Special to SEGAZINE
Lawmakers backing the bicycle registration bill are pulling the bill after overwhelming outcry from bicyclists from all over Georgia.
Cyclists and non-riders from all over Georgia packed the Hall County Government Center in Gainesville during a town hall meeting Monday night. An overwhelming majority of the speakers were against the proposed changes.
Under the proposed bill, a bicycle owner would be subject to a $100 fine and could face a misdemeanor if the bicycle is not registered with the state.
Georgia House Bill 689 would have also required license plates to be put on any bike that shares a road with other vehicles. Groups of bicycle riders would have to stay in single file lines, no more than four cyclists per line, with four feet between each bike. 50 feet would have to separate each group of four riders.
But Monday night, State Representative Carl Rogers announced he and the other two sponsors would cancel the bill, saying “no further action” would be taken on pushing it forth.
After the meeting, which exceeded 2.5 hours, sponsors Carl Rogers (R-Gainesville), Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) and Emory Dunahoo (R-Gainesville) said the point of the bill was to bring people to the table to discuss bicycle safety, but they realized this bill itself was not the answer.
“I knew there would be a lot of opinions against it, and we heard that,” Rogers said. “But I knew it would get people in here,” he added, pointing to the standing room only crowd.
“I had no intention of signing or passing or voting for this law,” Dunahoo told 11Alive’s Blayne Alexander. “To me, it was to bring attention to an issue that’s gonna be a problem if we don’t start working together.”
“It was dropped just for someone six months later to pull it out,” Dunahoo added.