New Jersey lawmaker proposes licensing bicycles, what's next? 

A New Jersey lawmaker has proposed a bill that would require people who ride bikes to register said bikes with the Motor Vehicle Commission.  In exchange for ten dollars, bikers would receive a little license plate for their bike. How precious! And if they don’t? They’d be looking at $100 fine.

Aside from the asininity of registering a bicycle with the Motor Vehicle Commission, there’s just so much here to laugh at. Unless it actually happens, which it probably won’t—although, maybe that’s putting too much faith in 21st century government. And, really, any faith in government these days is probably too much faith.

After the government starts requiring bicycles to be registered, just think of what they could regulate next. Once every bike is licensed, the MVC might as well impose safety regulations governing things like tire pressure and handle-bar bell clarity. And baseball cards in the spokes? No way! What a safety hazard. It’s almost like people want their kids to skin their knees. Irresponsible. And all you little girls out there: handle-grip tassels shall hang no more than two and a half inches.

Pedal breaks will be banned. (Seriously, those things are a menace. I can’t count how many times I fell over backwards trying to stop when I was a kid.) Instead, hand breaks will be required on all new bikes, and all cyclists using pedal breaks will have a six month grace period, during which time they’ll be responsible for retroactively fitting their bikes with MVC-approved hand breaks.

Then there’s spoke quality and seat cushion standards and gear functionality, etc., etc., etc. You know, it would probably be best if a DNMV (Department of Non-Motor Vehicles) was set up to handle all these safety and performance regulations. It could be staffed by rejected applicants for the DMV (job creation!). Now that would be a cheerful and efficient place. Once that’s established, all bike-riders under 12 years old would be required to complete a riding test, and all riders who are new to the state and over 12 would have to pass a written exam.

Because, remember, this is all about, um, safety.

At least it will be good business for the Wagon Depot.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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