Gainesville, GA - After nearly three hours of public comments, a group of Gainesville state lawmakers have decided to pull a bill that would have required all bicycles to be registered in Georgia and have a license plate affixed to the back.
More than 300 people attended the public hearing at the Hall County Government Center, most of whom were opposed to the measure.
Rep. Carl Rogers (R-Gainesville) sponsored the bill during the last week of the legislative session saying he's received more than 200 emails over the past two years from motorists who say they are being inconvenienced by cyclists who love to travel north Georgia's curvy roads and hills.
Part of the bill would have required cyclists travel in single-file lines with no more than four together every 50 feet.
"This verbiage telling us when and where we can ride our bicycles is a direct violation of free society," says cycling coach Roger Wilhite, who was eventually removed from the meeting by order of Rogers.
Only a few at the meeting spoke in favor of the bill. Calvin Stewart was ridiculed for complaining he's often stuck behind groups of cyclists.
"I have no heartburn with any of y'all having a good time, I just want to get to where I want to go," he says.
Rogers says he didn't plan on pulling the bill before the meeting began, but it became clear the majority were opposed to it. He also says none of the state's leadership including the governor would have supported such a fee.
"I think the main thing that I wanted to accomplish was bringing everybody in... and they got to express their opinions," he tells WSB's Sandra Parrish.
Rogers says he may draft another bill in time for the next legislative session in January that takes into account concerns by both motorists and cyclists.