Should cyclists have to pay registration to be on the roads?
That is the sentiment that undoubtedly follows any news piece that involves cyclists and drivers, regardless of who is at fault, but would it really make a difference?
Global evidence doesn’t just suggest it wouldn’t, it categorically denies that it could ever be effective, or even implemented in the first place.
The study concluded that “reality testing of suggested schemes shows the low likelihood of any resulting benefits justifying the difficulty and cost of introducing effective measures.”
The study found registration would be almost impossible to implement, would force people off bikes and back into cars, putting more traffic on roads ending in further congestion and higher road maintenance costs.
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Another misconception is that registration pays for roads, so if cyclists are on the roads they too should “chip in” to use them.
“Taxes and council rates pay for roads, registration fees only really cover the cost of administering the registration system,” Mr Johnstone said.
“There is some real mis-understandings.”
“I know that there is bad cyclists as well as bad driver behaviour, but every time there is an accident involving a cyclist there are comments about registration.”
Mr Johnstone believes that it would take a complete cultural change to solve the issue.
“There is a real us and them mentality – I don’t know if social media has made it worse, but there are things said that people would never say in person,” he said.
“Australia has a strong car culture, and a low bike commuter culture compared to some other countries, so people aren’t used to seeing lots of people commuting on bikes.
“The government, at every level, need to see the positive role cycling could have.”