How come they don’t require bicyclists to have licenses – and carry insurance?
Put another way – in the language of Cloverism (authoritarian collectivism; see here for a fuller explanation) how come they’re allowed to ride free of such conditions and controls?
After all, drivers are not.
Shouldn’t consistency apply?
Operating a car is considered a conditional privilege – something you’re allowed to do, but only under certain terms and conditions. The government (a rhetorical sleight of hand; really, “government” is just other people who have various titles and have given themselves authority over you – unless you actually did consent, which you probably didn’t – to force you to do as they say) requires that drivers get licensed, have their vehicles inspected (and made a certain way) and carry insurance to “cover” the possibility of damage/harm they may cause.
They, too, operate on the “public” roads (that is, owned by the government – or rather, owned by those people with titles who forcibly take your money and order you about and leave you very little in the way of free choice, transportation-wise or otherwise). How are we to know whether they’re “safe” to ride, without their having submitted to a government test of their abilities? They might be blind. They might not know the proverbial rules of the road. A prospective driver is required to demonstrate such knowledge – and will be denied permission to drive on the “public” roads if he incorrectly answers one too many of the questions on his driver’s license test. Yet no such test is required of cyclists before they are allowed to ride – may operate their vehicle on the “public” roads.
No flapdoodle, please, about bicycles not being a potential threat to “safety.”
Granted, a cyclist probably won’t do as much damage to your vehicle if he runs a light and runs into you. But the same is just as true – on a sliding scale – of a motorcycle or scooter. And their “operators” (in DMV-ese) are required to be licensed and insured.
The insurance thing – the lack of requirement thereof, if you’re a cyclist – is particularly galling.
First, you might get hurt. It is certainly a very real possibility. Who will pay?
And, the fact is a cyclist is much more vulnerable than a driver – who, after all, is protected by a cocoon of steel. A minor fall or impact on a bike can have catastrophic consequences.
Society has an interest, does it not?
How can it be that a cyclist is allowed to ride without insurance?
And yet, they are allowed.
Even more obnoxious – in terms of the micromanagement by government of cars and drivers – is that cyclists are free to buy whatever type of bike they prefer, equipped as they like. Cycle manufacturers are not required to build bikes to government specifications. NHTSA and DOT – the massive federal regulatory bureaucracies that scrutinize, control and decree literally aspect of motor vehicle design – are mute and indifferent when it comes to bicycles.
This is outrageous!
This is one of the problems with Cloverism (authoritarian collectivism). The collective is subjective. It is arbitrary. The force of government – the violence controlled by the people who control the apparatus of government – is directed willy-nilly at some individuals or groups or categories, but not others. There is no principle behind this scattershot application of violence other than the whim of the collective as expressed via the apparatus of government.
It is why – as a for-instance – there is not (yet) mandatory insurance for bicycle rider or gun (or step-ladder) owners. Notwithstanding that the same arguments wheeled out to justify mandatory car insurance apply just as logically to cyclists.
If, that is, logic were the deciding factor.
Submitted for your review:
* According to the Centers for Disease Control (same outfit that screeches guns – gun ownership – is a “public health issue”) bicycle riders “face a higher risk of crash-related injury and death than occupants of motor vehicles.”
* Each year, there are approximately half a million emergency room visits due to bicycle-related injuries.
(See here for more.)
Well, how about them apples? Riding a bicycle is not just “risky” – it is riskier than driving a car. A fact. Logically, then, there is a stronger argument for regulating – that is, controlling – how riders are allowed to ride. For mandatory bicycle licensing and insurance. For government-mandated bicycle “safety” equipment (helmets being just a start). How about tags and annual inspections? Hey, we’re just getting started!
It’s even more unfortunate, though, that morality isn’t a factor in these decisions made for us by others against our will – or at least, without our consent.
That is: What gives these others the moral right to interpose themselves – violently, never forget – and insist we do this, not do that… or else?
Underlying all of this Cloverific control freak-ism is a rejection of the increasingly quaint idea that grown adults are and ought to be responsible for themselves – and free to take decisions for themselves – without other adults pre-empting (and punishing) them. Typically, not for anything they’ve done, in terms of causing harm (or even threatening to) but because enough of these control freaks feel that a hypothetical “someone” might.
Thus, drivers are forced to submit to testing and licensing, to put tags on their vehicles and have them inspected, to carry insurance – and so on. Not because they – as discrete individuals – have caused any harm, imposed any costs on anyone. But because – as Clovers see it (as Clovers feel it) “someone” might.
Well, that same sauce is as good for the gander as it is for the goose. Let’s at least be consistent – and apply control-freakism generally and consistently.
No more free riding for cyclists.
Not if drivers aren’t allowed the same. Let’s make everyone miserable – and put each of us under someone else’s thumb. For “safety.” For the sake of “society.” For “the children.” It might just save a life!
Then, how about the alternative.
Individual freedom – and individual responsibility.
Risk – and actual harm – would not not disappear. But at least, we’d be assuming our own risks, freely chosen – and only responsible for the harms we, as individuals, actually cause.
Of course, that’s an idea Clovers can’t abide.
If you value independent media, please support independent media. We depend on you to keep the wheels turning!
Our donate button is here.
If you prefer to avoid PayPal, our mailing address is:
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079
PS: EPautos stickers are free to those who sign up for a $5 or more monthly recurring donation to support EPautos, or for a one-time donation of $10 or more. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)