It was just brought to our attention that some of our political leaders believe folks riding bikes in Vermont should have to pay for the privilege to pilot them on our roadways (see the WCAX article here).
“I think they’ve had a free-ride for quite a while and it’s time that they need to be part of this,” said Sen. Norm McAllister, R-Franklin County.
To which we reply, ride free or die! Sen. Norm McAllister, you sir are a boob! There is a slim chance you own a bike and if you do we wager it’s a circa 1998 Trek sport-comfort with an oversized gel saddle collecting dust in your shed. You are obviously out of your element!
In a nutshell Mr McAllister is suggesting that those willing to brave the roadsides should have to register their bikes much like the current system required of automobile drivers. For a $20 fee tags would be issued and bikes would have cute little license plates just like cars. McAllister argues that bikes with license plates would help retrieve stolen bikes and make riders feel more obliged to obey traffic laws.
Really? And when a thief steals a bike and removes the plate, well, then what? As for obeying the laws, does the average car driver follow the rules of the road because their vehicle is adorned with a plate? Any time I have been pulled over the blue lights were flashing long before my plate was under scrutiny.
Hmmm? What else is wrong with this idea? How about the fact that this program creates a disincentive for riding a bike? Vermont prides itself on being a healthy State, why would we ever want to discourage an exploit as righteous as pedaling a bike?
So, long story short, we here at MTBVT will personally spearhead the civil disobedience campaign if a law like this ever comes to fruition.
The measure is currently on the desk of the Transportation Committee. If you have an opinion make sure to let your local Rep know that you think this is ridiculous.