Legislators Propose Licensing of Bicycles

A bill filed late in the 2013 Georgia legislative session seems to be drawing a lot of attention in the bicycling community recently.

House Bill 689, sponsored by Hall County Representatives Carl Rogers (District 29), Lee Hawkins (District 27) and Emory Dunahoo (District 30) would, among other things, require bicycles to be registered and have license plates just like cars and trucks, although a bicycle owner could get a permanent registration if desired. The bill also limits how cyclists can travel in groups:

Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast ride single file except on bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when a special event permit issued by a local governing authority permits riding more than two abreast single file. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall ride no more than four riders per single file line, and at least four feet shall separate each bicycle. At least 50 feet shall be maintained between each line of four riders at all times.

There’s more, but these two provisions are drawing the most discussion.

The bill appears to be in response to complaints about cyclists in Hall, and it’s not the first time a Hall county legislator has filed a bill to regulate how bikers travel. State Senator Butch Miller filed a bill in the 2012 session that also drew opposition from the biking community.

Miller’s bill didn’t get a full Senate vote, and it is questionable whether this latest attempt at regulating bicycles will receive a vote in the House. One wonders if this is really a statewide issue, or something that is better suited to local laws in locations where cycling causes traffic tie-ups.

13 comments

  1. drjay says:

    wow, maybe i’m mistaken, but aren’t cyclists supposed to follow regular traffic laws when they are on roadways already–why can’t that just be enforced if their are issues—and it’s really hard to make the argument that you are the party of “less government” when you introduce legislation to require license plates for bikes–good grief–smh…

  2. View from Brookhaven says:

    Aren’t bicycles part of that Agenda 21 menace?
    Just doing their part to thwart those two-wheeled demons before they destroy our way of life!

    • xdog says:

      Sure. Only leftists ride. Stop the stateists now or expect them to push their way to the other side of the street.

  3. Three Jack says:

    Would the bill setup a ‘Dept of Bicyclist Services’ modeled after the current DDS so we can have one more line to wait in for BS government licensing?

  4. saltycracker says:

    Good idea – three six year olds just rode down my sidewalk, probably in training to be gang mules for teenagers smuggling cigarettes…….if they had tags we could call it in…..they were closely followed by a 5 yr old female groupie with training wheels on her bike…

    Seriously tho, amateur cyclists are way too arrogant on busy roads….

  5. Raleigh says:

    There are interesting new road signs on SR 20 east of Canton GA for “Bike Lanes”. I did an extensive search online and curiously I could find next to nothing about bike lanes on SR 20. I did find several web sites on bicyclist road rights where they talked about the new minimum clearance law and how they could legally take up the whole traffic lane.

    Looking at the millions GDOT has spent on these new bike lanes on a major state highway and how much more they want to spend I find myself taking a position I thought I would never take, the need for new taxes. I can’t believe I’m saying this but if the GDOT is going to expend funds making bicycles lanes and the state give bicycles the same road rights as motor vehicles then bicycles should be tagged, pay road tax and be subject to all traffic laws like any other motor vehicle including mandatory liability insurance. If we are going to build bicycle lanes on road right of ways then bicycle taxes should pay to build them.

    • mountainpass says:

      I am a cyclist, and I for one didn’t support the three foot law, nor do I support “bike lanes.” And I damn well don’t support regulations on my bicycle.

      • Raleigh says:

        You’re in the minority in the cyclist community. By the way you should check the bike lanes in on SR20 and see what a marvelous job GDOT did. The tire warning groves they cut into the pavement which took half the bike lane should prove to be a great surface to ride a bike on. Another great feature is the lane will just end throwing the cyclist back out on the main highway. Smart thinking GDOT, you did a great job of wasting millions, again.

  6. bgsmallz says:

    This is so amateur. Don’t they know you have to hide the revenue collection in the safety pretext? Haven’t they learned anything from our friends in Gwinnett and the texting law?

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