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Ireland: Bicycle License Plates

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Ireland: Bicycle License Plates

Old 06-14-10, 07:31 AM
  #1  
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Ireland: Bicycle License Plates

Cyclists saddled with number plates
By Brian McDonald

Monday June 14 2010

UP to 1,000 bicycles are to be fitted with number plates. The scheme, which will be launched in Co Mayo today, is designed to increase awareness of road safety for cyclists.

Under law, only vehicles with combustion engines have to carry designated number plates.

But Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council, said that the new scheme would bring cyclists into line with drivers of larger, more powerful road vehicles and was hoping it would give them a higher visibility.

"The purpose of the number plates is to raise awareness of cycle safety and encourage more people to take the two-wheel mode of transport, rather than four wheels," he said.

"We also want to get the young cyclist to remember that they have a responsibility for their own safety when using a bicycle.

"The number plates are made from a reflective material and will be hung under the bicycle saddle, increasing the chances of other road users seeing the cyclist. They can be customised or personalised to show the name of the cyclist, making them a great novelty gift for every child," Mr Gibbons added.
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Old 06-14-10, 07:47 AM
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It sounds like they are optional - a 'safety' promotion vs. a legal requirement.
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Old 06-14-10, 08:55 AM
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I'm all for bicycle license plates. Then we can send them tickets in the mail when they blow through red lights, and otherwise enforce traffic laws.
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Old 06-14-10, 09:09 AM
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Years ago, at age eight years or so, I had a custom license plate mounted on my bike and found it very cool. If memory serves, it was a cereal box offer. I don't remember the plate bringing me "into line with drivers of larger, more powerful road vehicles." Perhaps road safety officer Gibbons is dealing with a more advanced group of children.
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Old 06-14-10, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by SCROUDS View Post
I'm all for bicycle license plates. Then we can send them tickets in the mail when they blow through red lights, and otherwise enforce traffic laws.
All license plates soon will be embedded with technology that allows a cop behind you to scan the plate, record the violation that you have allegedly committed (speeding, erratic driving, etc) and the rest of the violation is processed by computer systems if it can be done so safely. What a waste of cop time to pull you over to the roadside for a 10 minute stop for minor violations.

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Old 06-14-10, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
.. If memory serves, it was a cereal box offer.
i had a cereal box license plate too. it came with sticker letters so you could put your name on it.

we also had bicycle registration when I was a kid. the police would write down your serial number and give you a sticker for your frame. the idea was if it was found by police they would know who to give it back to. this was a free service
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Old 06-14-10, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mustachiod View Post
i had a cereal box license plate too. it came with sticker letters so you could put your name on it.

we also had bicycle registration when I was a kid. the police would write down your serial number and give you a sticker for your frame. the idea was if it was found by police they would know who to give it back to. this was a free service
On my world tour, as I crossed into El Salvador real early in the morning (always a good idea at borders...hassles are at their least at that time of day), the border guard turned my bike upside down, wrote the serial number in my passport, and put the visa stamp over it. When I was heading into Chile several months later, one of the border folks tried to walk off with my bike into a private room (which means it would just basically disappear). I made it quite clear i had the serial # in my documents...and he gave it right back.

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Old 06-14-10, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SCROUDS View Post
I'm all for bicycle license plates. Then we can send them tickets in the mail when they blow through red lights, and otherwise enforce traffic laws.
Sounds good. Next, let's require plates for pedestrians as well so we can send them tickets for jay walking.
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Old 06-14-10, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
More importantly, how much is the city obligating citizens to pay for these things?
I find it a little ironic that so many cyclists want to be treated as if they were indistinguishable from cars ... until it stops working out in our favor. In most if not all states, DMV requires people to pay for the plates on their car. That's just part of the Faustian bargain that lets people drive their private cars on the public roads.
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Old 06-14-10, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I find it a little ironic that so many cyclists want to be treated as if they were indistinguishable from cars ... until it stops working out in our favor. In most if not all states, DMV requires people to pay for the plates on their car. That's just part of the Faustian bargain that lets people drive their private cars on the public roads.
Personally, I don't want to be treated as if i'm indistinguishable from cars.
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Old 06-14-10, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
Sounds good. Next, let's require plates for pedestrians as well so we can send them tickets for jay walking.
Pedestrians aren't vehicles. If you want to be considered vehicular traffic, add the jewerly.
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Old 06-14-10, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by SCROUDS View Post
Pedestrians aren't vehicles. If you want to be considered vehicular traffic, add the jewerly.
Bicycles aren't cars either. A bicyclist running a red light is a lot less of a danger to others than a car running a red light.

We can play this "bicycles are this and aren't that" game all day if you like.

Personally, I do not want a registration number hanging off the back of my bicycle. I don't want to pay for it. I don't think a bicycle is all that more dangerous to others that it justifies a license plate.

What's next? Are we going to require licenses to operate bicycles as well?
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Old 06-14-10, 11:18 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by SCROUDS View Post
I'm all for bicycle license plates. Then we can send them tickets in the mail when they blow through red lights, and otherwise enforce traffic laws.
Who is this "we" and "they" that YOU are jabbering about?
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Old 06-14-10, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
Sounds good. Next, let's require plates for pedestrians as well so we can send them tickets for jay walking.

Put some BARcode on your buns, Mike, and the cops can just scan your biscuits.


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Old 06-14-10, 11:25 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
What's next? Are we going to require licenses to operate bicycles as well?
I see what you did there...
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Old 06-14-10, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I find it a little ironic that so many cyclists want to be treated as if they were indistinguishable from cars ... until it stops working out in our favor. In most if not all states, DMV requires people to pay for the plates on their car. That's just part of the Faustian bargain that lets people drive their private cars on the public roads.

That's a poor choice of words, Seattle. The reality is, unfortunately, far worse. Many cyclists want to be treated like a 'car' when it is in their advantage, and like a 'bike' at other times. This, in fact, makes these cyclists no different than obnoxious vehicle users who want the rules of the road to fit their beck and call, as well. Bicycles can and HAVE hurt pedestrians, whether its being clocked by a delivery guy in a crosswalk or any other scenario. License plates aren't the end all. Courtesy---as rare among cyclists as it is among motorists---is the key to reducing the rage on our roadways.

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Old 06-14-10, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
Bicycles aren't cars either. A bicyclist running a red light is a lot less of a danger to others than a car running a red light.

We can play this "bicycles are this and aren't that" game all day if you like.
"If bicycles want to be confused with ants, they should learn to domesticate aphids." Which makes as much sense as "If bicycles want to be confused with cars, they should ..."

Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
Bicycles can and HAVE hurt pedestrians, whether its being clocked by a delivery guy in a crosswalk or any other scenario.
A month or two ago, 15 miles from my house, an 80 year old pedestrian stepped in front of a cyclist on an MUP and died from the injuries she sustained. I saw ( actually heard - I was looking the other way ) a sidewalk cyclist hit a pedestrian leaving a grocery store, and take off as the ped chased him. But in fairness, the fact that it can and occasionally does happen, doesn't put us in the same category as cars, as far as our danger to other road users.
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Old 06-14-10, 12:18 PM
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I think more facts are needed: Law or just a promotion?
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Old 06-14-10, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
All license plates soon will be embedded with technology that allows a cop behind you to scan the plate, record the violation that you have allegedly committed (speeding, erratic driving, etc) and the rest of the violation is processed by computer systems if it can be done so safely. What a waste of cop time to pull you over to the roadside for a 10 minute stop for minor violations.

roughstuff
OT but back in the day of the 55 mph speed limit....Montana interpeted the law a bit differently (to maintain federal highway money a state had to enfore a 55 mile limit)..... the ticket was for "Failure to conserve Energy" The Fine was $5, payable on the spot. No points against license, no insurance hit. I remember reading it cost abour $15 to issue the ticket so each ticket was $10 net loss...but Federal highwary grants were in the millions.
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Old 06-14-10, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
Bicycles aren't cars either. A bicyclist running a red light is a lot less of a danger to others than a car running a red light.

We can play this "bicycles are this and aren't that" game all day if you like.

Personally, I do not want a registration number hanging off the back of my bicycle. I don't want to pay for it. I don't think a bicycle is all that more dangerous to others that it justifies a license plate.

What's next? Are we going to require licenses to operate bicycles as well?
I don't want to pay for dog licenses or auto registrations either, but in the grand scheme of things I'd rather pay it then go without.

As to licensing of bicyclists, yes I would completely support mandatory licensing for bycicle drivers. Voluntary methods of education haven't been very effective, and I'm all for ramming it down their throat, one way or another.


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Who is this "we" and "they" that YOU are jabbering about?
"we" are the collective people that form society, as enforced by either the police or "code enforcement" which is sometimes seperate from the police. "They" being the reagistered owners of bicycles recorded as illegally traveling through a red light.

It would also be useful to more easily track down hit and run cyclists, especially in ped-cycle crashes.
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Old 06-14-10, 04:03 PM
  #21  
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Long post - sorry, but this report comprehensively rubbishes the arguments for licensing cyclists/bikes

Works and Emergency Services - David C. Kaufman, P.Eng., Acting Commissioner
City Hall, 24th Floor East Tower, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2
2005 BUDGET BRIEFING NOTE - Licensing Cyclists
and/or Bicycles
History of Bicycle Licensing in Toronto:
• The City of Toronto required bicycles to be licensed and to display a licence plate in 1935. The by-law was repealed in 1956.
• In the past 20 years licensing cyclists and/or bicycles has been investigated on at least three occasions by the City:
• 1984 – concern with bicycle theft
• 1992 – concern with sidewalk cycling and compliance with Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
• 1996 - concern with sidewalk cycling and compliance with Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
• In the three instances described above, City Council rejected licensing cyclists/bicycles for a variety of reasons, including:
• the high cost to develop and administer a licensing program;
• the difficulty in dealing with cyclists crossing the municipal boundary into the City;
• the challenge of licensing children as well as adults
• lack of support by the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Two Kinds of Licence:
It is important to distinguish between the two different kinds of licence and their different purposes.
• Vehicle Licence – to put a licence plate on a bicycle for easier identification, either for theft prevention or traffic law enforcement.
• Operator Licence – to ensure that cyclists achieve a minimum level of knowledge and competence before being permitted on the roadway.
Reasons for Licensing Cyclists and/or Bicycles:
• Licensing cyclists and/or bicycles is most frequently proposed as a means to:
• prevent bicycle theft or to assist in returning a stolen bicycle to its owner;
• improve compliance with the law by cyclists;
• assist the public to report cyclists who have committed HTA or municipal by-law infractions; and enable police officers to ticket cyclists who have committed traffic offences.
Bicycle Licence is Ineffective in Preventing Theft:
• Developing and maintaining a bicycle licence system would be a costly undertaking – there are more than 2,000,000 bicycles owned by City of Toronto residents.
• Bicycle licensing has proven ineffective as a means to prevent theft because a licence plate or decal is easily removed.
• Most North American cities which at one time required bicycles to be licensed, including the former City of Toronto, have discontinued their programs. Many of these programs charged a small registration fee intended to offset the cost of administering the program.
• Toronto Police Service provide a free service to register bicycle serial numbers so that stolen bicycles can be identified and returned to their owner, if recovered by police.
Increasing Enforcement of Cyclist Infractions Does Not Require Licensing of Cyclists:
• Cyclists are subject to the same HTA rules and fines as drivers.
• At the request of the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario amended the Highway Traffic Act in 1989 to require cyclists to identify themselves when stopped by a police officer, to aid in effective enforcement.
• A cyclist or bicycle licence is not required in order for a cyclist to be charged under the HTA or Municipal By-law.
• Toronto police can and do enforce traffic rules for cyclists, including at least one “Cycle Right” campaign in the Spring of each year.
• There is a perception that having a licence plate on the back of a bicycle would enable citizens to report errant cyclists and have the police issue a ticket, however:
• a licence plate identifies the vehicle not the vehicle operator;
• a ticket is issued to the vehicle operator not the vehicle (red light camera violations are the exception - provincial legislation was enacted to enable red light camera offences to be issued against the vehicle owner rather than the driver).
• There is a perception that the police do not ticket cyclists often enough or as often as they could, however the police must balance their limited traffic enforcement resources against competing enforcement needs. For example, there is an average of 68,700 reported motor vehicle collisions every year in the City of Toronto – bicycles are involved in 1.8 percent of those reported collisions.
• Licensing cyclists is not likely to change the priority bicycle enforcement receives vis-a-vis other enforcement priorities.
• If police bicycle-enforcement resources are to be increased, it would be more effective for police officers to focus on increased enforcement of the existing traffic rules for cyclists rather than enforcing compliance with a licensing requirement.
Improving Cyclist Compliance with Traffic Rules is the Main Objective:
• Requiring cyclists to pass a written and road test to obtain a licence to operate a bicycle on the road would ensure a minimum level of knowledge and competence for all cyclists.
• Requiring a bicycle operator's licence without a knowledge and skills test as a prerequisite would not achieve any safety benefit and could be perceived as a user fee.
• Establishing and maintaining a testing and licensing program would be a massive undertaking – there are 939,000 cyclists age 16 and older in the City (data for younger cyclists is not available).
• Requiring a cyclist operating licence raises a number of questions, including:
• How do you develop licensing requirements for both adults and children?
• Do you prohibit cycling on the road for cyclists under a certain age?
• Are occasional cyclists, who may ride primarily on pathways, subject to the same requirements as frequent cyclists who ride primarily on the road?
• Can cyclists from other jurisdictions (tourist and residents of adjacent municipalities) be expected to obtain a licence to use City of Toronto roads?
• Previous investigations into licensing have concluded that, if cyclists are to be licensed, it should be the responsibility of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) - similar to drivers' licences.
• In 1992 and 1996, the City asked MTO to comment on the feasibility of licensing cyclists. MTO responded in 1992 by stating that it would cost $24.80 per cyclist (same cost as licensing drivers) to operate a licensing program, not including the database or program development costs.
• While it appears there is potential to generate revenue from a bicycle or cyclist licensing program, if the cost is too high many cyclists will not comply. In order for the program to be effective, strict and consistent enforcement of the licensing requirement will be required. This could divert the limited enforcement resources away from enforcing the existing traffic rules for cyclists.
• In 1996 MTO advised the City that the Ministry did not support a provincial bicycle licensing scheme because “such schemes, apart from being administratively and financially burdensome, do not increase bicycle safety practices…”
• Both MTO and the Toronto Police Service have advised, in the past, that education and enforcement are more cost-effective means to improve cyclist knowledge, skills and general compliance with traffic rules.
Conclusions:
• Bicycle licences are not effective in preventing bicycle theft;
• A cyclist operating licence is not required for police officers to enforce the existing traffic rules;
• Developing a cyclist testing and licensing system would be expensive and divert attention from enforcing the existing traffic rules for cyclists;
• Providing more resources for cyclist education and training and increased police enforcement would be a more cost-effective approach for improving safety.
If Council wishes to pursue a City of Toronto bicycle or cyclist licensing program, the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division of Urban Development Services would be responsible for developing and operating such a program. Any proposal to test and license cyclists should be developed in consultation with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Prepared by: Daniel Egan, Manager, Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure,
Transportation Infrastructure Management, Transportation Services
(416-392-9065)
Circulated to: Works Committee Members
Date: December 23, 200
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Old 06-14-10, 04:05 PM
  #22  
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Long post - sorry about that, but this report comprehensively rubbishes the arguments in faovur of licensing riders/bikes
Works and Emergency Services - David C. Kaufman, P.Eng., Acting Commissioner
City Hall, 24th Floor East Tower, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2
2005 BUDGET BRIEFING NOTE - Licensing Cyclists
and/or Bicycles
History of Bicycle Licensing in Toronto:
• The City of Toronto required bicycles to be licensed and to display a licence plate in 1935. The by-law was repealed in 1956.
• In the past 20 years licensing cyclists and/or bicycles has been investigated on at least three occasions by the City:
• 1984 – concern with bicycle theft
• 1992 – concern with sidewalk cycling and compliance with Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
• 1996 - concern with sidewalk cycling and compliance with Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
• In the three instances described above, City Council rejected licensing cyclists/bicycles for a variety of reasons, including:
• the high cost to develop and administer a licensing program;
• the difficulty in dealing with cyclists crossing the municipal boundary into the City;
• the challenge of licensing children as well as adults
• lack of support by the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Two Kinds of Licence:
It is important to distinguish between the two different kinds of licence and their different purposes.
• Vehicle Licence – to put a licence plate on a bicycle for easier identification, either for theft prevention or traffic law enforcement.
• Operator Licence – to ensure that cyclists achieve a minimum level of knowledge and competence before being permitted on the roadway.
Reasons for Licensing Cyclists and/or Bicycles:
• Licensing cyclists and/or bicycles is most frequently proposed as a means to:
• prevent bicycle theft or to assist in returning a stolen bicycle to its owner;
• improve compliance with the law by cyclists;
• assist the public to report cyclists who have committed HTA or municipal by-law infractions; and enable police officers to ticket cyclists who have committed traffic offences.
Bicycle Licence is Ineffective in Preventing Theft:
• Developing and maintaining a bicycle licence system would be a costly undertaking – there are more than 2,000,000 bicycles owned by City of Toronto residents.
• Bicycle licensing has proven ineffective as a means to prevent theft because a licence plate or decal is easily removed.
• Most North American cities which at one time required bicycles to be licensed, including the former City of Toronto, have discontinued their programs. Many of these programs charged a small registration fee intended to offset the cost of administering the program.
• Toronto Police Service provide a free service to register bicycle serial numbers so that stolen bicycles can be identified and returned to their owner, if recovered by police.
Increasing Enforcement of Cyclist Infractions Does Not Require Licensing of Cyclists:
• Cyclists are subject to the same HTA rules and fines as drivers.
• At the request of the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario amended the Highway Traffic Act in 1989 to require cyclists to identify themselves when stopped by a police officer, to aid in effective enforcement.
• A cyclist or bicycle licence is not required in order for a cyclist to be charged under the HTA or Municipal By-law.
• Toronto police can and do enforce traffic rules for cyclists, including at least one “Cycle Right” campaign in the Spring of each year.
• There is a perception that having a licence plate on the back of a bicycle would enable citizens to report errant cyclists and have the police issue a ticket, however:
• a licence plate identifies the vehicle not the vehicle operator;
• a ticket is issued to the vehicle operator not the vehicle (red light camera violations are the exception - provincial legislation was enacted to enable red light camera offences to be issued against the vehicle owner rather than the driver).
• There is a perception that the police do not ticket cyclists often enough or as often as they could, however the police must balance their limited traffic enforcement resources against competing enforcement needs. For example, there is an average of 68,700 reported motor vehicle collisions every year in the City of Toronto – bicycles are involved in 1.8 percent of those reported collisions.
• Licensing cyclists is not likely to change the priority bicycle enforcement receives vis-a-vis other enforcement priorities.
• If police bicycle-enforcement resources are to be increased, it would be more effective for police officers to focus on increased enforcement of the existing traffic rules for cyclists rather than enforcing compliance with a licensing requirement.
Improving Cyclist Compliance with Traffic Rules is the Main Objective:
• Requiring cyclists to pass a written and road test to obtain a licence to operate a bicycle on the road would ensure a minimum level of knowledge and competence for all cyclists.
• Requiring a bicycle operator's licence without a knowledge and skills test as a prerequisite would not achieve any safety benefit and could be perceived as a user fee.
• Establishing and maintaining a testing and licensing program would be a massive undertaking – there are 939,000 cyclists age 16 and older in the City (data for younger cyclists is not available).
• Requiring a cyclist operating licence raises a number of questions, including:
• How do you develop licensing requirements for both adults and children?
• Do you prohibit cycling on the road for cyclists under a certain age?
• Are occasional cyclists, who may ride primarily on pathways, subject to the same requirements as frequent cyclists who ride primarily on the road?
• Can cyclists from other jurisdictions (tourist and residents of adjacent municipalities) be expected to obtain a licence to use City of Toronto roads?
• Previous investigations into licensing have concluded that, if cyclists are to be licensed, it should be the responsibility of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) - similar to drivers' licences.
• In 1992 and 1996, the City asked MTO to comment on the feasibility of licensing cyclists. MTO responded in 1992 by stating that it would cost $24.80 per cyclist (same cost as licensing drivers) to operate a licensing program, not including the database or program development costs.
• While it appears there is potential to generate revenue from a bicycle or cyclist licensing program, if the cost is too high many cyclists will not comply. In order for the program to be effective, strict and consistent enforcement of the licensing requirement will be required. This could divert the limited enforcement resources away from enforcing the existing traffic rules for cyclists.
• In 1996 MTO advised the City that the Ministry did not support a provincial bicycle licensing scheme because “such schemes, apart from being administratively and financially burdensome, do not increase bicycle safety practices…”
• Both MTO and the Toronto Police Service have advised, in the past, that education and enforcement are more cost-effective means to improve cyclist knowledge, skills and general compliance with traffic rules.
Conclusions:
• Bicycle licences are not effective in preventing bicycle theft;
• A cyclist operating licence is not required for police officers to enforce the existing traffic rules;
• Developing a cyclist testing and licensing system would be expensive and divert attention from enforcing the existing traffic rules for cyclists;
• Providing more resources for cyclist education and training and increased police enforcement would be a more cost-effective approach for improving safety.
If Council wishes to pursue a City of Toronto bicycle or cyclist licensing program, the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division of Urban Development Services would be responsible for developing and operating such a program. Any proposal to test and license cyclists should be developed in consultation with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Prepared by: Daniel Egan, Manager, Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure,
Transportation Infrastructure Management, Transportation Services
(416-392-9065)
Circulated to: Works Committee Members
Date: December 23, 200
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Old 06-14-10, 04:14 PM
  #23  
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Read http://www.toronto.ca/budget2005/pdf...censingcyc.PDF for comprehensive rubbishing of arguments in favour of licensing cyclists and/or their bikes
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Old 06-14-10, 04:36 PM
  #24  
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The article is not describing a "bicycle licensing" scheme.

"The number plates are made from a reflective material and will be hung under the bicycle saddle, increasing the chances of other road users seeing the cyclist. They can be customised or personalised to show the name of the cyclist, making them a great novelty gift for every child," Mr Gibbons added."

Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I think more facts are needed: Law or just a promotion?
No, I think people should actually read!

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-14-10 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 06-14-10, 05:06 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
No, I think people should actually read!
I'm sure everyone read that paragraph, and failed to realize that its a novelty product. The article's tone is deliberately misleading, and the actual story is neither implicit , nor is it mentioned anywhere except the last paragraph.

In short, the article is flat-out misleading. Just look at it:

Cyclists saddled with number plates <--Negative title

UP to 1,000 bicycles are to be fitted with number plates. <--Suggest that the tags are mandatory.

The scheme, which will be launched in Co Mayo today, <--Government program. One would assume it's not for novelty purposes.
-Kurt
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