Recently, in Legally Speaking, we reported on proposals in Portland and Seattle to implement bicycle taxes, and expanded on that Legally Speaking column in our blog post "A Bicycle Tax?" In response to that blog post, reader Rich Wilson raised some questions about a controversy brewing in Los Angeles over recent enforcement efforts:
When that Seattle Times article came up, a list I subscribe to discussed various rider and bike registration fees. Someone reported that LA has a bike registration (I think it's $4?) and that the police will ticket you for it ($161 fine?), but that it's pretty hard to actually get a registration, as they only sell them a few hours of the week. Anyone from LA have more info? Any advice, Bob, for how one might fight such a thing in court? It doesn't sound like something your avarege citizen could successfully argue in traffic court.
We looked into it, and just as Rich reported, there has indeed been at least one ticket issued for riding an unlicensed bike. Here's what happened.