Comment & Analysis: “They should pay road tax”, “If they are on the road, they should be taxed”, “they should be taxed to pay for cycle lanes”, “cyclists should pay tax like everyone else” etc are common tropes from people who are for one reason or another being silly.
Cyclists do pay tax, most are motorists too, and there’s no such thing as road tax. But all of those rational points, and others, are missing the point.
The idea of taxing cycling is just that — silly.
And it extends to being idiotic if the person involved with the idea has thought about it much and are still of the view that cyclists should be taxed…. Why?
Firstly, trying to debate or make honest points rationally against the idea is missing the point. The idea is based on some irrational (1) dislike of cycling/cyclists, (2) hate of cycling/cyclists, (3) general undervaluing of cycling — most of which can be explained by what’s called.
The real issue with people calling for taxing cycling is that they won’t say they are hating and/or undervaluing cycling.
It won’t be solved by every single cyclist going out getting tax, insurance and even putting a number plate on their bikes.
Most of the people saying cyclists should be taxed would move onto or focus more on some other pet hate they have about cycling or cyclists. An increasing amount of trolls are just using it annoy people.
But why is it silly to suggest taxing cycling?
While you or everyone might not agree with funding cycle lanes, but study after study show most people do and most cyclists are also motorists. Cycling is good for individual health, the health system, the economy and the environment. Taxing it would be silly when you want most people to take it up.
And cycle paths aren’t just for cyclists, they are for everyone who can use them to use, including you. If you or anybody doesn’t want or isn’t in the catchment area to use a library, footpath, sports pitch, park, a motorway, footpath or cycle path, that’s too bad for you or each individual. But taxes are collectively gathered and spent on the greater good.
Public transport, sports or the arts don’t lose their value because some people doesn’t get involved, cannot get involve or have hang ups. The same applies to cycling.
Most modern taxes for cars are also based at least somewhat on the damage done by that car, ie emission based taxes. Basically: You’re paying because you’re polluting.
Tax has also nothing to do with motorists or cyclists behaving badly, but, yet, some of the most common times that tax is mentioned is when motorists are complaining about cyclists or in reaction to cyclists complaining about motorists.
It shouldn’t need to be said but having or not having tax doesn’t give anybody the right to break the law or endanger someone else. These are the silly things you have to clarify when dealing with calls for taxing cycling.
Cyclists do pay tax, as I already mentioned, most are motorists too. Maybe they should actually get a refund for the days they leave their car at home? Cyclists also pay for property tax, income tax, VAT/sales tax etc etc.
Overall nobody in any place that hasn’t gone totally bonkers is going to try to tax cycling because it’d be a very, very silly thing to do. Even if it was a nominal fee, the administration and policing costs of it wouldn’t even be worth it.
It’s just silly please stop trying to rational it.
PS: As for identification, cyclists are just as identifiable as pedestrians, with the addition of the description of their bikes. The reason motorists need to be more identifiable is level of harm, death and property damage they cause. That so many people cannot understand that, it shows the lack of understanding of how more dangerous cars are.