Ride a Bike, Go to Jail

The word is, Santa Monica, CA has a law on the books that makes unlicensed cycling punishable by up to a $1000 fine and/or six months in jail. From the Santa Monica Municipal Code:

(a) Any person desiring to operate or use a bicycle upon any of the streets of the City shall apply therefor to the City Clerk or bicycle retailer (authorized agent) who shall record the name and address of the owner thereof and a description of said bicycle. The City Clerk or authorized agent shall issue the license requested upon payment by the applicant of the fee herein required. Said license when issued shall entitle the licensee to operate said bicycle for which said license has been issued upon all the streets, exclusive of the sidewalks thereof or elsewhere prohibited in the City.

(b) Any person violating this Section shall be guilty of an infraction, which shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars, or a misdemeanor, which shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars per violation, or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Prior code § 3401; amended by Ord. No. 1026CCS, adopted 2/24/76; Ord. No. 1813CCS § 1, adopted 9/12/95)

That seems excessive for a city where drug dealing and pan-handling have been legalized (I kid, I kid). So much for the inroads achieved by Pacific Blue.

I wonder if anyone has actually received the full brunt of this law. More coverage at Westside BikeSIDE and Gary Rides Bikes.

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