Licensing Notion Is A Repeating Distraction

bikelicenseThe notion of licensing bikes has surfaced once again, this time in Toronto.  Some cities, like Toronto and Winnipeg, used to do this and abandoned the practice due to high costs and lack of tangible benefits. Still, every year the notion surfaces in a few cities, usually from back-seat politicians eager to make a mark yet not eager to do any homework first. As a preemptive play to dissuade any local thinking in this direction, here’s a helpful summary of why this idea is or should be a non-starter, from Cycle Toronto.  Read more here.

Author: Alan Medcalf

Alan is a post-corporate, volunteer, community builder living in Brockville, Ontario. He seeks to create sustainable lifestyle advantage for the community by creating opportunities for more people to choose to walk and to ride bikes. He promotes the health, social, environmental and economic benefits of active mobility.

3 thoughts on “Licensing Notion Is A Repeating Distraction”

  1. Licensing a bike may give bikers sober second thought before running a stop sign of cutting in and out of traffic. Anonymity is much of the reason why bikers get a bad wrap. Bikers will be more apt to obey the rules when their license is prominently displayed.

    1. Thanks for the comment, David. One might hope that’s the case. In practice, in the very few places with bike licensing, that hasn’t been the case. We also observe that visible license plates on cars, or even signage on commercial vehicles, doesn’t dissuade abberant behaviour. Research shows that about an equal proportion of people, fortunately a minority, flout the traffic laws on bikes and in cars. There’s a small minority of people who are socially irresponsible and also don’t care that they are, or perhaps believe that since “everyone else” gets away with it, they can too. The psychology of public behaviour is complex and fascinating, yet doesn’t seem to have yielded any good ways to reach transgressors other than punitive approaches like roadside breathalyzer tests, red light cameras, etc.

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