Wednesday, December 22, 2010

i won't do it and they can't make me.

It always seems to start with a study:

http://bikeportland.org/2010/12/21/oregon-legislator-wants-odot-to-study-bike-licensing-44849#more-44849

Once again the idea of bicycle licenses has reared its ugly head in Oregon. Feel free to read all the arguments for and against if you like. As for me, I'm already trying to decide which of my two middle fingers to wave at this nonsense.

I don't -- I shouldn't -- need to go into all the reasons why attempting to license bikes will fail from the start. I also won't go into why it's patently unfair. Instead, I'll just jump right to my final talking point.

I am not normally a conspiracy theorist about most things, even about government. Government isn't cunning, it's merely bloated, falling down under its own weight and grossly inept when it comes to actually representing the interests of the electorate. But about this dog of a proposal, I'll posit a conspiracy theory.

This is not about protecting bicyclists, motorists or pedestrians in the event of a bicycle-related collision. It's not about building more bike infrastructure (because there won't even be enough money from bicycle licensing to to cover the cost of the paperwork). It's not about making things more fair between bicyclists and motorists, or about reducing bicycle theft (as if anything could effectively do either in our present car-centric landscape).

What it's really about is being a precursor to bicycle insurance.

I'm fairly certain this baby was spawned straight from the forehead of the insurance industry. Bicycle licensing is a wet dream for the insurance industry because once you require people to buy bicycle licenses you can then mandate the purchase of bicycle insurance. Bicycle licensing simply represents a new revenue stream -- and anyone who's paying attention knows that the primary reason for the modern insurance industry to exist at all is to turn a profit for its shareholders.

Needless to say, I cannot wait for this absolute turd of an idea to become an unjust law so I can rush right out and break it.

4 comments:

Richard said...

I'm sure more and more states will look into something like this to help with srinking budgets.

rickrise said...

Nothing to do with shrinking budgets. It's a motorhead response to burgeoning bike culture--make cycling less convenient, give cops an excuse to roust cyclists. (LA and Long Beach both have done this, and the result has been a quashing of the licensing requirement.)

And, most of all, it's to perpetuate the delusion that motorists "pay their way." They do not: see http://tinyurl.com/y8k927s and follow the link in it too. Ironically, driving is the most intensely government subsidized practice Americans engage in.

Besides, what of out of city or out of state riders? Will they have to buy licenses to get into Portland or Oregon?

saveyourliferideabike said...

I couldn't agree with you more! This is a terrible idea with a capital T! I am amazed that this looser of an idea would even be introduced around here since it has been such a failure in other places.

Bicycle Kitty said...

No way, no how! I won't do it either. They'll have to chase me down first and good luck to them!