Well this one takes the cake on stupid laws. Brought to our attention by an article onÃ‚Â LAist… Apparently, a 1995 law in Santa Monica allows police to throw any cyclist, even if not a Santa Monica resident, in jail for not having a bicycle license– and/or issue a fine up to $1000. Of note is the disparity between this law for cyclists and the one for car drivers who do not have a displayed license tag.
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The articleÃ‚Â states that police are currently enforcing this law, however, officials there say it is mainly for use in recovering stolen bicycles. According to bicycle blogger Alex Thompson, recent use of the law has targeted the homeless and a Critical Mass a few years ago.
A rep from the Santa Monica License Division was quoted as saying that anyone can send the city $3 and an application and the city will issue a license “as a courtesy”.
Interesting to note that a 1996 California law contradicts this one stating that the law should only apply to residents of Santa Monica and not residents of other cities that are passing through on their bikes. On top of that, the California Vehicle Code states that, in regards to bicycle licensing, no fine should exceed $10.