The #1 Bicycle Mechanic Website in the World!

OFFICIAL SPONSORS

Gears Bike Shop
109 Vanderhoof Avenue, Toronto, ON
Phone: 647-729-2500
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5
Gears Bike Shop is always hiring mechanics. Contact kevin@gearsbikeshop.com

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bicycle licenses in Toronto? Don't make me laugh

CANADA - In the current mayoral campaign the issue of whether Toronto should force cyclists to get licenses to ride their bicycles has come up in the local media. This isn't the first time the city has thought about licensing cyclists. They failed in their attempt last time and they will certainly fail again.

According to the city’s website there are three reasons why licensing would NEVER work:

#1. How do you license children?

#2. How do make sure the database is complete and accurate when bicycles are privately bought and sold on a constant basis?

#3. Licensing cyclists won't change their behaviour.

I have some more reasons the city hasn't thought of:

#4. What about tourists who like cycling downtown or on Centre Island? Bike rental places would be put out of business.

#5. Cyclists will NEVER agree to pay $200 for a cycling license.

There's approx. a million people in Toronto who own bicycles... at $200 each this is nothing more than a $200 million tax grab. Taxing cyclists is also completely unenforcable. The police don't even stop cyclists to see if they have a light or a rear reflector so they're certainly not going to worry if cyclists have a license.

What the city wants to do is create a "Department of Cycling". Cyclists would have to take a road test every 2 years. Bike shops, associations and bicycle mechanics would have be registered and pay fees to help pay for the system.

Cyclists would pay $200 every 2 years to have a license.

Businesses and associations would pay $500 every year to be registered.

The city would hire a team of people to administer the database and use some of the funding to help make future bike lanes.

Children under the age of 16 would be exempt from licensing.

Bike shops, associations, schools, after-school programs and summer camps would be asked to teach bike safety.

However this will do nothing to change the behaviour of cyclists. Licensing doesn't change the behaviour of motorists, so why would it change cyclists? Asking cyclists to pay $200 every 2 years is really just a PUNISHMNENT for being a cyclist and has nothing to do with road safety and everything to do with motorists-who-despise-cyclists and are jealous of the fact we cyclists don't have to pay anything.

His proposal also includes enforcing stiffer fines and penalties on reckless cyclists, introducing a points system and the ability to suspend licenses. A special police unit would be created just for catching cyclists.

This plan is being promoted by Robert Kirsic (who works for the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council in Toronto), who admits he prefers to drive a car, and apparently has it stuck in his head that police need to have a crackdown on cyclists and turn Toronto into a police state with respect to cyclists.

(Side Note: So why can't they create a special police unit just for catching people who smoke within 9 meters of public entrances? Oh wait, its because its a waste of time enforcing every little law.)

Robert Kirsic is apparently an idiot. He hasn't clued in that if other cities haven't been able to enforce bicycle licenses, then its obviously not going to work in Toronto where one out every five people owns a bicycle... in a city of 5 to 6 million. Bicycle licensing is a joke. It would be a waste of time and resources and will do NOTHING to create a safer environment. Its nothing more than a $200 million tax grab.

Want to make the roads safer? Start by adding bicycle lanes to all major roads. Educate drivers about the fact cyclists are here to stay and they have an equal right to use the road. (We've been here longer than drivers technically if you compare the years at which bicycles and cars were invented.)

And while you're at it pass a law requiring drivers to leave a 5' space between the car and curb at all times. Quite a few accidents happen when drivers box in cyclists by driving too close to the curb sometimes on purpose (some drivers are just dangerous pricks).

No comments:

Post a Comment

NOTE

Spam comments will not be approved. If you want to advertise your product or service (or want to sponsor this blog) please contact charlesmoffat@charlesmoffat.com.

Recent Posts

Popular Posts

Looking for a bicycle mechanic school in Canada? The Quadra Island Bike School in British Columbia is a Canadian bicycle mechanic school that trains professional bicycle mechanics against the backdrop of the beautiful Quadra Island.