bike licence Toronto

Should cyclists be required to get a licence?

In the wake of a collision that left a 56-year-old woman in hospital with a cracked skull and other injuries after a cyclist allegedly ran a red light while riding against traffic on a one-way street, talk of the need to licence cyclists has started back up. This seems to happen every few years or so, before fizzling out until the next nasty accident for which a cyclist takes the blame.

The latest to suggest the idea is Toronto Councillor David David Shiner. "Bikes should have plates identifying them, as every other vehicle has to on the road," he suggested. "I also believe that people that ride bicycles should have a license, similar to what is required for water craft."

Shiner's argument is that cyclists need to know the rules of the road before they should be allowed to get out on the street. Okay, sure. Everyone using the road should know the rules, but it's highly questionable whether or not it's a lack of knowledge that leads cyclists to run reds or ride the wrong way on one-way streets.

Advocates of a licensing system for cyclists believe that a demerit point system would help to hold cyclists accountable for their on-road behaviour, while critics claim that the implementation a licensing system would be little more than a cash grab.

So what better question for a Friday poll?


Photo by Georgie_grrl


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