נשלח 15 באוג׳ 2014, 12:37 על ידי Sustainability Org
עודכן 15 באוג׳ 2014, 12:37
August 13, 2014
Four smart reasons cyclists are free to pedal without a license
by bob mionske
(Illustration by Colin McSherry)
Whenever accidents involving bikes
make the news, someone inevitably suggests that cyclists should be
licensed—even when a law-abiding rider is seriously injured by a
careless or reckless driver. The argument creeps onto opinion pages and
shows up in online comments, creating a groundswell of frustration
directed at those of us on two wheels.
This is nonsense. Research shows that negligent drivers cause nearly all collisions
between bikes and motor vehicles. In these cases, licenses didn't
prevent the guilty party from breaking the law or from doing something
irresponsible. How would enforcing licenses for cyclists—the victims in
most of these accidents—help prevent incidents? It wouldn't.
the mindset persists and at some point you may encounter someone who
will point a finger at your chest and demand that you get a license.
Thank them for their concern, then school them on the issue. Here are
airtight rebuttals for the four most common arguments raised by
You don't have a right to the road without a license.
are for everyone. Motorists love to argue that their licenses and
vehicle registrations grant them the right to drive on our roads. That's
simply not the case. We all have a right to the road, but because motor
vehicles have historically been the most dangerous mode of
transportation, their use has been restricted by states mandating that
drivers be licensed and their vehicles registered. Because cyclists have
never been considered dangerous by states, we've never been required to
get a license.
License fees pay for road construction.
they cover only a fraction of the expense. Some drivers erroneously
believe that their licensing fees and fuel taxes pay for all road
construction and maintenance. Those amounts cover only about half of the
costs; the rest come from income, property, sales, and other taxes that
we pay into the general funds of federal, state, and local governments.
That means every taxpayer contributes to road building and upkeep,
whether they drive, ride a bike, or walk.
Cyclists need to pay their fair share.
already do. Road infrastructure is heavily biased toward automobile use
(consider how few bike lanes exist compared with total miles of roads).
And motor vehicles cause nearly all of the wear and tear on our roads.
The result: Cyclists pay proportionately more into the system than they
get back, while drivers pay a comparatively small amount based on
everything they receive. And that's before you factor in the
inconvenient truth that most cyclists also drive, which means we pay
plenty of gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, too.
Licenses make roads safer.
at the facts. In 2010, motor vehicle crashes in the United States
claimed 32,885 lives (including pedestrians) and left another 2.24
million injured. By contrast, cyclists are responsible for a meager six
pedestrian fatalities each year, on average. There is no comparison
between the risk that cyclists pose to public safety and the risk posed
by drivers. This is why the states have never required cyclists to be
licensed or insured. So the next time someone suggests that cyclists
need licenses, use it as an opportunity to set the record straight.
I had to pull over on the bike path to answer nature's call. Was that legal?
number of laws prohibit this. In addition to public urination, you
could be charged with littering, lewdness, or indecent exposure. But as
long as you avoid flashing any potential bystanders, you should be able
to avoid legal problems.