Monday, January 10, 2011

Mandatory Bike Registration Proposed in NJ Legislature

January 6th by Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D)Newark introduced Bill A3657 that if passed, would require all bicycles ridden on public highways or public land in NJ to pay a $10 biennial (24 mo.) registration fee or face a $100 fine for each offense.

This bill would require bicycles ridden on public highways or lands to be registered with the Motor Vehicle Commission and display license plates (out of state bicycles are exempt). Bicycle registrations would be valid for two years, and the commission could charge up to $10 as an annual registration fee to defray the costs of the program. The bill specifies that if the owner of a bicycle is under 15 years of age, the owners parent or guardian may register it in their stead.

Under the bill, a person who violates any of the bicycle registration provisions would be subject to a fine up to $100 for each offense. In addition, the bill authorizes the chief administrator to suspend or revoke a bicycle registration for any violation of the laws, rules, or regulations regarding their operation.

This anti-bicycling bill needs to be defeated, look for more information on taking action in the next few days. In the meantime you can contact your State Assembly Representatives and ask them to oppose A3657.

Find and Contact your State Legislators.

Sample text:

I am opposed to A3657 - mandatory registration of bicycles. Mandatory registration is unpopular with constituents, expensive to manage and and almost impossible to enforce. It may also be a burden to citizens who rely on bicycles for low cost transportation and hurt the bicycle industry in New Jersey. Many locations have repealed mandatory legislation.

The State Legislature would be wise to look at ways to improve bicycling in our state by introducing legislation that can reduce bicycle crashes through engineering, education and enforcement.

17 comments:

Reg said...

What next? Wait, I don't want to know.

What's the justification for this? Besides fundraising I mean.

Andy B from Jersey said...

Oh god no! The bill would even require that each bicycle have a license plate!

In every jurisdiction that has mandated some sort of bicycle license or registration the fees collected do not come anywhere near close to covering the administrative costs of running the program. Los Angeles quickly comes to mind but there are plenty of others.

On top of it I could see this being an exceptional burden to the less fortunate who use a bicycle as a primary means of transportation to work, etc. I'm surprised Assemblywoman Tucker didn't even think of this considering her disctrict covers Belleville, Bloomfield, Irvington, and parts of Newark.

Andy B from Jersey said...

Also and interestingly enough, a "bicycle" is never defined in R.S.39:1-1 so as is, the bill would be unenforceable.

However, I think they might realize this and try to then define a bicycle in the bill which could be equally bad.

Anonymous said...

Wow! So much for the 'land of the free'...

MontclairBobbyB said...

First, NJ cyclists need their own bill of rights... The NJ State Senate and House must at least support and pass the much-needed Three Foot (Passing) Law in NJ, before they can legitimately categorize bicycles as vehicles...
this is ABSURD!!!

This will surely give rise to more OBGs (outlaw biker gangs)... I may have to start one myself... The UBs ("yoo-bees")... aka Unlicensed Bicyclists... :)

Bobby Birmingham
Belle Mead, NJ

Anonymous said...

I called Assemblyman Tucker's office (sponsor) and her admin stated that this legislation is a response to complaints from "seniors in her constituecy" who were victims of accidents w/cyclists (implied kids). I stated that there are most likely more cyclists killed in MV accidents than peds being hit by cyclsits yet the State does little to improve conditions for recreational/commuter cyclists.
I suggested that the local municipalities affected by these complaints should sort this out via ordinances and education and not incovneience all cyclists @ large.

Eric said...

Dear Senator XYZ, Assemblyman XYZ, and Assemblywoman XYZ-

Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker - (D, Newark) introduced NJ Bill A3657 which would mandate licensing of all bicycles operated on NJ roads and public places. This is an incredibly wasteful notion that will cost FAR more to implement and enforce than it would ever raise in revenues.

I strongly urge you to oppose this bill and encourage your Trenton peers to do likewise. This devious plan is an underhanded means to extract more money from residents. It should be regarded as what it REALLY is, which is a tax. Residents of this state already pay exorbitant taxes. The trend for people to move elsewhere is only reinforced by shortsighted legislation such as this absurd NJ Bill A3657.

Passage would not facilitate enforcement of existing motor vehicle laws. Police are already granted authority to stop, question, ticket, or even arrest cyclists disregarding rules of the road. Cyclists naturally don't attempt to flee police...which clearly makes the license plate provision superfluously silly.

Additionally, expansion of fees and licensing would be yet another burden on low-income working families, not to mention it would also negatively impact the children. Assemblywoman Tucker has apparently not considered many choose bicycles because they live on the edge of poverty and it is all they can afford.

This proposal stands in direct opposition to the goals of being as green as possible and encouraging citizens of our state to embrace healthy forms of transportation for commuting and exercise.

As a constituent in your district, I expect a reply to this email explaining whether or not you will oppose this bill. I will watch your voting record very carefully in this matter.

Sincerely,

Frank Warnock said...

This is completely and utterly ridiculous. If this has even a snowball's chance at passing, find out what percentage of NJ DMV registration fees are used for road rehab and reconstruction and demand that the bicycle registration fees are spent the same - on BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE and SAFETY. Or demand Complete Streets at the state, and every town and county level - all jurisdictions. If they want us to pay, provide a safe "transportation" (transportation = all modes) system.

Don't allow this terrible precedent. But then again, every one before it was eventually repealed for insolvency anyway. What a waste of time and energy.

Clever Title said...

Can we get a bike-friendly assemblyman or senator to add an amendment to this that allows cyclists to use the full lane of all roads in NJ (and maybe sharrows painted on the right lanes of all roads)?
I'd pay $5/year for that

Michael said...

Where is the added benefit for cyclists. Its been mentioned before, but if your going to force registration and plating bikes, what more rights to we have? There is no mention of that, which tells me its a very Anti-Biking movement. Ridiculous.

MannyL358 said...

This is insane....I sent her an email last night via her website telling her that if she continues to support this bill her days as an elected official are numbered.

Bob Witanek said...

few points:
We should raise the class and race issues: It is sponsored by an African American assembly person . . . from Newark - but what nefarious affect will it have by giving dmv that bars undocumented from driving - control over ...bikes on the roads! And the pretext for harassing youths including youths of color! i know a young hs student who bikes to football bc his mom often cant afford gas or is working. he hides his bike so the other kids on the team dont know that he dont have a ride. he is dirt poor and hungry often and a super kid. This proposal is really stupid from every angle!

Maintainer Wiz said...

I'm actually for licensing bike drivers who drive on roads shared by cars. Too many idiots out there not respecting traffic, and thinking that cars are always looking out for them. How many of you know how to properly signal that you're making a left or right turn? I rest my case.

Mike said...

It seems that Ms Tucker shows as much good judgment in the selection of her staff as she does in proposing anti-bicycling legislation...
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2009/10/ekow_ynkey_aide_to_essex_state.html

Anthony Cardone said...

YES! YOU USE THE ROAD YOU PAY! JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER VEHICLE ON NJ ROADS.IF THE FEES DON'T COVER THE COST OF ADMINISTRATIVE FEES THEN RAISE THEM TILL THEY DO. As far as "the less fortunate"... suck it up and pay like everyone else that uses a roadway has to. The only thing wrong with this proposal is they should also have to carry some kind of liability insurance as well.

Anthony Cardone said...

If cyclists want laws enacted to protect them they have to start abiding by the laws on our roads. First and foremost ALL vehicles that travel on public roadways must be registered and insured. If you don't want to to pay take your bike off road and have yourself a great day of riding. You want to share the road with vehicles that travel on public roadways pay like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

In my view better bike safety comes from education - for example, bike skills taught in 4th grade, bike rules taught in drivers ed and questions on the test, a media campaign educating bicyclists and drivers re: lawfully riding in the roadway...