PEI

Licensing bikes not the best way to enforce rules, says Cycling PEI

Educating cyclists — as well as motorists and pedestrians — would be a better alternative to licensing bicycles, says Cycling PEI.

'Are you going to license walkers on sidewalks?'

Mike Connolly, executive director of Cycling PEI, says pedestrians and motorists as well as cyclists need to know the rules of the road. (Jesara Sinclair/CBC)

Educating cyclists — as well as motorists and pedestrians — would be a better alternative to licensing bicycles, says Cycling PEI.

The City of Charlottetown is exploring the idea of registering and licensing bicycles as a way to enforce the rules of the road for cyclists.

Mike Connolly, executive director of Cycling PEI, agrees rules should be enforced, but believes an education campaign would offer "better bang for your buck."

"We would like to reach the pedestrians, the cyclists and the motorists so that everybody is aware of the roles, everybody is aware of the rules that pertain to each user group and everybody is aware of what infrastructure is in place for those three user groups and I think that will help alleviate the problem," he said.

The City of Charlottetown is exploring the idea of requiring bicycles to be licensed. (Shane Ross/CBC)

Connolly suggests a program where if a cyclist is ticketed for riding down the wrong way of a one-way street, for example, or a motorist fails to leave a one-metre space when passing a cyclist, any ticket that was issued would be cancelled if the offender completes an online education course.

No second chance

Get ticketed twice, he suggested, and you have to pay up.

We do believe in education and enforcement, we're not a big advocate of the licensing program.— Mike Connolly, Cycling PEI

"We do believe in education and enforcement, we're not a big advocate of the licensing program," he said.

"If you bring in a licensing program, the bad cyclists are still going to break the rules and that's another rule they're going to break — they're not going to get a licence. So you're not getting the target group that you want, you want to get those people and educate them."

Connolly said the timing of the licensing idea is not great, either. He said as more people cycle to work, and see the benefits of recreational cycling, targeting cyclists may discourage a lot of people.

"Are you going to license walkers on sidewalks? Are you going to license pedestrians for using the sidewalk infrastructure and if they're jaywalking or crossing the road when they're not supposed to? I don't know if that's a fair comparison or not but we kind of see it equates to that."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Chapin

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