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 abreastride 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 abreastsingle 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.