By Ken Johnson, Board Member, Bike Utah
In March of 2009, Senate Bill 102 passed the Utah State Legislature making available a “Share the Road” special group license plate. The Bill was sponsored by Senator Wayne Niederhauser and co-sponsored by Representative Todd Kiser. In order to get the bill before the legislature, Utah cyclists, Bonneville Cycling Club, and Bike Utah raised $18,000 to demonstrate interest among the cycling community. This money was used to purchase 2500 plates for distribution throughout all of the Utah DMV offices.
During the 2011 legislative session, House Bill 206 entitled “Special Group License Plate Amendment” was passed. This law requires that each special group license plate have at least 500 issued plates for it to remain in the DMV inventory beyond January 1, 2012. It was sponsored by Representative Wayne Harper and co-sponsored by Senator Kevin Van Tassel.
As of August 2011, the DMV has issued 417 Share the Road license plates. In order for Utah to maintain this special group license plate, 83 more Share the Road license plates will need to be issued prior to 2012.
Utah is the 17th state to adopt a “Share the Road” license plate. Other states include Washington, Oregon, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, and Maryland.
The license plate has an annual fee of $25 that goes to bicycle advocacy. Vehicle owners can switch over to this special group license plate at anytime even if their vehicles registration is current. The license plate is available at all DMV offices throughout the state. For more information on the plates, visit: http://dmv.utah.gov/licensespecialplates.html#sharetheroad. The license plate is a great way for Utah vehicle owners to encourage motorists and cyclists to share the road.
Money raised through the annual fee goes to non-profit statewide bicycle advocacy that promotes education, trail and road accommodations, law enforcement, legal resources, commercial development, and cycling as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Funds will also ensure that “Share the Road license plates will remain available at DMV’s throughout Utah.