Comment 34789

By Jonathan Dalton (registered) | Posted October 14, 2009 at 16:27:18

The fact that Davis, CA has a 'lack of comprehensive cycling statistics like ridership or safety numbers' says enough. I'll concede that their bike ridership has probably increased from the 70's all time low, but I'd also bet that it's below the state average.

I can give you an example of licensing acting as a disincentive. In the 70's mopeds became hugely popular in Canada. They were motor assisted bicycles with 50cc engines and a top speed of 50km/h. No license, registration or insurance was required, only a minimum age of 15. Some US states still have such lax restrictions today. They would get about 100mpg. In 1981 Ontario introduced mandatory insurance, registration and required a drivers license. Within a few years the market evaporated and no mopeds were sold in Ontario. Obviously people enjoyed the freedom of 2 wheels and next to zero operational cost but couldn't be bothered with the extra cost and hassle of licensing.

Obviously even the smallest motorized vehicles are potentially more dangerous than bikes. Now, you're suggesting we regulate something with no power source that 5 year olds can figure out how to ride. Who would bother to get a license unless they are already a dedicated rider or have no choice?

What is possibly to be gained by licensing other than this mythical 'sense of legitimacy'? Will lawbreaking cyclists have their bikes impounded? Will anyone ACTUALLY change their behaviour as a result?

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