Santa Monica Hates Bikes More Than Legally Allowed

I’m running out the door and don’t have a lot of time to spend on this one at the moment, luckily two other local bloggers have the full scoop on this inside and out. Basically the jist is this: California Vehicle Code does not require bicycle licenses but allows individual cities to require them on their own (you may recall a recent skuffle with the LAPD suspending it’s own bike license law due to misuse and poor enforcement.) But this isn’t a wide open do whatever you want policy, CA CVC specifically states that if a city does require bike licenses, the fine for not having one can not exceed $10 (ten dollars) and will not include any jail time. Well, apparently Santa Monica doesn’t give a shit what the state law says and they have a law on the books stating that anyone caught without a bike license riding a bike in Santa Monica can be fined for up to $1000 (one thousand dollars) and be sent to jail for up to 6 months, it also allows the crime to be bumped up to a misdemeanor and put on your record. Nice work Santa Monica, way to continue making life hell for people who ride bikes.

If you want more info on this, the two posts you should read immediately are “Illegal To Ride, Santa Monica Outlaws Riding Unlicensed Bicycles” and “6 months in jail and $1000 fine for riding without a bike license in Santa Monica”. The latter of the two has SM Gov contacts that you can call or email immediately and demand that this law be removed from the books.

What a mess.

14 Replies to “Santa Monica Hates Bikes More Than Legally Allowed”

  1. Looks likes Satan Monica is really embracing that bronze Bike Friendly Community award bestowed upon it by the League of American Bicyclists earlier this year.

  2. It is sadly not a joke, however it’s doubtful most people running the city even know this exists. I’m fairly confident that with it out in the open now, with some public pressure we can get this taken off the books as the cycling community was able to do in the City of Los Angeles.

  3. I never saw SM as too bike-unfriendly until the last year or so. But recently I’ve started noticing … it is very difficult to lock & park a bike all around SM… (I had one stolen from Third Street Promenade a couple years ago; I had locked it to a bench because there are nearly 0 bike racks/stands).

    And now this – it just seems so silly. Where’s the sense in it?

  4. Ridiculous. So very Santa Monica, where I live. I have attended many council meetings, and our People’s Republic happens to excel at nonsense. Remember them busting Vidiots for their colorful window displays? Or local eco-entrepreneur Paul Pearson for building electric cars?

    Thanks for the links: will write to the council members + alert the local paper SMDP.

  5. So, go get a license.

    You know how much it actually costs? Three dollars. And it lasts three years.

    Seriously. Is this even an issue? A dollar a year?

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