Quote of the day: cycling licensure-motor vehicle operator competence
The article reports that based on a survey of people in Greater Toronto, people believed--especially those older than 65--that requiring bicyclists to be licensed would significantly improve road safety.
Andrew Clark of the Toronto Globe & Mail disagrees. From "Bike licensing fixes traffic problems about as well as mercury cures syphilis":
The best strategy for getting cyclists to obey the rules of the road is to change those rules so they are compatible with how cycling works and to encourage better habits through education (as they have in countries such as the Netherlands). Are there idiots who cycle? Yes, many. They’re an insufferable bike-short-wearing nuisance, but they’re nothing compared with the menace of some motorists.Yes, I agree that the Idaho Stop should be legalized ("Failure to pass the Idaho Stop as an indicator of lack of commitment to DC's Sustainability Plan by DC's elected officials (Updated)").
If we are serious about using licensing to help alleviate road issues, then we should be considering mandatory retesting for drivers. At present, you get your licence and that’s it. As long as you don’t break the law you’re good to go until you’re in your 80s. During those years we can develop a few bad habits. We do rolling stops and get lax with our mirror checks; even the best driver can get rusty. If you selected 100 drivers at random and had them take the driving exam again, a significant number would fail. Why not require drivers to retake their driver’s exam every 10 to 15 years? It would lessen all the sloppy and dangerous driving we see on the roads.
And I believe that there should be a short mandatory "refresher test" every time we renew our drivers licenses. I think, based on research, the "refresher test" should focus attention on those driving actions we know to be problematic, from dealing with pedestrians and cyclists to distracted driving, what particular signs mean, etc. ("Proposals for bicycle improvements at the state level in Maryland," item #4).