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Old 04-28-09, 07:58 PM   #1
candy rain
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The Wisconsin Bicycle Federation led a "Ride on the Capitol" Tuesday

The modified march had two goals. The first was to call on lawmakers to stop raiding the bike fund and start passing bike safety laws. The second was to draw attention to the importance of bicycling to the state's economy.

"There are 4,000 (people) employed or impacted by cycling in this state," said Chris Fortune, chief executive officer of Saris. "And there is over $1.5 billion of economic impact, that includes manufacturers, suppliers and retailers, but also events like Iron Man of Madison."

A bill approved by the Wisconsin Legislature requires drivers to pay attention to bikers when opening car doors or face a fine.

The bill approved by the Senate and Assembly on Tuesday requires drivers to take "due precaution" to ensure opening their doors will not interfere with traffic or endanger any person or vehicle. Violators could be fined $40.

The plan also eliminates a requirement that riders allow 3 feet between their bike and any vehicle. It is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jim Doyle.

Lawmakers introduced the bill after a Madison woman last year fractured a vertebra when a motorist opening a door threw her off her bike. While she was in the hospital, the woman received a $10 citation for riding too close to the car.
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