Bicycle riders required to have identification

Discussion in 'What's On Your Mind?' started by Doober, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Are any of you bike riders? Do you carry identification (DL) with you when you ride?

    I am asking because where I live in northern New Jersey there is a growing problem with large packs of bike riders on our roads who blatantly ignore the "rules of the road" for bike riders. As a result of a recent incident, it has been learned that even if the local police pull over a pack of riders for blocking the road or ignoring a stop sign or other violation, few, if any, of the riders carry any kind of identification and, in fact, are known to give false identifying information to the police.

    Do you think bike riders should be required to carry identification on them at all times, especially if they are subject to traffic laws even if bikes are not required to be licensed/registered?
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    You mean like "Critical Mass" rallies? :D We had one here that resulted in a $70K settlement for false arrest.

    Bike riders giving false names when they get into trouble is a long-standing tradition. I've heard of it a number of times when they've bumped into pedestrians.

    No, I don't favor requiring people to carry ID. It's un-American. Personally, I always carry ID, but I don't believe in forcing people to do so.
    jtodd likes this.
  3. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Ahh, Critical Mass. :)

    I'm not a fan of requiring ID either. Personally, I usually carry ID, although I'm not religious about it.
  4. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    My husband is a bike rider and I encourage him to carry ID as he has fallen or been hit by a vehicle while riding. Due to a medication change he now wears a medical dog tag so no reason to carry other ID. But my opinion is only from the viewpoint of it being a safety issue not as a requirement for all bike riders.
  5. RB

    RB Founding Member

    If a person using any form of vehicle on the public roadways is stopped for a violation then I feel having to provide ID should be required, either that or a trip down to the station until ID can be established.
    FetePerfection and Doober like this.
  6. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Did you get inside my computer and read the e-mail I sent to our township committee? :D
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Nah, I'm a mind reader.
  8. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Nope. If a person is required by law to carry an ID while on a bike, then not having the ID is a crime. This leads to frivolous charges and a great deal of hassle for good citizens. A few bad apples shouldn't be allowed to degrade the quality of life for the rest of us.

    It's better for police to be forced to go to considerable hassle to establish the identification of a truly unruly bicyclist than it is for rogue cops to be permitted to harass the decent majority with a frivolous requirement to carry ID.
    jtodd likes this.
  9. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I agree. You need to present a drivers license to a cop if he stops you for traffic violation. There is no such rationale for bicycles. What if you're jaywalking. Should you need to carry your ID for that?....

    Although state laws vary on the ID thing. I think some states can require you to state who you are to a cop if he has a valid reason for asking for it.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  10. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    However, in NJ at least, bicyclists are required to abide by the same laws as motorists:

    Bicycling in New Jersey is regulated under Title 39 of the Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation laws.
  11. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Yet a license to operate a bicycle is not required. I speculate that this is at least in part because a motor vehicle is inherently more dangerous than a bicycle.

    I like the idea of cheap, easily acquired and easily mastered transportation. When I was in Holland many cities had vast pools of bicycles that could be used by anyone. I'm not kidding, bikes were everywhere. There were very few plump citizens, much less fat ones.

    In the U.S. a bicycle can mean the difference between being able to live independently or not, being able to make ends meet or not, being able to get to school or not, etc. A lot of people depend on their bikes. I don't want to see anything happen that makes it more difficult to operate a bicycle. I don't want to give police another thing to hassle young men over either. If police can hassle young men over "bicycle operator licenses" or ID to merely ride a bike, it will increase police encounters between young men and police, leading to more frivolous charges and even deaths.

    After I got out of the Marines I rode my bicycle to college 5 days a week, regardless of weather. It was a good distance, at least 5 miles. I was never, ever hassled by police during that 2 year period. If I had been harassed, I probably would have left my bike at home and walked. Many people, particularly less affluent people struggling to make something of themselves, will do just about ANYTHING to avoid police encounters.
  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Would not hold up in court. Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege for which you are required to have a license (not an ID) in your possession when you are driving. That the license has evolved into an ID used for other purposes is incidental.

    Odds are that any law specifically requiring identification would be thrown out. The most that federal courts have ever allowed (Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada) is that in a "must identify" state you can be required to state your name.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  13. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    There was another (NYC) where an NYPD officer got the boot and jail time for filing a false report after spearing a bike rider.
  14. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    When I was between contracts and working at WalMart in WV I rode five miles each way for my shifts. I was hassled by a deputy (employee of the sheriff who just went to federal prison) once at almost midnight. I had all the required lights and reflectors, but he seemed to believe my headlight should be pointed at the ground directly in front of my front tire and not down the road where I could actually see things coming. He was just pissed because he wasn't paying attention tot he road and nearly hit me. (expletive deleted).
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.

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