You gotta love my state. Our state is getting known not only for mishandling the highest per-capita revenue of any state (it also has the highest debt of any state) and the endless perp walk of politicians. It will now be known as the state of inane legislation.
I always get concerned when the first explanation of a new legislation is “to protect our children.” So when Masiguy posted that my wonderful state is trying to protect my two kids, I sat up and took notice.
Back in 2006, the Assembly considered a bill saying:
It shall be an unlawful practice for any person to sell a bicycle [intended for use by children] with a front wheel diameter of 20 inches or less, which is equipped with a quick release wheel, exclusive of specialty adult bicycles.
OK, so what. Sounds like that would be a good idea. 20 inch wheels are for fairly young kids anyway so I don’t see them needing a quick wheel change in a high stakes race. Plus, I remember noticing that virtually no bikes, including racing bikes, actually had quick release wheels at that size. So NJ State Assembly, have at it! Ban something that does not exist. Way to spend more tax dollars!
But, like a bad horror movie, something more sinister lurked around the next corner. The bill recently passed the Assembly. It looked a little different than when it went in. This was added in addition to the 20 inch or less line to broaden our State’s child protection.
c. (1) It shall be an unlawful practice for any person to sell a bicycle which is equipped with a quick release wheel if:
(a) the front wheel diameter is greater than 20 inches; or
(b) it is a specialty adult bicycle with a front wheel diameter of 20 inches or less
Wait a minute! Wheels of 20 inches or less and wheels greater than 20 inches! What’s left! This bill is now at the State Senate and if passed will hurt shop owners, not help children. Look at our State’s geography, no one in the state is too far from either Pennsylvania, New York, or (tax free) Delaware. The most profitable bike shop will be the one right over the border.
I almost prefer when our elected officials spent their time routing money to friends rather than making laws.