LAPD Bike License Blitz

The LAPD recently started enforcing a little known municipal code that requires all bicycles to be licensed within the City of Los Angeles. The stated purpose of the bike-license program is to recover stolen bicycles and help locate lost children, but many local cyclists are outraged, saying the law is “ridiculous” and designed to discourage bicycle use in their “car-obsessed city.”

From the L.A. Weekly:

Until recently, Los Angeles Municipal Code 26.01 was little known. But then in August, the police department began to enforce its central tenet: All cyclists shall ride licensed bicycles; those who do not will be cited and fined. Upon learning of the LAPD’s accelerated enforcement, the city’s cyclists flooded bike blogs with outrage, saying that the code was “ridiculous,” designed “ultimately to prevent bikes in our car-obsessed city … for harassing cyclists.” Others posted plans for evasion: “Like, if I put down the name ‘Elmer Fudd, Address 666 Sexdevil Dr., Los Angeles, CA’ for my new Cervélo all-carbon road frame with Campy parts —will I face a stiff penalty or time in the pinta?”

Cyclists took their case to City Hall at a recent meeting of the city’s Transportation Committee, which met to discuss whether or not the bike-license program was accomplishing its intended goal: recovering stolen bicycles and lost children (supposedly, the home of a lost child could be traced through the bike license). Early on, however, it became clear that the committee was speaking to a constituency it did not fully understand.

Read the full story in the L.A. Weekly

6 Responses to “LAPD Bike License Blitz”

  • Steve Fuller says:

    If there were going to do this properly, they should at least be licensing the bikes at point of sale (IE the bike store). It seems that if you have a copyright or trademark and you don’t enforce it, you lose it. Should be the same with some of these laws. If it’s still a relevant, enforcable law, and and it’s not, it should expire off the books.

  • David Cambon says:

    What a riot! Los Angeles is so funny! Is this some kind of performance art or something? Is Los Angeles trying to be the ironic world capital of lost potential?

    Los Angeles cyclists should start a campaign to force Los Angeles motorists to wear helmets when they are driving. Head injuries amongst motorists are a much larger issue than unlicensed cyclists running amok destroying the social order of Los Angeles.

    And what about pedestrians – should pedestrians be allowed to use public transportation infrastructure without being licensed? It’s a lot easier to mount a license plate on a pedestrian that it is to mount a license plate to a $6000 Carbent Sea Dragon carbon fiber bike.

  • Eddie says:

    I guess LA needs more to do to keep busy. It’s not like they have any bigger problems to solve, right?

  • Croupier says:

    “Can you believe it? We’re in the middle of a drought, and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A.”

  • andy parmentier says:

    lots of movie and music stars in the city of angels. i’ve fallen and i CAN get up-i’m licensed to spill!

  • John Hoyt says:

    Hey, It’s all about the money! They charge for the registration and they charge you a hefty fine if they catch you without a license.


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