This is Victoria’s triple A bike lane that connects 32 km of bike lanes and is what the city of Penticton designed its bike lanes after. (Victoria News file photo)

This is Victoria’s triple A bike lane that connects 32 km of bike lanes and is what the city of Penticton designed its bike lanes after. (Victoria News file photo)

Opinion: It’s time to license and insure bicycles?

Cyclists should have to take a written test and have a license plate

Editor:

When horseless carriages were first used on the roads, they used streets and horse and wagon trails. In many areas a horseless carriage was not allowed to pass a horse because fear caused horses to bolt. As motorized vehicles became more prolific roads were improved and with this new way of travel came rules and regulations.

License plates and annual fees were used not only as a method of identification but also to regulate use on the roadway and ensure accountability and the safety of pedestrians of all ages and condition. Insurance became the norm as a way had to be found to protect the innocent by actions causing bodily harm to others.

The same has to happen for bikes. They should be licensed with a plate on the rear of their vehicle. There should be fees and taxes attached to ensure recompense for costs. As bicycles are now road vehicles with roadways specifically designed for them they should also be insured. The court action taken by the Canadian Federation for the Blind to protect the rights of the blind because bicyclists won’t cede right of way to pedestrians clearly shows the need for enforcement of regulations.

Results of a bicycle/ pedestrian collision can be catastrophic. Stats show that old people sustaining broken hips rarely survive more than a year. There must be adequate compensation. Bicycle driver licenses can be regulated the same as regular driver license with points and fines attached.

Bicyclists should have to take a written test and be given a bike driver’s license. They should have to take a course in road safety before being allowed on the road.

Indeed all pedestrians must be protected from the inadvertent actions or simple indifference of bikers to the rights of pedestrians and others such as motor vehicles that use the roads. There must be a means of identifying bike drivers the same as motor vehicle drivers and there must be adequate compensation for the injured party. And if the accident occurs because of an error on the part of the bicyclist then they must be responsible for the costs. It cannot remain the responsibility of motor vehicle drivers or pedestrians to predict the irresponsible actions of bicyclists any longer.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

READ MORE: Penticton bike lane hosts official opening party Aug. 1