Kevin Montgomery R.G.D.

Licensing and Insuring Cycling

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It does not make sense to license and insure cycling.


Using licensing and insuring cycling as an argument for somehow holding cycling accountable is a fallacy. It holds no basis in fact, it’s a distraction from bad driving habits. Being licensed does nothing to stop motorists from rolling stops, rolling right turns or blocking crosswalks at red lights, and of course, driving at speeds over the posted limit. These kinds of actions in an automobile kill people, and cause costly accidents.


Why does driving a car require a license? Why are drivers required to be insured? Is the government out to punish people who choose to drive a car?




Cars are expensive, and dangerous. People take out loans to pay for them, and at times put maintenance on credit. The debt a car leaves behind if it’s destroyed can take people’s lives down with it. That’s why they’re insured. Cars driven carelessly kill people. That’s why they’re licensed. Bicycles do not share these problems. That’s why they are not licensed or insured, and why it does not make sense to do so.

2 response(s) to Licensing and Insuring Cycling

  1. Two points:

    1. You confuse two kinds of licencing: the vehicle or the operator?

    2. Cyclists do pose a threat to other road users, but not those using motor vehicles.

    Thus, you have not addressed the idea that bicycles (not bicyclists) should be licenced: to make it possible to identify the “vehicle” involved in a street/pathway/parking-lot incident that resulted in injuries. It also will help in recovering lost/stolen bicycles.

    Chris Bradshaw, Ottawa

    • Kevin says:

      I’ll defer to this report “Effects of Vehicle Speed on Pedestrian Fatalities”

      At 20 mph, the “Odds of Pedestrian Death in Collision” is 5%. Most people cycle at an average speed of 20km/h (12.4274 mph). Compare that to a vehicle like a car designed to go far faster, and weigh far more. At 64.4 km/h, the odds of death in a collision shoot up to about 85%. Bikes don’t travel that fast.

      Recovering lost bikes is already achievable through serial numbers imprinted on the bottom of every bike. They simply need to be registered with the police, free of charge.

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