I was chatting again with a friend the other day. He was telling me about a mate of his who is adamant that cyclists should pay rego. His argument is that everyone should contribute to the “use” of roads.
Anyone who travels along O'Connell Street in North Adelaide and then on to the northern suburbs would have seen this over the weekend:
It is a very expensive traffic light that has been well and truly knackered.
Now I didn't see how it happened and I wouldn't wish any harm on anyone. I really do hope that nobody was hurt. Having said that though, it is fairly typical of the sort of expensive damage that is inflicted on public property by cars all the time and for which we all end up paying collectively. Usually someone is driving along in their car, texting and minding their own business, when all of a sudden they "lose control" and their car drives into a traffic light/road sign/etc.
I would not be surprised if that's what happened here. Whether it was a car, bus, truck, tractor or whatever, you can be sure that it certainly was not a bicycle. If a bicycle had hit it, at most it would have made a quiet metallic hollow sound.
If the local council or State Government Department responsible for that road chose to take legal action to recover the cost of replacing the traffic light, they would at most get a fraction of the money. Either the local council or State Government will just pay or the money will come from the compulsory third party insurer which, quite rightly, is funded through car registration.
It was not a cyclist who broke it and that my friends is why cyclists do not pay rego.