Quam is a legislator in the state of Minnesota:
And given his political allegiances it probably won't surprise you that he has no "quams" about taking away his constituents' freedoms. Indeed, yesterday a Twitterer informed me that Quam has proposed a bill that would require you to take a safety course, obtain a permit, and be older than 15 years old in order to ride in an "urban bicycle lane:"
(b) The commissioner of public safety must establish an urban bicycle lane use permit.
The permit issued must be in the form of an individual card created by the commissioner
of public safety, or as an endorsement on a driver's license or Minnesota identification card
issued under chapter 171.
(c) In order to receive an urban bicycle lane use permit under this subdivision, a person
must: (1) successfully complete the bicycle safety education program under section 171.336;
(2) be at least 15 years of age; (3) register the bicycle with the commissioner of public
safety; and (4) pay a fee of $5 to the commissioner of public safety.
WOW! This will keep people off bikes, kill bike lanes, give police an excuse to stop anybody and everybody, and help round up those dreaded illegals all in one fell swoop!
A helmet law seems positively quaint in comparison.
As for that "safety education program," it sounds wonderfully onerous:
Sec. 3. [171.336] BICYCLE SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM.
Subdivision 1. Program created. (a) A bicycle safety education program is established,
which shall be administered by the commissioner of public safety. The bicycle safety program
may be based in part on the motorcycle safety education program under section 171.335.
(b) The bicycle safety program must consist of (1) a bicycle safety course; and (2) a
bicycle safety examination.
(c) At a minimum, both the bicycle safety course and the examination must include:
(1) the legal requirements governing operation of a bicycle, including traffic regulations
under chapter 169 that apply to the operation of bicycles;
(2) best practices for the safe operation of a bicycle on public roadways;
(3) recommended and required bicycle safety equipment;
(4) riding skills and collision-avoidance techniques; and
(5) any other information the commissioner deems necessary to ensure the safe operation
Subd. 2. Bicycle safety examination. (a) At the conclusion of the bicycle safety education
program, the commissioner must administer an examination on the materials covered by
the bicycle safety course. Individuals who, in the commissioner's judgment, demonstrate
sufficient knowledge to safely operate a bicycle on a public roadway are eligible for the
urban bicycle lane use permit under section 169.222, subdivision 12.
(b) A person who attends the bicycle safety program but does not intend to apply for an
urban bicycle lane use permit under section 169.222, subdivision 12, is not required to take
the bicycle safety examination under this subdivision.
Subd. 3. Appropriation. All funds collected from the fee imposed under section 169.222,
subdivision 12, are annually appropriated to the commissioner of public safety to carry out
the purposes of subdivisions 1 and 2, and to pay the administrative costs associated with
issuance of the urban bicycle lane permit under section 169.222, subdivision 12.
That's almost more than you have to do to drive a car! Ironic, since without any sort of training the vast majority of people on bicycles manage perfectly fine--that is until some moron hits them with a car.
Plus, requiring cyclists to be 15 before riding in a bike lane (which is the safest place to ride, so chew on that one for awhile) is a great way to enourage kids in Minnesota to decide: "Eh, fuck that, I'll just wait three more years and get a permit for an assault weapon."
Anyway, Minnesota is home to one of America's most bike-tastic cities (Minneapolis), as well as QBP and who knows how many other bike-related companies. Therefore, Quam should have an even harder time getting this through the legislature than he does getting his own corpulence through the door of his Hyundai.
Nevertheless, as cyclists we must remain eternally vigilant, because if nothing else it's clear that the forces of stupidity and evil recognize the bicycle as a vulnerable entry point in their mission to undermine freedom, self-sufficiency, and common sense. See, the average American is indifferent or slightly suspicious of people who ride bikes, so disguising anti-bike legislation as a "safety initiative" can be an effective ploy. Then, once they pass that, everybody from the smug commie beardo to the poor and undocumented is fair game for harassment.
Meanwhile, in other uplifting news, if some drunk kills you with their car in Chicago they might have to languish for ten whole days in jail:
Two put that in perspective, depending on how the dates fall, he could have to catch up on as many as two entire episodes of whatever his favorite show is by the time he gets out!
Now that's just draconian.
But at least he'll be out in plenty of time for baseball season:
Prosecutors said San Hamel had been drinking with friends after watching a Cubs game on May 29 when he got behind the wheel of his Mercedes Benz and headed down Clybourn Avenue toward the Loop. He struck Cann in the 1300 block of North Clybourn around 6:35 p.m.
I'm not familiar with Chicago but I looked up the address where this happened and it looks like he was on a bus route and about a ten minute walk from the nearest El station. Instead, he chose to drive. But that's okay, because he's really sorry now:
San Hamel's blood-alcohol level was .15, nearly twice the legal limit, and he had been traveling 50 to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone, prosecutors said.
Before he was sentenced, San Hamel asked Cann's family to forgive him, according to DNAInfo.
"I wish I could change everything that happened but I can't," San Hamel said, according to the website. "I just hope that you can feel some kind of remorse for me or forgiveness in your heart. ... I live with that moment every day, every minute, every time I lay down and try to sleep."
Judge William J. Hooks said he took San Hamel's remorse into consideration. In addition to the 10 days in jail, he sentenced San Hamel to four years of probation and ordered him to cover all of Cann's funeral costs.
Oh, sorry, he also has to pay for the funeral costs.
If some drunk sports bro takes me out please make sure you throw me a 13 trillion dollar funeral.
Alas, all this could have been averted if only he'd had access to cutting edge snack breathalyzer technology:
Yes, that's right, this Super Bowl Sunday you can blow into a bag of chips for confirmation that it's OK to speed home in your SUV:
If you have to blow into a Tostitos bag to know if you're intoxicated, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT DRIVE https://t.co/gnTcIIL7Oj— Lawrence Police (@LawrenceKS_PD) January 26, 2017
The bag, which is outfitted with mini sensors, is able to detect alcohol in the breath of the holder. If the bag is green, go ahead and head home. If it’s red, call an Uber. Not only that, but if the bag turns red, a code for a $10 Uber discount displays as well, although it’s only valid on Super Bowl Sunday.
But let’s just pretend that someone is so intoxicated that calling an Uber is an impossible task. What then? Have the bag call the Uber for you. The bag has been outfitted with near-field communication tech which will order a ride automatically if you tap it with your smartphone.
If it's green, fire up your machine. But if you see the red underpants call an Uber instead:
"But the bag said it was OK to drive!," your killer will explain when the police arrive to peel you off the hood. Then they'll sue Tostitos and use the multi-million dollar settlement to pay for your funeral.
Now that's a win-win.
Indeed, I can only see one potential downside in trusting your safety to a bag of chips, which is this: Will Tostitos be subject to the wall tax?