A recent letter suggests a healthy dialogue between cyclists and drivers and makes a number of recommendations.
The first counter recommendation is not to use the term all cyclists. There are good drivers and bad drivers and some very bad drivers and those three adjectives can be applied to cyclists so let’s not lump the good cyclists in with the bad or very bad.
Secondly, licensing provides a false expectation. To my knowledge, every vehicle driver in B.C. must be licensed. So if that is the case, why are there bad and very bad drivers?
Thirdly, and I could be wrong because I obtained my licence many years ago, but do all new young drivers not have to take a mandatory course to be able to be licensed and, if so, how is it possible that there could be anything but good drivers among that group? Maybe it is driven by the desire to lower the insurance premium?
In the end, licensing for cyclists is not the solution and only becomes another indirect tax, a cash grab. What is needed is education and appropriate laws/bylaws that are enforced with emphasis on the latter.
But since there has been a significant lessening of traffic enforcement for vehicles over the years, do not hold your breath. I was an almost 20-year commuter cyclist in Toronto and I was cut off three times, knocked down twice, lost the right of way too many times to count by both vehicle drivers and pedestrians, and once as a pedestrian assaulted by a courier going the wrong way on a one-way street.
Unless we change our bad and very bad cycling and driving habits into what Holland has, and learn to respect others, only overzealous politicians will garner kudos for ill-suited policies.