         Mass (kg)  Speed (km/h)  Speed (m/s)  KE (Joules)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bicycle               100            25          6.9        2,411
Bicycle               100            50         13.9        9,645
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Subcompact Car      1,200            25          6.9       28,935
Subcompact Car      1,200            50         13.9      115,741
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sedan/Compact SUV   1,600            25          6.9       38,580
Sedan/Compact SUV   1,600            50         13.9      154,321
-----------------------------------------------------------------    
SUV/Truck           2,500            25          6.9       60,282
SUV/Truck           2,500            50         13.9      241,127
-----------------------------------------------------------------

So let's please stop pretending that the miniscule risk of injury to others somehow warrants an expensive registration program that punishes people who are trying to choose a much cleaner, healthier, safer and more sustainable alternative to driving.

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