Bicycle (35480)

Should bicycles be required to have a license plate? Some people think that mandatory bicycle license plates are a good idea. Some of the reasons include that if they see a cyclist breaking a law they can call the cyclist in and the rider could be tracked down and ticketed.

There are many problems with mandatory bicycle licensing. Many times a cyclist will see a drunk driver and call it into the police, and nothing happens. The police either cannot find the driver or there is a shortage of staffed uniformed officers on duty. If police cannot respond to a cyclist's plea for help then why would they even consider trying to track down a cyclist who may have broken a minor traffic law?

Another problem is many people use bikes as transportation because they cannot afford a car, gas, maintenance, and insurance. Some of these people are on the verge of being homeless and they literally would not be able to afford to license their bicycle and buy the plates, so they would be forced to walk.

Mandatory license plates for bicycles bring many thoughts as to why it is a very bad idea. What do you think? Should some communities institute mandatory license plates for bicycles? Bicycle license plates are not a new idea as some communities required them in the early 1970's.

San Jose, California recently did away with their bicycle licensing program. One of the common reasons for places to get rid of their mandatory bicycling licensing laws is because of expense. Unlike automobiles, bicycle licensing is rarely a profitable endeavor for communities. The proper enforcement and upkeep of the bicycle license plate laws make it a program that is easy to get rid of, because it is not making the city any money.

Mandatory bicycle license plates in general are not a great idea, but they have been used successfully in some locales. Do you think bicycle riders should be required to register and use a license plate or sticker on their bicycle?