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THE VANCOUVER COURIER FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2011

cycling

Solution to cycling problems is common sense

Regulations won’t make people smart

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When I’m in search of misinformation I listen to talk radio. Not long ago a particular radio show was an ode to the registration and insurance of bikes and cyclists. Talk radio is infamous for having callers do no more than state what the previous caller did in a different way; this show was no exception. Every caller cast cyclists as reckless and in complete disregard for the rules. The kneejerk human reaction to this debate was to regulate—make registration and insurance mandatory for cyclists. I won’t pick apart the callers’ statements; all I need to say is it’s obvious that few cyclists called in. Naturally, there was no perspective and no facts, and cyclists were painted with a broad brush. Allow me to outline a few of my opinions as they’ll give you a sense of my cycling ideology. Critical Mass is an absolute joke and these renegades need to get jobs and contribute in a productive way to society. We need to be critical of police who do a lackluster job

jeffreyhansen-carlson of enforcing cycling-related laws. People who don’t ride bikes should not be representing the interests of cyclists. People who make an issue out of nothing are drains on society. Finally, less regulation is always better than more. Registering your bike is smart, but no amount of regulation will make stupid people smart. If you choose to register your bike, visit CanadaBikeRegistry.com, pay your $10 and have your bike registered. That sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s not necessary to continue the registration debate, unless of course someone stands to gain a vote or two by beating a dead horse. Registering yourself as a

rider is less smart. Let’s take baby steps. If the police have no interest in the cyclists that have tossed the rulebook in the trash then how can we expect them to police rider registration, too? You have to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run. When it comes to policing the set of cycling-related laws that exist today, police are in the fetal position, pre-crawl. Insuring a rider is also less smart. There are two types of accidents that occur on bikes: the kind where the rider makes an error and solo crashes, and the kind where the rider is hit by a car. If a car hits you, and you live, presumably you are covered under the guilty party’s auto insurance policy. If you have the misfortune of a solo crash it is no different than tripping over a crack while on a stroll along the pier. Should walkers be required to have insurance? The answer is never regulation—it’s common sense and I’m not the only cyclist with a little bit of it. Jeffrey@theroadiescholar.com

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Vancouver Courier - February 11, 2011  

Vancouver Courier - February 11, 2011 printed edition

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