Swiss stickers

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Ready to rock and roll

Just a quick thought. Switzerland has long had a compulsory scheme where bikes have to be taxed and insured. Known in French as a vignette, cyclists have displayed a sticker on their bikes that’s been available in post offices each year, just as motorists need a sticker to use the Swiss motorway network.

I’m just wondering if this national scheme influenced minds at the UCI? Could the idea of every bike being stickered in Switzerland seem normal to the Aigle-based governing body whilst looking bizarre to everyone else in the world?

I’ve covered the draconian scheme on here already but note that it’s been suspended, albeit for just 10 days as the UCI discovered the scheme provoked considerable outrage.

Decals dropped
Note that Switzerland scrapped the vélo vignette in 2010 after it was proving hard to enforce and against the backdrop of most residents already having third party insurance. Hopefully the UCI will also drop its compulsory scheme.

Nick January 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I don't think the program is draconian. It just sounds expensive.Lots of industry have similar certification schemes and I think the basic idea is sound. And despite my displeasure with the UCI, it makes the most sense to have the UCI run it.

I think some revisions would be helpful:
1. Make the rules for frames very clear.
2. Allow manufacturers to self-certify.
3. Institute a sampling based auditing program.
4. Suspend manufacturers who haven't been meeting the newly clear rules from the program.
5. Allow special (and more expensive) approvals from the UCI for questionable models or innovations.

The problem with the UCI program is that their approving the frames. Since UCI has made themselves the arbiter, they are assuming the risk for compliance. It's too much risk, it's too big of a system. That's why the prices are high.

The UCI should instead approve *the manufacturer*. Let the manufacturer be the one who is making the claim it meets UCI standards. And if the manufacturer is unsure whether the UCI sticker can go on, they can pay the UCI to let them make the determination.

bikecellar January 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Any expansion of the UCI in any direction must be resisted, they have no right and no mandate to regulate the cycle industry they seem to be determined to empire build in any direction they can get away with. It is high time the member organisations of the UCI called a stop to this and got back to the job they are meant to do. Which is……?

Anonymous January 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I actually agree with the system – certainly needs refinement, and a greater degree of clarity. I disagree wholeheartedly with the suggestion of self regulation. That would be abused by the major brand manufacturers – take a look at the specialized & trek tt models and how they ignored the 3/1 ratio rules for the head tube areas.

Nick January 23, 2011 at 12:53 am

"It is high time the member organisations of the UCI called a stop to this and got back to the job they are meant to do. Which is……?"

I believe their job is to regulate and organize the sport of cycling. I have no problem with the idea of the UCI. I just think their management sucks.

"I disagree wholeheartedly with the suggestion of self regulation. That would be abused by the major brand manufacturers"

I am not suggesting complete reliance on the manufacturers. My point is that the UCI does not need to approve every single frame and every design. The UCI can implement a sampling program and can audit individual designs on as needed basis (based on complaints, commissaire feedback). Based on the nature of products and how high profile the "infringing" frames are, I think frame conformance could easily be controlled using the system I described. This isn't medical equipment or a bomb factory.

And if a manufacturer is found to break the rules and had put the UCI sticker on these frames, it's a huge liability for the manufacturer. They promised UCI conformance and didn't deliver. Trust me, with the right legal agreements behind use of the UCI sticker, manufacturer self-certification with UCI oversight can be potent.

Anonymous August 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm

all cyclists should have, by law , road tax, insurance, and have to pass a driving test , and have annual cycle safety inspections, also they should have to wear a cycling helmet, and have working lights , front and back, for riding at night….. what is wrong with that??? I fail to see why any one should take issue with fundamental common sense ,and fairness. Cyclists are road users so they should all contribute to the upkeep, and safety of all our roads. Also they should be fined for riding two or three abreast, and causing any significant road hazard to other road users.

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