Bicycle Licensing – for Openers
Don’t be surprised if or when “dialogue” begins about restricting the freedom of bicycles. It’s already sort of started with all the dumb bike lanes and other (tracked and logged) electric bike-sharing. Just a matter of time. Oh, and your house cats aren’t probably far off.
Bicycle Licensing – for Openers
by Eric Peters
There is still one form of getting around that doesn’t require government permission – which is largely free of government “mandates,” too.
It is the bicycle.
One does not need to obtain a by-your-leave to ride it. One can just ride it. Just like that! There are no taxes applied for riding it, either. Nor to legally ride it – on government-owned roads (styled “public” but the true owner is the one who controls a thing; does the “public” control the roads?). Ear tags and stickers to show who owns the item – as is the case with cars and motorcycles – are not required.
How long do you suppose it will last?
The only reason it has – to date – is because the principle that government owns everything and so controls everything that has already been applied to cars and trucks and motorcycles has not yet been applied to bicycles.
It is not paranoid to think such a thing will happen; it is naive bordering on simple-minded to believe it will not.
People who seek control always seek more control – until they have total control. It is almost a mathematical axiom and surely a psychological one. It is a political axiom that once a principle has been established as regards what may lawfully be done to or required of X, it will be expanded to encompass Y and Z.
It may take some time for this to happen. But it will happen, as inexorably as the incoming tide.
An example will – hopefully – make the point.
If it is accepted that the government can lawfully force anyone to give up a sum of money – the theft-styled “taxation” – then it has been accepted in principle that the government can force him to give up all his money. The amount he is actually forced to give up is merely a matter of haggling. The principle has been established that the government has the legal right (the moral right is another matter) to take and implicit in this is that whatever is left is only left by sufferance and only for the moment.
More could be demanded tomorrow – and probably will be.
So, as regards bicycles:
As a question of principle, can anyone offer up a logical argument denying government’s established legal right to regulate these vehicles, just as government regulates other vehicles? They are not motorized? How is this exculpatory? They are capable of velocities comparable to other vehicles; they are certainly capable of exceeding the maximum allowed velocity – i.e., of “speeding.”
And they use the same government-owned roads, which we are permitted to use at the government’s pleasure – not by right.
How is it that bicyclists “get away” – as it will inevitably be styled – with not being licensed, ear tagged and insured?
It is a fact and as such inarguable that a bicyclist could injure someone else and thus the same argument that serves as the basis for the legal requirement that people who drive cars (and ride motorcycles) must carry insurance applies with just as much validity to bicycle riders.
In the first place, the potential degree of harm is not the relevant criteria; if it were, then small cars would not be required to carry the same minimum liability coverage as huge trucks. They are both required to carry the same minimum liability, notwithstanding the fact that a big truck is capable of causing much more harm than the small car.
A bicycle is very capable of causing physical harm to persons as well as damage to a car or truck – especially modern cars and trucks, with all their flimsy steel and brittle plastic.
Who is going to pay for that?
The fact that no harm has been caused – and the fact that a bicycle isn’t capable of causing as much harm as a big truck or a small car – cuts no ice, in terms of the principle already accepted that vehicles operating on the government’s roads must be “covered” for what could happen.
How about by-your-leave permission slips and ear tags (e.g., license plates, with annual renewal fees) as well as “safety” inspection requirements?
It should be obvious that the same principles apply here, too. How is that bicycle riders are allowed to run around without license plates and thus any means of identifying the owner when he “runs” a red light or makes a right on red? If a car/truck/motorcycle owner is obliged to waste half a day once a year taking his vehicle to get “inspected” because the government frets it might have bald tires or bad brakes and so present a “safety” hazard, why does the same not apply to bicycles, which are also vehicles?
To some degree, it already does.
Note the in many areas, bicyclists are obliged to wear government-ordered helmets, just as motorcycle riders are obliged to wear the same and car/truck drivers obliged to “buckle up” for “safety.” It has already been suggested in some areas that bicycle riders be obliged to obtain licenses and put license plates on their bicycles.
Insurance is coming. Plus more. Why not “safety” technology such as anti-lock brakes, for instance?
Why should bicyclists be able to use government-owned roads without paying for the privilege, just the same as car/truck owners and motorcyclists?
The principles have been established and they will be expanded – especially as people who’ve grown weary of being ear-tagged/taxed/micromanaged behind the wheel turn to bicycles as the last redoubt of free-from-government mobility that’s still on wheels, at least.