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flo's avatar

Should there be licence plate on bicycles or not, if yes why, if no why not?

Asked by flo (11432points) October 6th, 2017

In some cities/countries it’s no different from cars. Your car has to have a licence plate, so does your bicycle for the same reason. So, why in some places yes in some places no?

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29 Answers

josie's avatar

Some attempts to grab your money are just too transparent and should be laughed off.

elbanditoroso's avatar

What’s the point of a license plate on a bike?

Is it to raise revenue? (Will kids’ tricycles need license plates?)

Is it to track the riders/drivers of the bicycle in case of accident? That’s more convincing.

Bottom line, @flo – what’s the reasoning behind the idea?

flutherother's avatar

The only point would be to enforce a bicycle tax and I feel we should encourage cycling rather than taxing it.

flo's avatar

@everyone My question is “what is the reasoning behind the idea?” (I am quoting @JLeslie). whether it’s yes to licence plates or no. So, on balance which is better? There is the manpower needed to enforce traffic laws, hospital emergencies rooms care if accident the fault of the cyclists, to pay for the bike paths and clearing them etc.

snowberry's avatar

In Japan, you must register your bicycle.

“Bicycle theft is a particular concern in Japan, and with good reason. It sometimes seems like drunken salary-men will take the first bike they find on their way home, and rates of theft seem a contradiction to the widely held “safe and honest” image of Japan. Even worse, the recovery rates for stolen bikes are quite low, meaning if you lose it you are likely not getting it back. As a result of this cyclists are required to register their bicycles. If store bought, your bike will have been registered by the shop at the time of purchase, but if your bike is second hand (or from you should take it to a bicycle store or police station where they will register it for a small fee.”

According to my daughter, you also must have up to date insurance. She didn’t say anything about license plates.

flo's avatar

…I see the difference between between motorcyles and bikes, now. Excercise is the difference. But the question still stands, right?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Sixty years ago we had to have a bicycle safety check: good tires, working brakes, headlight, lock . . . .

flo's avatar

Thanks all.
So, when a cyclist runs one of the worst things nothing can be done, if no licence.

BellaB's avatar

We had licence plates on bikes when I was a kid, 50 years ago. They were free from the police station (or close to – I think the most I ever paid was less than $1). They were primarily used to i.d. the bikes in case of theft. Of course they could be cut off so that eventually fell by the wayside.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. Cars have plates to prove they are registered. You don’t have to register a bike.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are you talking about motorcycles or bicycles? Motorcycles have to be registered. Bicycles don’t.

flo's avatar

But why don’t you have to register a bike, considering cyclists can cause accidents just like drivers can.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So can pedestrians and dogs.

flo's avatar

So, should cars no longer have licence plates on them since pedistrians and animals can cause accidents and they don’t have licence plates on them? I’m just thinking out loud, it just occures to me out of the blue.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@flo, people are charged property tax on their cars. That’s what the tags are for. We don’t pay property tax on bicycles, pedestrians and dogs.

flo's avatar

Drivers and cyclists need to be charged/ fined for their traffic transgressions. If a driver is the victims of the cyclist, why should the cyclists not pay for it? If there is no property tax on bicycles then maybe that’s the problem.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pedestrians need to be charged if they cause a traffic accident too.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In Georgia. your dog has to have a license.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Out here motor vehicle licensing fees have been ramped up considerably in the last decade with the revenue supposedly dedicated to maintaining the roads, infrastructure, highway patrol, etc. Here in San Francisco there is an aggressive war on personal automobiles and there is a relentless ongoing transfer of roadway pavement to dedicated bicycle lanes. Major thoroughfares have lost lanes to dedicated bicycle traffic and weird reddish brown lanes devoted exclusively to buses and taxis. I think bicycles should have plates if only to track down and fine those cyclists flagrantly violating traffic laws.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, they’re supposed to @elbanditoroso. But the fine isn’t quite the same if they aren’t.

MrGrimm888's avatar

You can still get a citation on a bicycle. If you are biking at night with no lights, you get fined. You can also get a DUI on a bike. There are other laws, but they are rarely enforced.

I think it’s just too much to keep track of. They keep track of mopeds, and boats with motors over a certain size. Dogs have to have rabies tags, proving that they have been vaccinated. People are supposed to have at least an ID card, after a certain age.

Should bikes have plates? I don’t think so. They’re too plentiful, and the parts are too interchangeable. Whenever I used to have a couple bikes that don’t work, I would make a working one out of the parts. I guess that’s done with cars too, but they have VIN numbers on certain parts, to keep track of the main components. Most bicycles have a number on the frame, but it is rarely used for anything other than identification of the bikes in a store setting.

Bikes get stolen SO much, that they’re almost interchangeable in urban areas.

We have bicycle rental stations in my city. They require a payment card to be rented. I assume that those bikes have a tracking number of some kind.

I wouldn’t care much for having to have a plate on a bicycle. Too much of a hassle.

flo's avatar

@MrGrimm888 You can still get a citation on a bicycle. If you are biking at night with no lights, you get fined. You can also get a DUI on a bike. But that’s if the officer catches you. But what about when something happens when there is no officer.

I agree with @stanleybmanly

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’d be in jail if we had strict regulations on bicycles. I’ve probably had like 30, and I always mixed parts…

Dutchess_III's avatar

We used to have a customer at our mower shop who lost his DL for DUI. he brought us a picture of him driving his riding mower through the drive through of one of the liquor stores in town.

flo's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Sorry I didn’t quotation mark your statement in my last post.
Anyway to quote @stanleybmanly “I think bicycles should have plates if only to track down and fine those cyclists flagrantly violating traffic laws.“and causing accident major or not so major.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Just charge the person/driver if a problem has occured. Bicycles aren’t usually the cause of a problem, or a getaway vehicle.

Plus, facial recognition software is becoming more and more prevalent.

flo's avatar

@MrGrimm888 the party that has no licence plate is more likely to flaglantly the violate the traffic laws. don’t you think?
The facial recognition software would apply to drivers too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do not agree with that sweeping generalization @flo. Flagrant violations depend on individuals and how responsible they are. If they are responsible, being licensed makes no difference in their behavior. If they’re irresponsible, being licensed makes no difference in their behavior.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I suppose anonymity could give someone less of a chance of being caught for doing something illegal in/on a vehicle. I won’t deny that. But there are LOTS of crimes that involve legally licensed vehicles. I just don’t think of bikes as a vehicle I guess. Plates on bikes ,to me, would be like plates on skateboards, roller skates, surfboards etc.

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