Every time an incident involving a bicycle happens in Australia, the media and particularly the social media trolls en-masse tend to bring up the idea of registering bicycles. Some people argue that bicycle registration should be prioritised because they claim that it can improve road safety. To make things worse, repeated exposure to such contentions may eventually lead to the people believing that rego should be imposed.
If implemented, bike registration can result in more issues. For starters, bike rego even the state governments and motoring organisations such as the NRMA and RACV find it unnecessary. Second, it’s totally absurd to attach a licence plate on a bike. Also, it would be hard for the police to take actions when they receive reports on cyclists touring the road without licence plates. Find out the rest of the reasons why registering bikes is a terrible thing to do in Australia.
Implementation will cost the government a lot of money
Let’s start with the most obvious disadvantage of implementing the policy – the massive cost. The government will need to shell out money to create or expand an agency that will take charge of the registration process. And by the government, I mean you and I – the taxpayer.
And we’re not just talking about a small number of people.
According to a survey, around 3.74 million people in Australia use their bicycle for commute or recreational purposes each week. Even if the government charges processing fees for licence, it won’t be enough to cover for the entire operations. In the long run, bike rego will not only put a strain on the budget of the masses but also to the Australian government.
Roads are funded through taxes, not car registration fees
Some people think that their car registration payment entitles them to belittle cyclists because tey believing that the fees built the roads. In truth, the funds are sourced from council rates, general state and national taxes. So if I person riding a bike lives in a house and has a job, chances are they are probably paying more than their fair share of road funding compared to their motorist neighbour.
Registering bicycles would increase traffic chaos
Bicycle registration will definitely discourage people to use bikes so they can avoid paying additional fees. Competitive cyclists and weekend warriors will surely continue their passion for cycling even with the additional cost. However, recreational riders and commuting cyclists may find it a bit discouraging to register. This drastic change can heavily affect the economy in the form of traffic jams, increased demand for public transportation, and even pollution.
It will severely impact the poor folks
Not only is this notion misguided but also insensitive to the needs of the majority, most especially the low-income earners. The licence registration fees will only add up to the existing expenses of the poor. Just imagine if a typical household of five makes use of bicycles for everyday transportation. Asking them to pay for the licence of all their rides will surely be a huge financial burden for them.
Cycling is NOT dangerous!
Cycling is often portrayed as a very dangerous hobby when in fact, it’s far safer compared to walking. According to a study, there is only a tiny bit of probability for a person to suffer from a bike-related head injury. There is a long list of things you can do to minimise your risks of getting caught in bike collisions:
- Wear the proper protective gears
- Avoid overspeeding especially in busy roads
- Use proper safety accessories for cyclists
- Observe proper safety techniques
Statistics even shows that 80% of bicycle and motorist collisions is actually caused by the driver of the vehicle. This is why asking cyclists to register their bike won’t really contribute to the riding public’s safety. Road discipline will! Instead of imposing strict bike registration, Bicycle Network recommends using a multistep approach for road safety.
No other nation imposes bike registration policy
The final point we need to look at is the absence of bike registration policy imposed in other parts of the world. Sure, there are rules regarding wearing a helmet and other safety gears. However, you can’t find a country that tells its citizens to pay high fees and attach a licence plate on a bicycle. It’s simply unacceptable to hear that only cyclists who pay Rego are entitled to enjoy a safe ride. Everyone should be able to use our roads freely and safely in Australia. Registration is for vehicles that kill people on a daily basis. Bicycles are not that vehicle.
Registering bicycles – what are your thoughts?
Cycling provides a lot of benefits to everyone, regardless of your preferred method of transport It would be a shame to see you abandon your ride because of the bike registration issue. Given the arguments laid out above, what do you think about registering bicycles? How do you propose to solve the road safety problem associated with cycling?