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Monday May 4th, 2015 9:07AM

Local lawmakers propose change in bicycle laws

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - Three Hall County legislators will hold a meeting Monday night at the Hall County Government Center to discuss proposed legislation that calls for registration and licensing of bicycles used on Georgia roadways.

Gainesville State Rep. Carl Rogers said he placed House Bill 689 in the "hopper" at the end of the 2013 legislative session, knowing that the measure would be up for consideration in 2014. Fellow Republicans Lee Hawkins and Emory Dunahoo are co-sponsors of the bill.

In essence, the measure calls for paid registration and licensing for bicycles that would be operated on streets that also are used by motor vehicles. Rogers said the legislation would change some operating rules for cyclists, as well. (See the link to the proposed legislation below.)

Rogers said he's already received hundreds of e-mails both for and against the proposal. He said the goal of Monday night's meeting is to get input from all interested parties in one setting.

"Our hope is to bring everybody to the table - cyclists, property owners, the people that are struggling on the roads where these cyclists are," said Rogers.

He said while the legislation - if passed - would provide another revenue stream for the state, the ultimate goal is safety.

"I want to hear from the cyclists - their challenges they have on the road," said Rogers. "The ones I have talked to, I've talked about safety for them and for their families."

Rogers said he has received several reports of cyclists being injured in Hall County when they've been clipped by passing cars on the roads.

Rogers said he is aware that the issue is an emotional one, but he hopes the discussion will be a positive one and that, as he put it, "common sense" will prevail.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 7 from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center.


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