An interesting bill is being introduced by Queens Assemblyman Michael DenDekker. It would mandate registration- similar to a motor vehicle- for every bicycle in the state, complete with license plates hanging from the rear of the seat. Another separate measure is also being introduced which would force every commercial cyclist in the state to carry identification, and to have insurance. Of course, there is an initial $25 fee for the first year, and $5 each additional year for recreational cyclist -- with a $50 fee for commercial cyclist, plus the cost of insurance.
One part of me says, damn them -- another tax, and another way for them to keep track of us and what we're doing. 1984 anyone! But looking at the fee for commercial cyclist I say -- why not? It make sense, especially for the metro NY area, with the high volume of commercial cyclist there. If you read the Post or Daily News on a regular basis, you always see stories of accidents between motor vehicles and bike messengers. Now the motor vehicle owner is mandated to carry liability insurance, register & have their vehicle inspected on a regular basis in NY State to operate his vehicle on public roads. Not to mention the pick pocketing fee's and taxes that commercial truckers must pay. Commercial cyclist use the same roads to earn a living -- so why does one have to pay, the other gets off for free, and is not mandated to carry insurance? Bike runs through a red light and smashes into your car -- you pay for the damage. Get what I'm saying here?
As far as imposing a fee on recreational bikes. What are they going to do -- have cops pull over a 10 year old for not having plates? Please! This is totally insane. But it is NY State, and I guess we should be used to it by now. I can see it now, cops writing tickets to a crying kid, who parents may not have had the extra $25 to register the bike. Or maybe a sticker check/road block on the Lansingburgh Bike Trail. Where does this nonsense end? Will parents using non-disposable diapers be taxed for the release of excess Methane gas into the atmosphere, with parents using a non landfill friendly disposable diaper gaining a tax credit for containing the gas in plastic? Tax, after tax, after tax. Just once I'd like to see one of these state elected officials come up with an original idea to generate revenue from some place else other then the money tree they must think we all grow in our back yards. Not a peep from any of them over the sharp increase in gas prices -- but since more people are using their bikes as transportation due to the high gas prices, politicians figure that they'll need to make up the revenue from somewhere -- and we are their favorite well to dip into, aren't we?
Write a letter to your local assemblyman and ask him to vote no on this bill. Tell him you're a bike rider, and as long as you're not breaking any laws -- it's none of their damn business, so stop trying to pick my pocket!