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Readers Respond

How to deal with Baltimore's dirt bike scoflaws

Contrary to Dan Rodrick's recent column "Where's the Republican candidate for mayor?" (Aug. 15), Republicans do have candidates running for office in Baltimore City, currently for City Councilman James Kraft's seat, and we are actively seeking a candidate for the mayor's race.

It is a truly uphill battle, but one that will not be ignored. Whenever a Republican poses a serious candidacy, the Democrats use tactics like the one they used in 2005, when all the Democratic election judges called in sick in precincts favorable to Republicans.

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As for Mr. Rodricks' charge that Republicans don't have any ideas about how to improve the city, here's one:

If the city wants to control dirt bikes, it should get the state legislature to approve a new law requiring all motorized vehicles to be licensed.

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Give unlicensed bike owners 30 days to get a license, after which all unlicensed vehicles would be towed, including those on private property.

Charge a fee for registration and tags, impose a tow fee, storage fee and a fee for not being in compliance.

If violators are caught on a city street issue tickets to both the operator and their parents. Get compliance by offering a reward to those who report unlicensed bikes and pay them from the money collected when a bike is claimed at the tow yard or sold at auction.

This may sound harsh, but unlicensed drivers are a hazard to everyone.

J. Michael Collins, Reisterstown


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