Bicycle Coalition seeks legal protections

Discussion in 'Activism / Safety' started by SUX VR40 Rider, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    Maybe this year we'll get this passed. It should be easier now that it has passed the Senate and one item is already covered under another law.

    The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is again gearing up to try to get state lawmakers to pass a bicycle safety law in 2010.

    A bill backed by the Bicycle Coalition passed the Iowa Senate last year, but stalled in the Iowa House. It would have stipulated that motorists are liable if they strike a cyclist when they open a car door. Mark Wyatt, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition’s executive director, says they won’t push for that part of the bill any more as they’ve been assured state law already covers that.

    “That’s one of those things that we heard enough from the legislature that they believe it’s covered and that liability already would exist, so we’re not going to pursue that,” Wyatt says. “But we’re still looing at a passing distance for bicycles.”

    The bill that passed the Iowa Senate this past spring would have required that motorists maintain a five-foot distance when passing a bicyclist.

    “There’s 15 states currently in the United States, you know, Wisconsin and Illinois being closest to us, that require motor vehicles to pass three even five feet from a bicyclist if one is using a roadway,” Wyatt says.

    Eight bicyclists were killed in collisions with vehicles on Iowa roads last year, while 430 were injured in wrecks.

    Under the bill that stalled in the legislature last spring, motorists caught following a bike too closely would have faced a $25 ticket and if the cyclist gets injured, the fine would have jumped to $500. If the cyclist is killed, the fine would have been $1000.

    The coalition’s “Iowa Bicycle Summit” is scheduled on Friday, January 29 and Saturday, January 30 in Des Moines at the Iowa Events Center.


    Bicycle Coalition seeks legal protections
     
  2. Mike1jw

    Mike1jw Member

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    Can't say I know much about this stuff but I wish the focus was more on bike lanes rather than laws that people aren't going to obey anyway. I'm sure in every city there are at least some of it's city street that can accommodate a couple of feet on each side, and the rural roads shouldn't be a problem at all. Of course, the biggist obstacle, MONEY.
     

  3. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    The point of the 3' or 5' law is though hard to enforce unless witnessed by law enforcement the point is to hold drivers more accountable when they do hit and injure or kill a cyclists because they passed too close. The fines will be a lot higher and punishment more severe. The hope is because of this it will act as a deterrant. This has been very successful in Illinois since they implemented the 3' Law about a couple of years ago. Their collision rate between cyclists and passing drivers has dropped. Their 3' Law has been credited for that.
     
  4. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth New Member

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    I hope it passes. Five feet though would put them in the other lane in some situations. How would they handle that?
     
  5. djcyberlegend

    djcyberlegend Group rookie

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    In that instance, they wouldn't be able to pass a cyclist unless they had enough visibility and are not in a no-passing zone.
     
  6. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    The majority of Texas is passing zones (for farm equipment and what not) but what would happen in a more metro place? Would the motorist be stuck behind an uphill cyclist going unbelievably slow?
     
  7. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    In Iowa, as long as there is a clear line of sight and a long enough distance faster traffic can pass slower traffic moving less then half the speed limit in a no passing zone.

    Near the crest of a hill this would be illegal, at the bottom of the hill on the way up where the no passing zone starts it would not be illegal.