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Wisconsin town seeks to ban unregistered bicycles, pedestrians from using public roads

Saturday, December 24, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Wisconsin, bicycles, pedestrians

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(NaturalNews) Biking, running, or even walking in the town of Hull, Wisc., without official government permission could soon become an "illegal" offense. The Stevens Point Journal reports that a public safety committee in Hull is working towards mandating that all non-automobile travelers who plan to use public roadways or streets in Hull first register their "travel plans" with town officials before being allowed to use them.

The highly restrictive proposal, which many are rightly dubbing an illegal and unconstitutional violation of individual liberty, is a response to supposed accidents and other road safety issues that are allegedly on the rise as a result of increased road usage by bikers, runners, and pedestrians. However, records show that, since 2008, there has not been a single accident in Hull that involved a biker or pedestrian.

It turns out that the actual underlying cause for the proposal is that drivers are simply annoyed with having to deal with bikers and runners on town roads. And town officials are trying to placate them by enacting more rules and regulations in the name of preserving public safety.

When challenged about the relative lack of accidents involving non-motorists in the town, Hull Chairman John Holdridge ended up admitting that citizen complaints were at the root of the initiative. But rather than simply enforce existing laws about proper road usage by all travelers, the town decided to pursue restrictions on free travel.

The only problem is that current Wisconsin state law recognizes cyclists as having the same road rights as motorists. So not only would a Hull ban on street usage by non-motorists contradict this law, but any such ban would also be wholly unenforceable as the county's Sheriff's Department can only legally enforce state and county laws.

Either way, it is difficult to see how requiring non-motorists to obtain government permission to use public roads would do anything to address the issues at hand in the first place. Nevertheless, this reactionary, totalitarian approach to dealing with trivial civil affairs is becoming all too common in the US as the nation continues it plunge into a mindset of full-scale tyranny.

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