New York State to Require Cyclists to Purchase License Plates?

Coming on the heels of an election in which the people clearly rejected the concept of government intrusion, one New York State Assemblyman has decided to introduce legislation calling for… well … more government intrusion.

Meet Michael DenDekker, Democrat from Queens, who recently revealed two measures that would require all bicycles in the state to be registered, inspected, and carry a license plate costing a minimum of $25.

Via WRGB:

It’s like your car’s license plate, but for your bike.

Two bills recently introduced in the state Assembly would require that all bikes in the state be registered each year and sport a license plate.

The first applies to personal bicycles. The license plate would cost $25 for the first year and $5 each year after.

The second bill would require a $50 license plate fee for commercial bikes. It would also require casualty insurance.

All bikes would have to pass a safety inspection -- including lamp and equipment requirements -- to get the license.

In an interview with Gothamist, DenDekker explained that the two bills were a result of constituent complaints on the difficulty of reporting cyclists who don’t obey traffic laws.  He expanded upon his vision, expressing a desire to one day see cameras monitoring bike lanes, holding cyclists accountable for their actions.

Safety is not the sole reason for introducing such a measure.  DenDekker has provided estimates of potential state revenue from the acts, starting with $1.8 million in the first year of enactment, and an additional $375,000 every year after.

Just last month however, the Queens Gazette quoted DenDekker as saying revenue generation should not be a bottom line when considering public safety.  He was reacting to a controversial proposal requiring individuals to pay emergency services units for responding to a vehicular accident.

“When it comes to public safety and emergency response, the true bottom line should be effectiveness and readiness, not revenue enhancement,” DenDekker stated.

Odd that DenDekker would decry revenue enhancement when considering one proposal, but tout it in regards to another.

More odd is his explanation hinting at possible future penalties for those not sporting a license on their bicycle.  When asked by the Gothamist about such penalties, DenDekker responded:

“No, there is no penalty aspect to this yet but, again, we have penalties currently for people who are riding without a helmet, not riding with proper lights, not riding in the right direction, and those aren't being enforced either, which I believe speaks to a lack of manpower in the police department and maybe the priority of how people feel about trying to enact every piece of legislation that's currently out there.”

So, current bike laws are not being properly policed due to limited manpower and a lackadaisical approach when enforcing every piece of legislation out there, and the answer is to provide more legislation?

The Assemblyman also explained that anyone under 18 would be issued a plate bearing a special identifying mark.

Do the ones that used to come inside a box of Honeycomb cereal count?

Cross-posted at The Mental Recession