A New FREE Program for Your Bicycle
Did you know? That the number of bicycles on the road in the U.S. increased from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009? That Florida saw a 70% increase in those who commute by bike between 2005-2014? OR that the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey now collects data on bicycle commuting in 375 cities? And our region is in the survey?
As numbers continue to increase for those that use their bicycles, not only for pleasure, but as transportation to work and to run errands, so does the potential bike theft. “Because we are a bike friendly community, we need to promote the safety and security of the bicyclist and the bike,” according to Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell.
Vice Mayor Maxwell brought together PBSO and local bike shop owners to address the problem. According to bike shop owner Albert Degoias, many of his customers use bicycles as their only form of transportation to work. Other residents are taking advantage of the cooler fall weather and riding recreationally. As a result, the City is pleased to announce a new program where residents may register their bicycles and learn practical tips about bike safety.
Lake Worth residents will be able to register their bike at various outreach events held by the City. At registration, residents will need to provide their contact information and an identifying number, such as a driver’s license number. That information will be collected into a database for use by PBSO. The ID number will be engraved into their bike in a discrete location. A uniquely numbered decal (sticker) will be issued and placed on the bike. The decal denotes that the bike is registered and will make it easily identifiable to PBSO.
How do I sign up?
The City will have a booth at many local events over the next few months, where residents may register for the program. The timing of the launch is in advance of the holiday season in anticipation bike purchases that may be made.
The First Registration:
A Strange & Unusual Night Halloween Event
Friday, October 30 | 6pm – 9pm
Cultural Plaza | 414 Lake Avenue
If signing up at an event is not convenient, Lake Worth residents may also stop by Family Bicycles located on 127 South Dixie Highway. The shop has bicycle registration forms - that will be forwarded to the City - an engraver and decals.
How much does it cost?
The program is free to all Lake Worth residents. All bicycles are eligible, and those who purchase bicycles in the future from stores in Lake Worth will have the opportunity to have their bike registered and engraved at the time of purchase.
What is the best number to use for identification?
Captain Baer recommends that residents use their driver’s license number, because that will be the easiest number for the City to search. He also says that a birthday could be used.
For security reasons, Baer recommends against using a social security number, which could lead to identity theft.
After I register, how does the program work?
Once a bike is engraved with an identifying number, it will be easier for PBSO to identify and provide evidence of bike theft. Baer says that the PBSO in Lake Worth frequently encounter suspicious behavior in regard to bicycles, but are unable to prove the owner of the bike.
Or if someone’s bike has been stolen, they will be able to report it and PBSO will be able to notify them if the bike is recovered. If they encounter a suspicious situation in which they believe a bike is being stolen, they will have definitive evidence to prove who the owner is.
What else can I do to keep my bike safe?
According to Captain Baer, the most important way to prevent bike theft is to purchase a quality lock. “They run about $50, but if your bike is valuable to you, you might consider it $50 well spent,” said Baer. The more people who register for the bike registration program, the more successful it will be. “This is best chance of getting your bike back if it is stolen,” said Baer.