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Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill Passes after long debates and committee hearings

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Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill Passes after long debates and committee hearings

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Old 04-28-09, 05:28 PM
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Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill Passes after long debates and committee hearings

Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill Passes after long debates and committee hearings. This applies to 50+'rs, too!!

For those 50+'rs participating on the 50+ 1st Annual Ride, we will have some new laws in force by the time you get here.

http://bicyclecolo.org/page.cfm?PageID=988

SB 148 creates safe and common sense rules for bicycles and motor vehicles on public roads. Here are the highlights.

PASSING
The bill gives motorists more freedom to safely pass a bicyclist by allowing them to cross the centerline*when safe to do so. By allowing three feet passing distance, it creates a safer environment on the road.

LANE POSITION
Clarifying language gives bicyclists the ability to ride as far right as is safe. Also on one-way roads with more than one lane, bicyclists may also ride as far left as is safe.

MORE THAN ONE RIDER
The bill clarifies that bicyclists may pass one another or ride side-by-side if they are not impeding the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.

ANTI-HARASSMENT
Language in the bill*makes throwing an object towards a bicyclist a class 2 misdemeanor and driving towards a bicyclist in a dangerous manner a careless driving offense.

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Old 04-28-09, 09:22 PM
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Glad to see that they worked out the problems with the bill. I remember hearing on Fredcast that there had been some pretty silly amendments being proposed that would have severely damaged the bill.
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Old 04-29-09, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
LANE POSITION
Clarifying language gives bicyclists the ability to ride as far right as is safe.
No following you here, buddy. It wasn't legal in Colorado before to ride in the glass-strewn gutter or flirt with the ragged edge of the pavement?

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Old 04-29-09, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
No following you here, buddy. It wasn't legal in Colorado before to ride in the glass-strewn gutter or flirt with the ragged edge of the pavement?

tcs

I'm no expert, but I believe the problem was unclear language that needed clarifying. Check out the Bicycle Colorado web page - it may explain more.

http://bicyclecolo.org
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Old 04-29-09, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill Passes after long debates and committee hearings. This applies to 50+'rs, too!!

ANTI-HARASSMENT
Language in the bill*makes throwing an object towards a bicyclist a class 2 misdemeanor and driving towards a bicyclist in a dangerous manner a careless driving offense.


The Georgia Vehicle laws address the bulk of that. A bicycle is considered to be a vehicle and must obey the same laws as motor vehicles.

However, I wish that "anti-harassment" clause was in there as well.
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Old 04-29-09, 07:19 AM
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The only problem I see is that UNLESS, they FORCE auto drivers to study this for gettting their Dr. Lic. then 99.9% of them WON'T know the laws and will just run us over and plead "DUH, I didn't know"!! Unless a driver loses his/her Driver Lic., none of this will mean anything as most drivers would risk hitting a bicyclist, rather than risk a head on crossing over the yellow line to make a safer pass, JMHO.
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Old 04-29-09, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed in GA View Post
The Georgia Vehicle laws address the bulk of that. A bicycle is considered to be a vehicle and must obey the same laws as motor vehicles.

However, I wish that "anti-harassment" clause was in there as well.
Sorry to disagree, but Georgia does not have a 3 foot passing distance law, one of the more important parts of the new Colorado bill. Hopefully we will before too long, but not at present

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Old 04-29-09, 11:07 AM
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The anti harrassment provision is a good touch. Over the years, various items have been thrown at me. Fortunately, virtually all of the time they were empty drink containers, with a single exception (does that mean that deranged motorists are really cheap?) so even if they had hit, there would have been no damage. Fortunately again, deranged motorists seem to be blessed with really bad aims. None of the objects came anywhere near me.

It would have been nice to have seen other forms of harrassment put in also such as the beep and squeeze (the motorist beeps to get your attention and then passes way too close as a way to intimidate you). I have had discussions with some of these people and they claim to have an altruistic motive here. I am obviously doing a very dangerous thing by riding in the road which is populated by murderous maniacs so their doing this to scare the daylights out of me is doing me a favor. I suppose if they misjudge the distance and actually hit me that is also doing me a favor.
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Old 04-29-09, 12:02 PM
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I do feel lucky riding over here. Cycles are classed as a Vehicle and most of the Colarado Safety bill is already in force over here. We do get the odd car driver that causes problems- but I am afraid that within the cycling groups- there is an element that know their rights and enforce them.

Cyclists are allowed to ride X2 on all roads- and This element do it. No matter how many cars are backed up behind them that cannot safely pass. It makes sense to me to save your own skin by not annoying drivers that will take a chance to pass and hit you instead.

But if you want a real cycling experience- Go to Holland where Bikes have priority- Or France where they don't need no rules to respect Cyclists- They just do it automatically.
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Old 04-29-09, 12:48 PM
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My only question is who determines where "SAFE" is ??? I give parked cars 3 ft but that may not be far enough right to be "safe " in some other persons opinion.....

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Old 04-29-09, 01:07 PM
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When does it go into effect?

Most new laws in Illinois go into effect on Jan 1 of the next year.
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Old 04-29-09, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by oldster View Post
My only question is who determines where "SAFE" is ??? I give parked cars 3 ft but that may not be far enough right to be "safe " in some other persons opinion.....

Bud
Firstly, the police officer who gives or doesn't give a ticket.

Then, the judge if there is a dispute.

Many traffic laws are like this: "Careless Driving" - "Reckless Driving" - "Following too close" - "Too fast for conditions" etc., etc.

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Old 04-29-09, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
When does it go into effect?

Most new laws in Illinois go into effect on Jan 1 of the next year.
Early August - I believe it is August 4th.
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Old 04-29-09, 01:11 PM
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The wording looks pretty good to me, and it is consistent with the laws of most states. I, too, like the anti-harassment clause.
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Old 04-29-09, 01:15 PM
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Our Governor is a bicycler - hopefully he will sign it!!

The trucking industry, et al, are/have been adamantly opposed.
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Old 04-29-09, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Sorry to disagree, but Georgia does not have a 3 foot passing distance law, one of the more important parts of the new Colorado bill. Hopefully we will before too long, but not at present


you're correct. It's not there. I didn't say that the Georgia Laws addressed "ALL" of what was in the CO safety law. However, it does address the "bulk" of them.

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Old 04-29-09, 02:45 PM
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Coming back to the UK and many things are on the up for cyclists.

No way can you cater for all that a cyclist needs- but cycle paths and cycle lanes springing up all over the UK. Traffic lights are getting special areas for cyclists at the front of the traffic where cars are not permitted. (See attachment) Trucks are getting special Kerb mirrors to see the area adjacent to the kerb and the truck so drivers can see if bikes are there- and this is mandatory as of 1st April. Trucks have signs at the rear of them warning cyclists not to get between the Truck and the kerb at junctions. And on top of that- Drivers are now more aware that cyclists do use the same road as them.

You still get the odd idiot driver causing cyclist's problems but they are now very rare. And the Police do prosecute fully any drivers causing problems to cyclist's.

These changes are probably down to the increased number of people using cycles for fitness or enjoyment. Chances are that the driver that is giving us road room- is either a cyclist themselves- or have kids that ride on the road. Whatever it is- it works.
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Old 04-29-09, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
I do feel lucky riding over here. Cycles are classed as a Vehicle
A portion of the Colorado Law:

(1) Every person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this article, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Said riders shall comply with the rules set forth in this section and section 42-4-221, and when using streets and highways within incorporated cities and towns, shall be subject to local ordinances regulating the operation of bicycles as provided in section 42-4-111.
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Old 04-29-09, 03:39 PM
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I made sure to e-mail my local representative -- who voted for the measure -- to express my thanks. It's amazing what a battle they had to fight for such a common-sense bill.
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Old 04-29-09, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed in GA View Post
you're correct. It's not there. I didn't say that the Georgia Laws addressed "ALL" of what was in the CO safety law. However, it does address the "bulk" of them.
I understand. Not to be argumentative, but my point was that in my estimation, the 3 foot passing rule and the anti-harassment rule is "the bulk" of this bill. The lane position and side by side riding parts are clarifications of existing rules (similar to Georgia's rules) to prevent very technical interpretations of the existing rules from negating their real intent.

As a cycling advocate on the local level I have spoken with and get a lot of email traffic from statewide cycling advocates who are working hard to bring the Georgia cycling laws up to the standards of other states like Colorado and Oregon. From the tone of their discussions, they feel we have a long way to go before we could be considered a state with bicycle friendly laws.
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Old 04-30-09, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Or France where they don't need no rules to respect Cyclists- They just do it automatically.
It really is pretty amazing how relaxed riding here in France is. Nevertheless there are drivers who don't much care all that much and will fly by with a certain proximity that isn't welcome of course. Bunches of riders invariably ride in a bunch too though I think most, at least around here in the Alps, will pull over when they hear cars coming up behind, unless it's a blind corner and it's safer to force the car to wait. All the stories that come out of the states regarding laws, cyclists, and cars make me once again thankful I'm here and not there. Heck, one time I raced two cop cars off the col above my house. I kid you not. They passed me during the climb up the backside just before the summit and right away in the first drop I closed on the second car and the gendarme in back saw me coming, apparently said something to the driver who then radioed the car in front and with that the race was on. They were squealing tires around the hairpins the accelerating in the straights while I was doing everything I could do bag em up but in the end couldn't; too many straights. And another time I was hauling butt off one of the high cols and passing cars by riding the line and met a van full of gendarmes coming up. They just pulled more to the side to let me pull through. Perfectly normal behavior.
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Old 04-30-09, 10:25 AM
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Something struck me. Does this address cyclists riding on sidewalks? I have a problem with cyclists using the sidewalk and thinking somehow they should be there.
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Old 04-30-09, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
Something struck me. Does this address cyclists riding on sidewalks? I have a problem with cyclists using the sidewalk and thinking somehow they should be there.
Sidewalk riding is clearly illegal in Georgia (except where specifically allowed), but that doesn't stop people from doing it. The police in my town almost never enforce this. In fact, many of them are not aware that is illegal. For that matter, some of them are not aware that it is legal for bicycles to ride on the roads.
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Old 04-30-09, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Our Governor is a bicycler - hopefully he will sign it!!

The trucking industry, et al, are/have been adamantly opposed.
The governor has announced he would sign on June 7 In Douglas County he was orginally
thinking about Denver Fox's house in Parker but based on the expected 3000 plus riders in attendence
he has chosen to sign at Douglas County fairgrounds (ie the elephant rock bike ride)
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Old 05-01-09, 08:00 AM
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Sounds very good...
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