Should Cyclists Be Licensed?

When you are riding your bike, imagine being pulled over and asked for your biking license. Many people are pushing for bike licensing as a way to standardize the learning and training that go into riding a bike in traffic. This makes some sense as many cyclists, especially novices, don’t understand or care to follow the rules of the road. However, cycling is already an expensive sport. Licenses are likely just another financial barrier that can keep people from utilizing this energy-efficient method of travel. There are benefits and setbacks to either argument. Lets take a look at the most popular opinions regarding bike licenses.

Standard Education

Many cyclists seem completely unaware of the most common-sense bike laws that are in place to protect themselves and others. For example, this article on the NY Times Opinion Pages that talks about cyclist licenses, they list two occasions on one day in which they were assaulted by a cyclist on the sidewalk or one that ran a red light. If a cyclist can be ticketed like a vehicle, it should only follow that a license should be required. Before a license is issued, there should be a standardized test that covers the most basic local bike laws. This can help cyclists be much more informed regarding proper riding in the area. 

Payment of Bicycle Lanes

Another point in support of bicycle licenses is that they would provide more city income to cover more bike-friendly additions to roads, like bike lanes. This could help create a better infrastructure for cyclists with protected bike lanes.

Bicycle Licenses in Practice

Some cities actually went ahead and required bike licenses, and the result was that it did not work. San Diego, San Jose, and Los Angeles abandoned their bicycling license requirements due to low participation and ineffectiveness. Children were being cited for riding without a license, and the media blow back was too much for local governments to bear.

So while bicycling licenses are an interesting thought, in practice they don’t seem to work. If you have been injured in a bicycling accident, call me, Bill Shirer today at 800-887-6188. I can help you get the compensation you deserve.