Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes Wednesday: Georgia Wanting to License Bicycles

Roadscapes Geek Alabama

Cyclists in the south have to often deal with not so friendly drivers.  Some drivers throw trash at cyclists, say bad words at cyclists, and some drivers even attempt to run cyclists off the road.  Some drivers say cyclists have no business riding on a public roadway.  But they are wrong!  Outside of freeways and Interstates, cyclists have a right to ride on a public roadway.  But some Georgia lawmakers are so fed up with cyclists they are wanting to do anything possible to kick them off the road forever.  That means no more cyclist road rage videos like this one.

Georgia House Bill 689 was put up in the Georgia legislature from Gainesville lawmakers Carl Rogers, Lee Hawkins, and Emory Dunahoo.  The bill would require a $15 licensing fee on every bicycle in Georgia that rides in a public roadway.  That means everyone from a 40-year-old cycling adult to a little 6-year-old riding in a neighborhood would be required to pay a yearly $15 fee.  Bicycle riders without a license would be faced with a $100 fine.  But that’s not all!  The bill would require cyclists to ride in groups no larger than four, in single file, with four feet of space separating each rider.  And all cities and communities would be able to bar cyclists from whatever roads they choose.

Okay, to be fair, there are some cyclists who don’t obey the rules of the road and ride right in the middle of the road.  But for the vast majority of cyclists, they ride on the far right and do not block traffic.  You might have to be patient and stay behind them until there is a safe place to pass them on the road.  Seriously, some people will do anything to go around cyclists.  Who cares about that car coming from the other way, either the cyclists or the car are going into the grass.  I just want to go fast!  This bill was only drawn up by some people who hate being behind cyclists.  And thankfully, this bill has been killed!

Gainesville, GA is in the North Georgia Mountains.  And many cyclists love to ride on the hilly and twisty roads in North Georgia.  Some motorists are tired of the cyclists and are doing anything possible to harm the local economy.  Did you know that many cyclists have good jobs and a good amount of money that they actually spend and help the local economy?  Georgia House Bill 689 is going nowhere fast and these few lawmakers better get used to being behind cyclists.  Need to get somewhere, leave earlier!

In Alabama, we actually have some lawmakers who are cyclists!  Sen. Gerald Allen pre-filed a bill for the 2014 Legislative Session that would require drivers to give cyclists at least three feet of space in passing.  Gerald Allen is a cyclist and he has seen his share of drivers throwing trash at him and drivers shouting at him to get off the road.  I hope this bill is passed by the legislator and signed by the governor.  Drivers need to understand that cyclists have a right to be on a public roadway, whether you like it or not.  It won’t kill you to slow down to make sure you can pass a cyclist safely.  Do you know where your brake pedal is at?

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