Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bellaire TX USA
Bikes: Bianchi Alloro, Veloce, San Remo, Pista; Rivendell Canti Rom; Zinn custom
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Originally Posted by bullschuck
Actually, the final version of the bill wasn't amended that much. I think this rests on the Gov. The hardest parts of the bill (dooring, bike-only language) got axed in committee.
Even so, if police would just enforce that which is already on the books, cyclists would be much safer than today. It is ALREADY illegal to door someone, in many circumstances, for example; it just doesn't specify cyclist. It is already illegal to change lanes into someone. It is already illegal to violate someone's right-of-way while making a left or right turn. It is already illegal to follow too closely. It is already illegal to sound a horn for a non-emergency purpose. Tickets can be issued for all of these things. Elevating something to a higher misdemeanor will NOT necessarily increase enforcement, and may actually decrease enforcement, as I discussed in another thread. Traffic court judges are also, in my experience, tougher at convicting people than juries at the country and district court level. Look at the recent ACQUITTAL of a motorist who struck and killed a police officer who was on the shoulder/emergency lane, during a traffic stop. If no alcohol is involved, juries are pretty darned soft when motorists hit someone, a "There but by the grace of God go I" mentality, I suppose.
What we need, is a safe-passing distance, clearly defined. Three feet is good, as it is easy to estimate, even at a distance. Also good would be clearly-defined language regarding cyclist's ability to take a lane when necessary, and that a cyclist does NOT have to ride in a debris-filled gutter to let a car pass.
Just to be clear, I am a police officer. I am amazed at how ignorant some of my colleagues are, regarding bicycling in the street.
Have Colt, will travel...
Last edited by Rex G; 07-08-09 at 01:55 PM.