Dear Editor,

I write regarding the requirement for licensing bicycles on Grand Bahama. I represent a group of boaters who annually pay fees to come into the country. With us, we normally bring our bicycles that some of us have owned for years. We have many questions regarding this requirement. (1) How do you prove ownership of a bicycle that has no title and has no VIN number that you brought on board? Even a notary stamp would not prove the rightful owner, only possession; (2) how can a bell or mirror possibly help you in a place where speed limits are rarely respected and drivers continually push the boundaries of safety; A bell will make you safer? Who would hear it? (3) why would you want to place a hardship on those who come here and support your economy not only by paying the hefty price of cruising permits, but docking fees, gas, groceries and other necessities. We are already paying VAT tax on money we pull from the ATM and then again when we spend the money - 15 percent! We are a large part of your economy just like tourism.

But there is a larger issue here. It concerns families struggling to make ends meet. Why would you want to discourage children from riding bicycles as parents with multiple children will have to go through this ridiculous process of hauling bikes to be inspected and then paying these fees? Bicycling encourages exercise and good health. You should be encouraging families to get out of a car and on to a bike! An annual fee of $10 per child just to let them ride a bicycle!

Appalling! Think of the greater good rather than the revenue, please!

We want to continue to come to the island but it seems that there is a point where you make it so burdensome that it is simply not worth the effort. For us, it is not about the money, it is the red tape and impossible requirements.

For Bahamians the cost, red tape and discouragement of good, healthy exercise. That should at least be a freedom and right of every man, woman and child, not a cost to them!

We are talking non motorized vehicles here! I haven't even touched on the environmental advantages or tying up already overburdened law enforcement with enforcement of this law. I can imagine the news when it gets out that a bunch of boaters in Grand Bahama are serving one month prison time for riding their bicycles!

Thank you.

~ Mary

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