Licensing bikes

Here is a little gem which includes a reference to Bikewest (their fame is speading) and clearly demonstrates  that facts should never be allowed to get in the way of personal prejudice.

Bike registration plates to be fitted by Jersey’s bike shops?

Carlton Reid Apr 14 2010, 5:48pm

Jersey bike shops could be made to fit registration plates to all bicycles, if Jersey politician’s idea is made into law

The independently governed island of Jersey is discussing charging cyclists up to £50 per bicycle to register their bikes, with an annual £5 on top.

Registration would be proved by large number plates but it’s mooted that those with carbon fibre bikes and others who couldn’t easily affix a number plate would be “required to wear a high visibility belt that clearly displays the cyclist’s registration number.”

Phil Rondel – the Deputy of St John in the States of Jersey parliament – asked Jersey’s Transport department to investigate whether the island can resurrect its bike registration scheme from 1973.

In an official document [PDF] asking for a review of the law, Rondel wrote: “Across the world, from Sark to Tonga and America to Australia, plus many European countries like Switzerland, have cycle registration.”

Switzerland is likely to drop its scheme because of the cost. Most American registration schemes are defunct and there’s no registration scheme in Australia.

In his 23-page supporting document –  of which 20 pages are appendices – Rondel included two A4 pages from the Government of Western Australia’s Department for Transport. This is supposed to be proof that Western Australia has a bicycle registration scheme. In fact, it’s an application form for a ‘I’d rather be cycling instead’ car registration plate.  (ed note – probably think we licence kangaroos too)

Jersey’s Transport Minister Mike Jackson seems to be opposed to Rondel’s ideas. In a long and detailed report, published on 9th April, he dissected the Deputy’s ideas and showed there were huge downsides to putting impediments into the way of a healthy activity such as cycling, including wider society costs of millions of pounds per year.

“Introducing a cycle registration scheme would only be worthwhile if the advantages of introducing a scheme clearly outweighed the disadvantages and maintaining the status quo,” said Jackson.

One of the advantages was said to be “it may create additional work for cycle shops (fitting registration plates, maintaining bicycles).” However, on the flip side, Jackson said registration would be bad because “cycle shops may have reduced sales and reduced maintenance work.”

Registering bicycles would cost more than commonly thought, said Jackson:

“An application form will have to be submitted; documents showing evidence of ownership, insurance cover, roadworthiness of the cycle and the like may be required; the relevant fee paid and receipted; details input into the system; registration document produced and posted to registered address; registration plate or security strip issued and fitted; transfer of ownership, change of name / address, loss of registration document and other significant events need to be recorded after first registration to keep the database up to date.”

About Peter Bartlett