Thursday, June 24, 2010

Irrevocable right to the road

Excerpted from Bob Mionske's Road Rights blog.

Where the roads are dominated by the automobile, it is because they have been usurped. Many motorists—specifically, those who refuse to share the roads—mistakenly believe that their possession of a driver’s license gives them a superior claim to the road. These are the motorists who exclaim that, “Until cyclists are licensed and insured, they don’t have a right to the road.” In fact, the right to travel is an ancient right, now recognized as one of our constitutional rights, and the roads are the commons, open to all for travel and other uses. Rather than signifying a superior claim to the road, a driver’s license merely grants the holder the revocable privilege of operating a motor vehicle on the commons. Because other road users are not required to be licensed (and that tacitly means this right cannot be revoked) their right to use the roads is in fact superior to that of the motorist.