Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 PA Walks and Bikes Summit in Harrisburg, PA. The summit was a meeting place for alternative transportation activists to assemble and take part in face-to-face talks with local and state representatives as well as promote awareness of two proposed bills.
House Bill 1110 is being introduced by Rep. Ron Miller and currently has 37 co-sponsors. Senate Bill 776 is being introduced by Sen. Folmer and currently has 14 co-sponsors. Both bills would protect cyclists in two important ways- they would require vehicles to pass cyclists with a minimum of 4 feet between them as well as protect cyclists from a “right hook” where a motorist overtakes a cyclist and then cuts them off by making an improper right turn into the cyclists direction of travel.
A motorist misjudging the space required to pass a cyclists, as well as a motorist turning into the path of an approaching cyclist accounts for nearly 12% of all cycle crashes. The lack of laws protecting riders from such occurrences is sited as one of the primary reasons Pennsylvania was ranked as the 13th worst state for bicycle friendliness in 2008.
The bill is supported by nearly every cycling entity within the state and will soon find itself on the floor for a vote. Please contact both Rep. Miller and Sen. Folmer to show your support!