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View Poll Results: What do you think of our "improved" 3' safe passing legislation?

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26. You may not vote on this poll
  • I really like it and I whole heartily support.

    0 0%
  • What it takes to get passed in the House, something is better then nothing.

    4 15.38%
  • Indifferent.

    4 15.38%
  • This is something I would not support.

    5 19.23%
  • Cyclists should outright oppose this bill.

    13 50.00%
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  1. #1
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    What do you think about the new and "improved" MD's purposed 3' passing law?

    Last years bill:
    WHEN OVERTAKING A BICYCLE, AN EPAMD, OR A MOTOR SCOOTER, PASS SAFELY AT A DISTANCE OF NOT LESS THAN 3 FEET.
    http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/bills/sb/sb0428t.pdf

    This years new and "improved" version:
    (2) WHEN OVERTAKING A BICYCLE, AN EPAMD, OR A MOTOR SCOOTER, PASS SAFELY AT A DISTANCE OF NOT LESS THAN 3 FEET, UNLESS, AT THE TIME:
    (I) THE BICYCLE, EPAMD, OR MOTOR SCOOTER RIDER FAILS TO OPERATE THE VEHICLE IN CONFORMANCE WITH § 21–1205(A) OF THIS SUBTITLE (“RIDING TO RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY”) OR § 21–1205.1(B) OF THIS SUBTITLE (“ROADWAY WITH BIKE LANE OR SHOULDER PAVED TO SMOOTH SURFACE”); OR

    (II) A PASSING CLEARANCE OF LESS THAN 3 FEET IS CAUSED SOLELY BY THE BICYCLE, EPAMD, OR MOTOR SCOOTER RIDER 10 FAILING TO MAINTAIN A STEADY COURSE.
    http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/sb/sb0051t.pdf

    [The second option s/b Whatever it takes...]
    Last edited by The Human Car; 02-19-10 at 06:44 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Illinois has had a similar law since August 2007. It's a nice concept, but I rarely (never) have seen it enforced in Chicago.

  3. #3
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    The exceptions (loopholes) are big enough to drive a car through. A worthless, feel good law providng only the perception of protection for cyclists. Pointless.

  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Last years bill:
    WHEN OVERTAKING A BICYCLE, AN EPAMD, OR A MOTOR SCOOTER, PASS SAFELY AT A DISTANCE OF NOT LESS THAN 3 FEET.
    http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/bills/sb/sb0428t.pdf

    This years new and "improved" version:
    (2) WHEN OVERTAKING A BICYCLE, AN EPAMD, OR A MOTOR SCOOTER, PASS SAFELY AT A DISTANCE OF NOT LESS THAN 3 FEET, UNLESS, AT THE TIME:
    (I) THE BICYCLE, EPAMD, OR MOTOR SCOOTER RIDER FAILS TO OPERATE THE VEHICLE IN CONFORMANCE WITH § 21–1205(A) OF THIS SUBTITLE (“RIDING TO RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY”) OR § 21–1205.1(B) OF THIS SUBTITLE (“ROADWAY WITH BIKE LANE OR SHOULDER PAVED TO SMOOTH SURFACE”); OR

    (II) A PASSING CLEARANCE OF LESS THAN 3 FEET IS CAUSED SOLELY BY THE BICYCLE, EPAMD, OR MOTOR SCOOTER RIDER 10 FAILING TO MAINTAIN A STEADY COURSE.
    http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/sb/sb0051t.pdf

    [The second option s/b Whatever it takes...]
    So if a bike lane is present motorists can pass within inches? Sheesh that kills bike lanes completely in my book.

  5. #5
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    So if a bike lane is present motorists can pass within inches? Sheesh that kills bike lanes completely in my book.
    Ha, I can just picture that ... Top of the news today as a result of passing the 3' passing bill cyclists are now demanding the removal of bike lanes so motorists will be required to pass at a safe distance.
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  6. #6
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    fyi 1205 and 1205.1 text:
    "21-1205 Riding on roadways or on highway.
    (a) Riding to right side of roadway. – Each person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter at a speed less than the speed traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing on a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and safe, except when:
    (1) Making or attempting to make a left turn;
    (2) Operating on a one-way street;
    (3) Passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle;
    (4) Avoiding pedestrians or road hazards;
    (5) The right lane is a right turn lane; or
    (6) Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

    (b) Riding two abreast. – Each person operating a bicycle or motor scooter on a roadway may ride two abreast only if the flow of traffic is unimpeded.
    (c) Passing. – Each person operating a bicycle or motor scooter on a roadway shall exercise due care when passing a vehicle.
    (d) Walking bicycles on right side of highway. – Each person operating a bicycle or motor scooter on a roadway may walk the bicycle or motor scooter on the right side of a highway if there is no sidewalk.

    21-1205.1 Bicycles, motor scooters, and EPAMD’s prohibited on certain roadways and highways; speed limit.
    (a) In general -Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a person may not ride a bicycle or motor scooter;
    (1) On any roadway where the posted maximum speed limit is more than 50 miles per hour [Cyclists may operate on the shoulder of a roadway where the posted speed limit exceeds 50 mph unless otherwise prohibited.]; or
    (2) On any expressway, except on an adjacent bicycle path or way approved by the State Highway Administration, or on any other controlled access highway signed in accordance with 21-313 of this title.
    (b) Roadway with bike lane or shoulder paved to a smooth surface. –
    (1) Where there is a bike lane paved to a smooth surface or a shoulder paved to a smooth surface [COMAR October 29, 1979 defines smooth surface as a surface that has a texture equal to or better than the adjacent roadway and if the surface contains undulations which are no longer than the adjacent roadway.], a person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter shall use the bike lane or shoulder and may not ride on the roadway, except in the following situations:
    (i) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, motor scooter, pedestrian, or other vehicle within the bike lane or shoulder;
    (ii) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway;
    (iii) When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane or shoulder to avoid debris or other hazardous condition; or
    (iv) When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane or shoulder because the bike lane or shoulder is overlaid with a right turn lane, merge lane, or other marking that breaks the continuity of the bike lane or shoulder.
    (2) A person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter may not leave a bike lane or shoulder until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and the only after giving an appropriate signal.
    (3) The Department shall promulgate rules and regulations pertaining to this subsection which will include, but not limited to, a definition of “smooth surface.”

    (c) Motor scooter speed limit – A motor scooter may not be operated at a speed in excess of 30 miles per hour.
    (d) Restrictions on operating EPAMDs. – Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a person may not operate an EPAMD on any roadway where there are sidewalks adjacent to the roadway or the posted maximum speed limit is more than 30 miles per hour.
    (e) EPAMD speed limit – An EPAMD may not be operated at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour."

  7. #7
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    Figures, get politicians involved -- they like to talk, so words get added until you puke -- and you get something unwieldy and stupid that defeats the whole purpose; then they get to stand up and say, "Hey, we did something for you! Kiss our @$$e$ in appreciation!"

    I'd love to tour the country, stopping in every legislature I can find, and re-acquaint them with the KISS principle.

  8. #8
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Avoid this. Do not compromise. Study what happened in AZ (section C - Keith Bee* amendment) and now the result.

    AZ 3ft law history: http://azbikelaw.org/articles/ThreeFoot.html

    And now...
    http://www.azdailysun.com/news/local...aa0547867.html
    http://azbikelaw.org/blog/the-city-o...es-bicyclists/

    watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8imU93A7mLk

    *Also owner of a busing company
    Last edited by noisebeam; 02-19-10 at 08:58 PM.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Avoid this. Do not compromise. Study what happened in AZ (section C - Keith Bee* amendment) and now the result.

    AZ 3ft law history: http://azbikelaw.org/articles/ThreeFoot.html

    And now...
    http://www.azdailysun.com/news/local...aa0547867.html
    http://azbikelaw.org/blog/the-city-o...es-bicyclists/

    watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8imU93A7mLk

    *Also owner of a busing company
    According to the video, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the whole thing is the lying that the buss driver does to support his side of the story, and the fact that the police apparently took the buss driver at his word while denying the cyclist's word. Just goes to show the bias that exists against cyclists, in America.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    According to the video, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the whole thing is the lying that the buss driver does to support his side of the story, and the fact that the police apparently took the buss driver at his word while denying the cyclist's word. Just goes to show the bias that exists against cyclists, in America.
    Well, that might actually make some sense -- it doesn't *have* to show anti-cyclist bias.

    The cyclist was referring to laws that the police weren't even aware of. And he initiated the face to face encounter with the bus driver (which is pretty rare. Motorists are locked up in protective cocoons and on the rare occasion that one leaves the safety of their cocoon to talk to another it's often because they're mad.) The bus driver, on the other hand, didn't say anything that didn't jive with what the police knew (the police knew there was no 3 foot passing law, that he couldn't ride on the sidewalk ...)

    I wouldn't expect the police to know every law. However, when somebody says that the law says X and that doesn't jive with what the cop vaguely remembers, the cop should at least call the station to have somebody look the law up, or look in their book (at least in Austin, the police carry a binder with all the city and state laws in their cars. Though it's poorly indexed -- I once sent a cop looking through it, and it took him 30 minutes to find out that I wasn't actually breaking any law (I was flying an electric R/C plane in a park and somebody had called the cops on me. Nevermind that we do it all the time and it's not illegal ...))

    So the cop had to choose between a guy acting strangely (again, talking to a motorist in person is strange) and talking about a law he knows doesn't exist, and a bus driver who's claiming to be scared, and he made a choice. Poor police work, but I'm not sure it shows an anti-cyclist bias -- just a snap decision based on limited information and a lack of desire to get more.
    Last edited by dougmc; 02-20-10 at 09:30 AM.

  11. #11
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    fyi 1205 and 1205.1 text:
    "21-1205 Riding on roadways or on highway.
    [B](a) Riding to right side of roadway. – Each person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter at a speed less than the speed traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing on a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and safe, except when:
    ...
    (5) The right lane is a right turn lane; or
    ...
    21-1205.a.5 Reads "The right lane is a right turn only lane; or" http://www.michie.com/maryland/lpext...templates&2.0#

    And this is one law I routinely break as I follow the UVC "where right turns are authorized" (from memory)
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  12. #12
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Avoid this. Do not compromise. Study what happened in AZ (section C - Keith Bee* amendment) and now the result.

    AZ 3ft law history: http://azbikelaw.org/articles/ThreeFoot.html

    And now...
    http://www.azdailysun.com/news/local...aa0547867.html
    http://azbikelaw.org/blog/the-city-o...es-bicyclists/

    watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8imU93A7mLk

    *Also owner of a busing company
    Thanks for that!
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  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    Well, that might actually make some sense -- it doesn't *have* to show anti-cyclist bias.

    The cyclist was referring to laws that the police weren't even aware of. And he initiated the face to face encounter with the bus driver (which is pretty rare. Motorists are locked up in protective cocoons and on the rare occasion that one leaves the safety of their cocoon to talk to another it's often because they're mad.) The bus driver, on the other hand, didn't say anything that didn't jive with what the police knew (the police knew there was no 3 foot passing law, that he couldn't ride on the sidewalk ...)

    I wouldn't expect the police to know every law. However, when somebody says that the law says X and that doesn't jive with what the cop vaguely remembers, the cop should at least call the station to have somebody look the law up, or look in their book (at least in Austin, the police carry a binder with all the city and state laws in their cars. Though it's poorly indexed -- I once sent a cop looking through it, and it took him 30 minutes to find out that I wasn't actually breaking any law (I was flying an electric R/C plane in a park and somebody had called the cops on me. Nevermind that we do it all the time and it's not illegal ...))

    So the cop had to choose between a guy acting strangely (again, talking to a motorist in person is strange) and talking about a law he knows doesn't exist, and a bus driver who's claiming to be scared, and he made a choice. Poor police work, but I'm not sure it shows an anti-cyclist bias -- just a snap decision based on limited information and a lack of desire to get more.
    I hear what you are saying, but in the end, that "lack of desire" is the anti-cyclist bias. If it were a case of two motorists shouting it out, they would have been separated and statements from both taken and investigated. But since one was a "crazy cyclist," his issues didn't count.

  14. #14
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Avoid this. Do not compromise. Study what happened in AZ (section C - Keith Bee* amendment) and now the result.


    *Also owner of a busing company
    Great, looks like it's "open season" on AZ cyclists who happen to venture out of the bike lane to avoid the door zone, since that would be considered by some as being a "passable" bike lane.

    Added: What about cyclists making left turns, are they part of this clause too?
    Last edited by dynodonn; 02-21-10 at 11:30 AM.

  15. #15
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    FWIW I looked closer at the history today

    8/18 [Last years version]
    Pre-filed
    1/13
    First Reading Judicial Proceedings
    1/19
    Hearing 2/2 at 1:00 p.m.
    1/26
    Hearing cancelled
    Hearing 2/2 at 2:00 p.m.
    2/8
    Favorable with Amendments Report by Judicial Proceedings [New version]
    2/9
    Favorable with Amendments Report Adopted
    Second Reading Passed with Amendments
    2/11
    Third Reading Passed (43-0)
    At best that's three days to react to the amendment if you pay the $800.00 subscription fee otherwise that's only 2 days notice. I'm miffed about this.

    http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/billfile/SB0051.htm
    Last edited by The Human Car; 02-21-10 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Added link
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  16. #16
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    I voted not to support the law. It will ultimately make us the cause of the accidents and responsible for the damages as well.
    Don't get rid of the lanes. I prefer the lanes to the law. Since I have been buzzed by police I can't believe they would be of much help in enforcing this law. Lose the law and build more lanes. At least they help a little.
    Ultimately the only way we will ever become a "force" is by increasing our numbers. More bike lanes will increase our numbers more than anything else. While the lanes give a false sense of security, they attract more cyclist.

  17. #17
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
    Ultimately the only way we will ever become a "force" is by increasing our numbers. More bike lanes will increase our numbers more than anything else. While the lanes give a false sense of security, they attract more cyclist.
    Be careful or you'll be convicted of being a co-conspirator with me. Repeat 10 times "Passing idiotic bills like this will do more for cyclists then on-road bike accommodations." then you'll blend right in with the rest of the crowd.
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  18. #18
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbosh View Post
    Illinois has had a similar law since August 2007. It's a nice concept, but I rarely (never) have seen it enforced in Chicago.
    We have the same law in South Carolina. Outside of getting it's one day in the local media, no one has paid attention to it and I doubt if a single ticket has ever been written for this violation in the county I live in. Driving habits haven't changed from it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Be careful or you'll be convicted of being a co-conspirator with me.
    well at least I'll be in good company.

  20. #20
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Be careful or you'll be convicted of being a co-conspirator with me.
    double post, don't know what happened???? sorry

  21. #21
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
    I voted not to support the law. It will ultimately make us the cause of the accidents and responsible for the damages as well.
    What?, so you're say that if a motorist decides to make an unsafe pass, causes an accident, it's going to make us liable for damages?
    Laws like these help in defining a safe passing distance, and go a long way in providing a better definition than using "at a safe distance" which leaves the determination of passing distance to the motorist, and like the opinions here on BF, vary greatly.

  22. #22
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    this is a bad law that looks to shift the burden of proof in an accident away from the motorist and onto the bicyclist or electric vehicle operator.

    a BAD LAW.

    shame that such a bias to absolve motorists' culpability can crop up in a vulnerable users-safe passing' bill, worded like that.

    how did the wording of this years bill come about, Barry?

    Have any Maryland cycling organizations endorsed this law, or is it being talked down by the bicycle lobby there?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  23. #23
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    What?, so you're say that if a motorist decides to make an unsafe pass, causes an accident, it's going to make us liable for damages?
    Laws like these help in defining a safe passing distance, and go a long way in providing a better definition than using "at a safe distance" which leaves the determination of passing distance to the motorist, and like the opinions here on BF, vary greatly.
    No I am not saying that. BUT if this laws says(the way I read it) we must stay on the right of the road. Often the right side of the road has hazards potholes, ice, glass etc. If the cyclist chooses to avoid these he must move to the left thus allowing the motorist an excuse. Since the US has more lawyers than the rest of the world I am certain more than one will use this excuse and the new "bicycle protection law" to go after us.

  24. #24
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    First let me say of the bike crash info that comes my way, far too many accuse the cyclist for being in the wrong (or at best no charges against either motorist or cyclist) for not riding on the road diarrhea (called "shoulder" by motorists,) for riding too far right, for not taking the lane or the cyclists swerved. (I even have an instance where a cyclist was at fault for not making a left hand turn from the shoulder (like they're supposed to) instead they used the left hand turn lane.)

    Now we already have a safe passing law and our Drivers' Manual defines that at least 3' so this bill attempts to limit a safe passing distance to only "lawful" cyclists (see above) so therefor it removes the "last clear chance" doctrine in crashes involving cyclists. Some advocates are saying that the bill will increase the legal protection for those that ride far right and decrease protection for those that ride further left. But I feel due to our already poor interpretation of what is lawful behavior for cyclists this law is seriously going to backlash against all cyclists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    this is a bad law that looks to shift the burden of proof in an accident away from the motorist and onto the bicyclist or electric vehicle operator.

    a BAD LAW.

    shame that such a bias to absolve motorists' culpability can crop up in a vulnerable users-safe passing' bill, worded like that.

    how did the wording of this years bill come about, Barry?

    Have any Maryland cycling organizations endorsed this law, or is it being talked down by the bicycle lobby there?
    As how this happened, that is the question isn't it? Currently that is being discussed...news after the legislative session.

    Due to the bait and switch nature of this bill, cycling organizations are still on record as being supportive of the bill and so far I am the only one publicly being unsupportive but that might change soon.

    Oh, I want to personally thank all those that voted, you are helping to make a difference here. Thanks again.
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  25. #25
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Update:

    One Less Car got a conference call together yesterday (unfortunately I was out and about and missed this.) And we found out the mysterious amendment was from MDOT. And we now have people working on a strategy that will strengthen rather than weakens bicyclist protection if this bill passes.

    So the upshot is opposition to this bill is not the best strategy in the long run.
    Cycling Advocate
    http://BaltimoreSpokes.org
    . . . o
    . . /L
    =()>()

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