Bicycling Bill and How It Came to be

After a raucous meeting last night in Gainesville, Carl Rogers announced that the bill he sponsored with Emory Dunahoo and Lee Hawkins would not go any further. He didn’t quite say he’d withdraw it, but he suggested he wouldn’t be pushing it any longer.

Emory Dunahoo said on facebook that it was wrong for people to assume he was supporting a bill merely because he sponsored it. Lee Hawkins hasn’t said much, but it is assumed he’s distancing himself as well.

So if none of the sponsors we’re willing to publicly support a bill that they put their names on, why did this bill come to be?

Almost every article on this proposed bill quoted one man, Jim Syfan, of Syfan Logistics, in support. He told 11alive that he’d been pushing this bill for years.

Why? He might have to “hit a ditch” because of cyclists. His main stated concern is that he has been flicked off by cyclists who are in the middle of the road. That’s why he says he wants the law.

But perhaps he has another interest. Syfan owns a trucking company. Trucks were responsible for every cyclist death but one last year. And about the only time a truck hasn’t broken the law when hitting a cyclist is when it can be shown that the cyclist was in violation of the law himself which led to his own injuries. You can be a lot less careful with your semi if the consequences are less costly.

But why would Dunahoo, Hawkins, and Rogers carry a bill that one guy wanted, probably just to avoid liability?

Maybe it is the combined over $4,000 he has donated to the sponsors of the bill? That seems to be the gist of what Dunahoo had to say:

“I had no intention of signing or passing or voting for this law,” Dunahoo told 11Alive’s Blayne Alexander. “To me, it was to bring attention to an issue that’s gonna be a problem if we don’t start working together.”

“It was dropped just for someone six months later to pull it out,” Dunahoo added.


  1. NoTeabagging says:

    I’m baffled. It appears the bill goal is to allow motorists to identify errant bicyclists via a tag#.
    How is this effective? Can a motorist now call 911 and report a driver in front of them weaving, speeding, driving too slow, or (shock) not using proper turn signals? and actually get a response?
    Would the same condition apply to bicycle reports?

    OR worse, is this going to lead to Gomer Pyle style ‘Citizens Arrests”?
    (BTW – that’s Ah-RAY-ests. Three syllables)

  2. Noway says:

    Stefan, now you don’t be too hard on ole Syfan.!!!! He’s like Boss Hogg with his bumbling deputies, Dunahoo, Hawkins, and Rogers. I let yall determine who’s Roscoe, Enus and Cletus!

  3. Raleigh says:

    Good, now the GDOT can continue to build poorly designed bike lanes on state highways and make motorist pay extra road tax and tag fees to pay for it. Can you say welfare for Bicyclist?

    • Larry says:

      Raleigh, I could go without the bike lane, just give me a shoulder to escape to, rather than a hard curb that traps me in the traffic lane, should someone insist that I don’t need that three foot standoff the law requires motorists to give me.

      As far as welfare goes, I’m not just a cyclist, I’m also a motorists who pays taxes for those roads just like you, I license to cars and pay the taxes on them and I have insurance. When I’m using my bicycle I’m not wearing out the road anywhere near the way you are in your car or truck so I fail to see where the welfare comes into play.

      • Raleigh says:

        Larry you may be able to go without bike lanes but 1000’s of cyclist lobbied hard to get the GDOT to start building bike lanes. That cost money. Lots of money.

        As far as “ I am also a motorist who pays taxes” I am a motorcyclist plus drive cars and my motorcycle does not “wear out” the road either. So let’s eliminate tags and tax on Motorcycles just like bicycles.

        All I’m saying is if we are going to use tax funds to build bike lanes then let’s get the users to pay for it. Isn’t it a primary objective of Republicans in Georgia to get “users” to pay their own way? That is what I keep hearing.

        Just to be clear I have no problem with the “Silver Comet trail, The Beltline, or Kids using their bike on the sidewalk so long as GDOT funds are not allocated and used. What I have a problem with is state transportation dollars paid by motorist from taxes on their motor vehicles building bike lakes. You want to pass a park bond to do that go for it.

        That is the same problem I had with the transportation penny sales tax. I think 600 Million was allocated to the Beltline. So tell me again how that would have significantly reduces traffic? Hey the beltline is a great idea just doesn’t pay for it with regional transportation dollars and don’t use transportation tax dollars to build bike lanes unless bikes pay into transportation taxes as well.

        • Noway says:

          Ralieigh, you’re in a losing battle here. The first time you tag/tax bicycles you’ll get an ad with a little girl in pigtails asking you why you’re taxing her bike. License plates for bikes is a loser. The buffoons at last night’s hearing are luck they weren’t tarred and feathered.

          • Raleigh says:

            Yea, maybe it is a losing battle and of course the dumbmasses will be swayed by the little girl in pigtails. Those that would rather think for themselves and not let others think for them will not be fooled. Those who are fooled may be why we have the current government situation. Do I really want the state of Georgia to tax bicycles? No not really however I remember a time when you could visit many state parks without paying a fee, Go hike in a Wildlife Management Area without paying a GORP fee. Move into a home you bought and paid for without buying a Certificate of Occupancy. Until the masses get enough I hope they tax everything, apply fees to everything, and tax the middle class into oblivion. That’s where we are headed but at least we can all go visit a 30 million dollar “Go Fish” museum that most days has more employees than visitors. Besides an ad with an ambulance setting in a clogged road due to a group of bicycles slowing traffic where the occupant doesn’t make it in time might also strike a chord with voters. I think there are more people who support tags and taxes on bicycles than were represented last night. Let find out and put it to the public with a ballot question. I would guess many who showed up to that meeting last night wouldn’t like that. It’s a battle worth fighting.

            • Noway says:

              Interesting idea, the ballot measure. But, elections are won on emotion, always, no exceptions. I think the ballot would lose by at least 60-40 but I’d like to see it come up for a vote, like you suggested.

  4. oldman45 says:

    You have no idea how many bills are filed and laws created for one person or one situation…its always about the money…follow the money trail!

  5. NoTeabagging says:

    The “new” design for inner city streets has lanes in this order:
    Sidewalk/pedestrian – Bicycle -Parking – Vehicular traffic.

  6. rrrrr says:

    Such heat …

    I’d settle for cyclists being required to have rear view mirrors so I can SEE their face and KNOW that they know I’m there.

    For some reason quite a few members of the Spandex Cowboy/Cowgirl crowd appear to be of the opinion that the apparent increase in drag coefficient introduced by the simple act of carrying a mirror would destroy the track/race/event /etc. times rendering the competition moot.

    Heck the few remaining drivers like me who still know what a tractor or hay-wagon look like routinely see those operators pull OFF to allow faster traffic to pass safely…

    While not a big fan of giving govt one more red cent for general fund consumption, perhaps the concept could be limited to competition grade bikes in the 26/27 in range or larger with gear ranges at 10 or above. That would would limit the pigtail set impact perhaps to those with real licenses.

    Lastly, the group concept could be addressed by local jurisdictions under permit for group assembly clauses. If they can control groups right to gather by size – you can’t or don’t have to exclude those groups that choose to ride rather than walk…

  7. mountainpass says:

    “While not a big fan of giving govt one more red cent for general fund consumption, perhaps the concept could be limited to competition grade bikes in the 26/27 in range or larger with gear ranges at 10 or above.”

    How would that work exactly? The manufacturers/bike shops would just sell bikes out of that gear range and wink wink the buyer would just buy the racing gears online or blackmarket(my lady is laughing right now thinking about me buying a “red” cassette in an alley somewhere). LEO can’t stop someone unless they have RAS that the person is breaking the law. There is no way to tell what gears someone is running without counting the teeth. Even stopped it’s hard to do.

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