Licenses To Ride

Every now and then, the idea of licensing bicycles comes up.

A lot of people waste a lot of time talking about it, but I don’t think that it will ever happen. This is one of the many reasons that my second super-power, if I could have one, is to be invisible.

My first power would to not want things, and to be equanamous which means, I won’t need to be invisible.

Besides cyclists invisibility in the government due to malignant neglect, there are other reasons why licensing cyclists is a bad idea. The main reason is because it’s a stupid idea.

Still, there are some motorists who say that cyclists should be licensed. The main reasoning seems to be the childist notion that “if I have to do it, they should have to do it.”

I sort of agree, since, I, too am childish.

However, instead of licensing cyclists, I am starting to rethink licensing motorists.

I can hear the outrage now, “But that would be chaos.”

Um, no. Anyone who cycles knows that it’s chaos right now. I don’t see how wasting people’s time guarantees safety.

At best a license means that one passed a shitty test, by the third try, probably a long time ago. Then they immediately forget everything.

If you disagree, quick, recite the page on cycling.

“But without licensing fees, the roads will suck.”

Bzzt. Wrong again. First of all in many areas, the roads all ready suck. Second, automobile related fees pay for HALF of the road costs at best. The rest of the money comes from other taxes which means that those us who don’t drive pay extra for the roads. Not that I’m upset about this, or anything, I’m not a tight fisted libertarian. And yes, you are welcome, and you may keep the change.

“But the point of a license is that we can take it away if the driver does poorly.”

Huh! Really. Because if this were the case, the buses and sidewalks should be way more crowded. Especially in terms of drinking and driving. So many people get away with it. They do it because they have to. If we really wanted to address drinking and driving bars would be in walkable neighborhoods, only. Plus NO PARKING for places that serve liquor. Also, cheap taxis and drunk buses would get people home safely. I always chuckle when some drunk tells me, “be safe”, before they drink and drive. 🙂

Ending drinking and driving is all within our reach. In fact instead of wasting efforts on pointless paperwork like licensing, we should do this.

Still, we do want to prevent certain, incompetent or criminal, people from driving. How to do this?

I suggest a blacklist like a mail filter. Simply put a field in the criminal database for NO MOTORING. The police should be able to check this from their squad cars. No paperwork needed.

The point is, though, there is no check to see if people are licensed so people drive all the time without licenses and only get caught when they wreck. What then? Do we remove their license to punish them. No, they don’t have one to lose, thus the whole license thing is pointless for any kind of screening at all.

“How will we know who people are? Isn’t this a security risk?”

What’s going to happen, now, that didn’t happen before? Did they not have proper IDs in 9/11? So the “safety” of an ID is mainly imaginary. The law enforcement part seems to come as an afterthought.

This will remain a reality until we are all tracked with surgical implants. Trust me, as a lazy person with little notion of disobedience, I pray for the day. As long as they will give me a little bit of convenience such as letting me buy things charged to my account, with no chance of fraud, without hauling around a little plastic card.

“But until this rapture of the lazy geeks, we still need some way of identifying people.”

I guess this is true as long as we are going to put important decisions, such as whether someone gets inebriated, in the hands of random people’s brains and their facial recognition skills of a grainy photograph taken a while ago. Heck, I don’t even have a beard in my license photo so I could be any bald white guy in that photo! 🙂

I don’t mind having an ID, but why must it be tied to a single cram session of a little book on the operations of a vehicle that I don’t spend a lot of time operating? Why not a state ID or even just issue all US citizens passports? That would shut up Europeans who mock us that so few Americans even have passports.

Now we’re all international!


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