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If the UK can figure out a way to enforce this, by all means have a go. However, they might want to look to the state of George's example when they tried to force cyclist registration and insurance. The administrative overhead cost more than the added revenue, so they scrapped it.
 

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A cause in search of a problem. Cyclists don't tear up the roads like cars or trucks. The laws governing freedom of travel restrict cyclists only from limited access interstates, and out west even those allow cyclists. The idea mandated long before motorized vehicles, is that the roads are available to all, including farm tractors, horse drawn carriages, walkers, and bicyclists. Fast moving vehicles have to accommodate slower moving traffic and drive accordingly. Federally signed highways must have paved shoulders to allow this slower moving traffic without necessarily slowing speed limits. In cities, speed differences become inconsequential.

A bicycle also won't kill whatever it hits in an accident. Damage to property is minimal. So liability insurance is seldom necessary. If a cyclist damages someone's property, victim can sue in court, anyway.

Cities, college administrations, like to mandate universal bicycle registration mainly to identify stolen bicycles, not as a means of revenue.

Lawmakers in TX tried to limit access to farm to market roads when Sunday afternoon club rides started blocking the roads outside Austin and slowing down good ole boys in their dualies. It got defeated in the legislature. The way things are now are perfect. Totally unnecessary to change the laws.
 

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Bikes, like many commercial/heavy vehicles are limited as to where they can travel. Thus, bikes should be taxed accordingly. It's only fair guys. Let's see... if we go by common $/lbs... I'm fine with the $.192 I'd owe.
 

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How 'bout this: Pick a dollar amount for the sake of argument, say ten or twenty bucks, that would purchase a licence plate (mounted euro-cool like a race number on the seatpost) and annual registration and cycling insurance that covers your body and bike from theft and damages (if your body gets stolen, you need a better lock). Just imagine whatever perks make this seem like a package to you.

Now, for your ten or twenty or whatever number of bucks for all the above, imagine a concomitant publicity campaign that announces loudly to all cagers that cyclists are now duly licenced, registered, and insured, so STFU, back the eff off, quit your damned whining, and treat cyclists with the respect due under the laws that have been on the books forever but you always ignored and whined about 'cause "bikes don't belong on the road" and whatever other lame excuses you've used.

I'd tolerate a yearly fee and a cheesey licence plate and tags (mounted euro-cool only) for the car-obsessed 'Murican culture to finally legitimize cyclists' right to the road. Not that they would, of course, but the flood of PSAs would obliterate ignorance as an excuse.
 

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How 'bout this: Pick a dollar amount for the sake of argument, say ten or twenty bucks, that would purchase a licence plate (mounted euro-cool like a race number on the seatpost) and annual registration and cycling insurance that covers your body and bike from theft and damages (if your body gets stolen, you need a better lock). Just imagine whatever perks make this seem like a package to you.

Now, for your ten or twenty or whatever number of bucks for all the above, imagine a concomitant publicity campaign that announces loudly to all cagers that cyclists are now duly licenced, registered, and insured, so STFU, back the eff off, quit your damned whining, and treat cyclists with the respect due under the laws that have been on the books forever but you always ignored and whined about 'cause "bikes don't belong on the road" and whatever other lame excuses you've used.

I'd tolerate a yearly fee and a cheesey licence plate and tags (mounted euro-cool only) for the car-obsessed 'Murican culture to finally legitimize cyclists' right to the road. Not that they would, of course, but the flood of PSAs would obliterate ignorance as an excuse.
Your benefits are imaginary at best.
1) No chance $20 is going to cover liability, theft, and medical insurance.
2) Drivers don't get annoyed with cyclists because they cyclist is not sporting a license plate. They are annoyed b/c the cyclist is on the road.
3) I have 3 bikes. My wife has one. My kid has one. That is 5 bikes. So, now I have to pay $100 per year for no benefit to me.
4) The fee burdens the people who only have the money to ride a bike to work.
 

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How 'bout this: Pick a dollar amount for the sake of argument, say ten or twenty bucks, that would purchase a licence plate (mounted euro-cool like a race number on the seatpost) and annual registration and cycling insurance that covers your body and bike from theft and damages (if your body gets stolen, you need a better lock). Just imagine whatever perks make this seem like a package to you.

Now, for your ten or twenty or whatever number of bucks for all the above, imagine a concomitant publicity campaign that announces loudly to all cagers that cyclists are now duly licenced, registered, and insured, so STFU, back the eff off, quit your damned whining, and treat cyclists with the respect due under the laws that have been on the books forever but you always ignored and whined about 'cause "bikes don't belong on the road" and whatever other lame excuses you've used.

I'd tolerate a yearly fee and a cheesey licence plate and tags (mounted euro-cool only) for the car-obsessed 'Murican culture to finally legitimize cyclists' right to the road. Not that they would, of course, but the flood of PSAs would obliterate ignorance as an excuse.
I can see your point about cyclists joining the system regulating vehicles would elevate their status and get more respect. But then I always think, "WTF? I'm a licensed driver, too, just like that big SUV behind me impatiently waiting to pass! I have opted to use a bicycle for this trip, and I'm following the rules of the road, same as if I were driving a car."

I'm maintaining fitness and health, leaving no imprint on the roads or polluting the air, while he's sitting in his SUV wrestling with the steering wheel, in his heart realizing he too could be cycling if only he had the guts. So he overcompensates. Lawyers in Porsches and Saabs were among the most impatient when coming up on our club rides in DC. Their sports cars gave them mastery of the road, and we were interrupting their fun. The pick up trucks on the farm to market roads in ETX admired us. They'd patiently wait behind and then wave when passing.

Haven't been in a big group ride for a while, but solo, if I ride like a car, I get respect. Can't remember the last time I got yelled at by a motorist for doing something I didn't deserve to get yelled at for. :D
 

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that big SUV behind me impatiently waiting to pass!
sitting in his SUV wrestling with the steering wheel
in his heart realizing he too could ...if only he had the guts.
So he overcompensates.
Lawyers in Porsches and Saabs were among the most impatient...
Their sports cars gave them mastery of the road
Have you ever driven a Porsche? GTR? Lamborghini? It's %&#ing fun! I have a friend who's got a modified (dyno'ed at 1,100 hp) Lamborghini. His wife is smoking' hot too. His kids are very cool. Even his dog is great. His companies are doing well. I don't think he's compensating for anything.

How are you figuring all this out (compensating, wishing they could ride, lacking guts) as they drive by you? Pretty sure you're being passed by people who don't give a **** about you (us) and are likely driving WTF they want.

I thought we were talking about the pros and cons of taxing bikes similarly to cars/trucks.
 

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The problem with these laws is that they are based on a lack of information.

Costs. Associated with the ability of the public to use roads are understated.

Costs
Building and maintenance of roads
Maintenance and building of other infrastructure such as bridges and signage
Police department expenses as related to traffic management. A very large portion of any Law enforcement budget
Fire department expenses. They generally respond to accidents
Traffic court, civil court (I forget the %, but a great majority of civil litigation
Cases are the result of traffic accidents. A small amount of the budget of criminal courts would also be attitude to road usage.
Environmental expenses resulting from accidents, and internal combustion engines.
DOT expenses.

It is important to remember that Police, DOT expenses etc include not only salary, but benefits pensions etc.

I'm sure there are other expenses as well.

Revenues needed.
Gas tax. Not paid by cyclists
Registration fees. Since fees do not relate to road usage, I would suggest that cyclist pay their fair share. I for example pay for 3 cars for 2 drivers.
License fees. I have a license just like a motorist which allows me to drive any car/truck and a motorized cycle with 50 ccs or less. I comply with the same law as any other motorists so I pay my fair share
Property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes Cyclists pay these taxes
Traffic fines

A common misconception is that gas taxes pay for 100% of infrastructure and therefore since cyclist do not pay gas tax. (The only tax cyclists do not ) they should not be allowed to use the roads. This overlooks that a cyclists pay a great deal of the expenses. Through other taxes, and expenses are greatly understated

Other issues.
DOT already runs at a loss. Requiring the registration of bicycles simply increases the loss

Interstate compacts would be needed. With your auto, your registration is recognized in all states. You would have to expand these laws to make registration viable.

Insurance. Fault states only require minimum liability limits. Applying these standards to bicycles does not change anything for the majority of cyclists as a HO policy meets these standards. No fault states often require in addition to liability insurance some amount of PIP coverage. If you own an auto you already have this insurance as your auto coverage extends these benefits to accidents involving an insured as pedestrian cyclists etc.

Bottom line cyclist pay their fair share. Registration would cost the state more and require higher taxes in all categories. Insurance covered.

If this subject comes up in a legislature, logic would cause the bill to fail. As cyclists we would need to see that the logic is recognized.
 

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Have you ever driven a Porsche? GTR? Lamborghini? It's %&#ing fun! I have a friend who's got a modified (dyno'ed at 1,100 hp) Lamborghini. His wife is smoking' hot too. His kids are very cool. Even his dog is great. His companies are doing well. I don't think he's compensating for anything.

How are you figuring all this out (compensating, wishing they could ride, lacking guts) as they drive by you? Pretty sure you're being passed by people who don't give a **** about you (us) and are likely driving WTF they want.

I thought we were talking about the pros and cons of taxing bikes similarly to cars/trucks.
Hey, sorry if I insulted your rich friend with the perfect family!

I'm referring to these insecure lawyers who buy sports cars as a penis substitute. If the car waiting to pass is honking or gunning engine threateningly, and passes too close, that's when I distinguish them from a nice guy respectful of cyclists and willing to share the road. I've yet to experience one driving a Lamborghini or souped up Porsche, come to think of it. These guys were pretenders acting like children. Maybe its the competitive atmosphere of DC lawyering that set them off. I've encountered them in NY, DC, LA, Dallas, but not in smaller cities. They would certainly be thrilled to pass legislation such as we're talking about, that's all. :D

Be brave, guys. Ride like you mean it. Don't take no sh!t from motorists. You have as much right to the roads as they do. There's no status distinction. Your bike doesn't have to be insured because it isn't a danger to public safety. It doesn't have to be taxed for road usage because it doesn't wear out the roads.
 

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Hey, sorry if I insulted your rich friend with the perfect family!

I'm referring to these insecure lawyers who buy sports cars as a penis substitute. If the car waiting to pass is honking or gunning engine threateningly, and passes too close, .
around here, that describes certain Audi and BMW and pickup truck drivers. Though I am passed by many audi/bmw/pickups who are respectful, the few vehicles that pass close and are rude are pretty much only from those three types. Maybe they see themselves as ultimate driving tools because they so craftily 'thread the needle'? I like how Merc and Subaru drivers usually give me the entire lane, but then subbie usually means cyclist-driver.
 

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So those property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, and about 40 other taxes that I pay on a daily freaking bases aren't enough? Just start using ski mask.
 

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wall of text
The tables in the page below show how much each state contributes towards its total road upkeep from user fees (gas taxes, registrations, licensing, and tolls). Except for Delaware, no state can even pay half its road upkeep costs from user fees. Anyone who thinks making cyclists get insurance and registration as a means of paying their "fair share" is living a pipe dream.

State/Local Road Spending Covered by User Fees & User Taxes (Categories Separated Out) | Tax Foundation
 

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I'm following the rules of the road, same as if I were driving a car."
If only this were true more often. I live 30 miles north of NYC. We have a lot of cyclist come through. There are two state parks with great riding and a couple of towns right on the Hudson River that are heavy destinations. I can't you how many riders don't follow the same rules as if they were driving a car.

I think having a larger % of cyclists "following the rules" would go a long way towards how drivers perceive us a a group.
 

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Your benefits are imaginary at best.
1) No chance $20 is going to cover liability, theft, and medical insurance.
2) Drivers don't get annoyed with cyclists because they cyclist is not sporting a license plate. They are annoyed b/c the cyclist is on the road.
3) I have 3 bikes. My wife has one. My kid has one. That is 5 bikes. So, now I have to pay $100 per year for no benefit to me.
4) The fee burdens the people who only have the money to ride a bike to work.
Indeed, my benefits are imaginary. I was daydreaming aloud. But since you brought it up:

1) Agreed. It'd be more than $20, but doesn't USA Cycling offer some kinda insurance for $50 or something? I bet the little green lizard could come up with a deal on insurance, too.

2) Agreed even more. But like Frederico noted, going for legitimization here.

3) Partially agreed. Who says it hasta be compulsory? If you don't want it, don't get it. Kinda like any club or association that requires dues. It'd just be a, uh, state government club.

4) That would be me! I can't afford a car (well, I could afford a junker, but eff that), but even $60 a year would be $5 a month—very doable.

And another thought tossed out to you peeps: I wondered what effect registration would have on bike theft (yessssss, I know you can get a little bike sticker from your local PD that says "Don't steal me! The cops have my serial number buried in a pile of paperwork, never to be seen again, even if I do get stolen"). Would an actual licence plate, being more "legit," dissuade the casual opportunistic thief?
 

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I can see your point about cyclists joining the system regulating vehicles would elevate their status and get more respect. But then I always think, "WTF? I'm a licensed driver, too, just like that big SUV behind me impatiently waiting to pass! I have opted to use a bicycle for this trip, and I'm following the rules of the road, same as if I were driving a car."
That's the entirety of what I was daydreaming about. The insurance and all would be great, but I imagine the plates and fees would put cyclists in a different category in motorists' minds. Like mopeds, for example. They're seen as an irritant on the road, rather than something that shouldn't be on the road.

I'm not really arguing for this idea. Just airing my mental cobwebs on the interwebs. :)
 

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If you want to talk laws that may actually do something. I think vulnerable user laws have a chance of making a difference. But, no chance of being passed in the US.

The law would apply to all road users (cars, bikes, pedestrians, etc.). The law would create a rebuttable presumption of fault. For example, car and bike get into accident. The law creates the presumption that the less vulerable user (car) is at fault. If the car cannot prove the bike was at fault, the bike "wins" in the legal world ($).
 

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That's the entirety of what I was daydreaming about. The insurance and all would be great, but I imagine the plates and fees would put cyclists in a different category in motorists' minds. Like mopeds, for example. They're seen as an irritant on the road, rather than something that shouldn't be on the road.

I'm not really arguing for this idea. Just airing my mental cobwebs on the interwebs. :)
Well, I always thought car registration was so the law can track down the owner in the event the car destroys property and causes injury to others. Liability insurance is rarely necessary for a bicycle, though. Bicycles aren't big and heavy enough to be a threat to public safety, although many drivers apparently think so negotiating with cyclists in the inner cities. :D

cnardone is right. American cyclists out having their enjoyable ride, do tend to ignore the rules of the road. It's a sport for us. For the rest of the world its a means of getting around. If the latter is the case, riders usually follow the rules of the road, go with the flow. But if its a sport, heck, it becomes a computer game of obstacle avoidance and getting to the light first, just as it turns green. :D

I've been riding in urban areas so long, by now I just expect motorists to treat me like a normal part of traffic. I've always figured the more we're out there in the mix, we'll get accepted. The law already gives us an equal right to the roads as cars except for limited access interstates in urban areas. I'm glad I can ride across the country on a bike. I'd like it to stay entirely free! Just pump the tires up and go!
 
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