This has a few more steps to go before beign signed into law but it has passed this subcommittee.
Link: Bicycle Safety Bill Passes SubcommitteeBicycle Safety Bill Passes Subcommittee
Early Thursday, Senate File 117, the bicycle safety and
responsibilities bill, passed subcommittee. The bicycle
safety and responsibilities bill requires bicyclists to obey
traffic signs and signals, requires that vehicles give
bicyclists five feet of space when passing, and makes it
illegal to intentionally drive too close to or throw objects
at people who ride bicycles.
Senate File 177 was passed by the Iowa Senate in 2009 and
assigned to the Human Resource committee. Members of the
committee have worked with bicycle advocates over the
interim to amend the language of the bill. The amended
language retains some of the proposals from the original
bill, but also adds responsibilities for the cyclists.
A concern was raised by Representative Baudler
(R-Greenfield) about bicyclists visibility. Baudler has
recommended that all bicyclists wear yellow clothing. Such
a requirement hasn't been enacted in any other states and is
not contained in the Uniform Vehicle Code. Bicyclists are
required to have lights and reflectors after dark according
to current Iowa Code. They must be visible for 300 feet at
“There are not crash statistics that support the yellow
clothing proposal,” says Mark Wyatt, executive director of
the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. “Visibility might be an issue
for automobile or pedestrian crashes, but we don't have an
effort to require every car to be yellow or every pedestrian
to wear a yellow jacket.”
Senate File 117 must be considered by the full Human
Resources Committee, then the House of Representatives, and
finally the amendment must be approved by the Iowa Senate
before it is sent to the governor to sign into law.
Bicycle supporters are advised to contact the following
members of the House Human Resources Committee. Please tell
them to support the amended Bike Safety and Responsibility
Representative Mark Smith and Representative Sharon Steckman
are supportive of the bill. No need to contact them at this
time. Concentrate on the list below.
COPY AND PASTE THIS LIST:
Please support the Bike Safety Bill, amended Senate File
117. It is fair to both motorists and bicyclists. We need a
5' passing law for bicyclists.
The required passing distance could save lives. The
dangerous behavior towards vulnerable highway users should
not be tolerated in Iowa.