Transport: The Case For Training And Registration

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 27, 2015 in News & Opinion |

If you need a license to fly an airplane, why not also a license to fly a drone? The need for some sort of registration of drones in the United states and, perhaps over the coming years, in Europe, makes some form of sense. It will not stop people from building their own and flying them illegally, but what cannot be done illegally when opportunity arises?

There is, however, something that I would much rather see happen, and it is based entirely on my experiences driving – and being driven – around Germany over the last few years. Training and a license for people who ride bicycles.

Expanding the Licensing Rules

Screenshot Source: Slate / Twitter

In Germany most people gain their first experiences of riding with their parents, as elsewhere I have no doubt, and the right way to handle road traffic in Kindergarten. There are special courses for Kindergarten and primary school children offered by the police and various national bicycle associations, but only at a very young age. By the time most children advance into the teenage years, and beyond, they have forgotten all the rules and good practices they were taught.

Yet, despite the lack of any real, formal training, anyone can ride a bicycle on almost any road. The fact that they have to abide by the rules of the road, watch out for pedestrians and other vehicles, seems to be lost somewhere along the route. Bicycles, it seems, have a set of rules all of their own, and the riders are not only invincible, but always in the right. They ride along the wrong side of the road, cross without looking, drive through the night without lights on and are generally more than just a simple nuisance to everyone else. They are a positive and constant danger.

Still, no license is required, no registration, no formal training. The accident statistics are not as high as other vehicular accidents, but the injuries often far more severe. Not just people being run over, or flying across the bonnet of a car because they cut in front without looking or signaling, but also for those forced to brake suddenly, to swerve out of the way and so on.

And, of course, licensing bicycles, forcing their riders to have formal training would bring a good income for the tax office…

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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