Obligatory National Cycling License (A Modest Proposal)

World Streets, together with a number of our readers and supporters, including city cyclists and others  working in the sector, UK cyclist traffichave decided to take a public position on obligatory National Cycling Licenses.  And that around the world the appropriate agencies and legislative groups, city by city and country by country, will  step forward one at a time and when they are ready to pass into their law a requirement that certain road users must take and pass a rigorous National Cycling License examination.

The examination should take place only after each future licensee will have already successfully completed a special course organized by the local bicycle groups to ensure full knowledge of and confidence of dealing with the challenges of the cycling environment in cities. [1]

It will not be required that cyclists be able to show this qualification. Rather it will be a legal requirement for all persons wishing to have a driver’s license for any form of motorized vehicle, including motorized two wheelers and drivers of cars and commercial vehicles.

Once the appropriate laws have been passed and the necessary  courses and examinations put in place, the test and cycling qualification should be required for all persons presenting themselves either for a new license or renewal for a license earlier held.

It is also proposed that all motorists who have been ticketed for speeding, reckless driving, or any other driving or parking offenses be required to take and pass the cycling license test within one month of the date of the offense.

Prospective drivers with physical handicaps but who otherwise qualify for a driving license will also be tested appropriately to ensure that they too are fully prepared to do their part to ensure a safe environment for cyclists and indeed all street users.

The cost of organization and testing will be fully covered by those applying for the driving licenses.

# # #

We now would like to seek your comments, suggestions  and eventual approval or disapproval of this idea.

  • In all cases we would ask you to pop in your city and country under the Comments section.
  • It would be particularly appreciated if you disagree with the proposal that you sketch the grounds of your views in the Comments section.
  • Finally, if you have any good references on this, they too would be appreciated under the Comments.

# # #

eb-about the editor - 9mar14



[1] As an example of best practice, Dutch motorists are trained for interaction with cyclists as part of their driver training when going for their driver’s licence. For example, trainee motorists are trained to check and re-check their right-hand side for cyclists before making a turn to the right. But this proposal moves well beyond that.


3 thoughts on “Obligatory National Cycling License (A Modest Proposal)

  1. While I have often though this would be a good idea in principle, I think it would be a disaster in practice.

    In particular, I think most people would miss the point and it would be almost impossible to introduce it in such a way that it would not become a requirement for cyclists, while not being a requirement for the groups it is intended to target.

    There is a large group of anti-cyclists who already take the view that cyclists should be licensed and insured if they wish to use the road at all. This group would easily hijack such a proposal.

    You won’t win these people’s hearts and minds by trying to force them into something they are prejudiced against.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s