Update on Safe Passing Bill

Old 05-09-07, 09:20 PM
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durwood
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Update on Safe Passing Bill

Here is the latest news on the bill I received from the Texas Bicycle Coalition today. Durwood

Fellow Cyclists,

The Safe Passing Bill has finally passed the Senate! (25 yeas, 5 nays)

It seems that all of us have had the same negative first reaction to the "Brimer Amendment" to SB 248 and on reflection, the same turnabout. Also, today May 9th, Senator Patrick offered a "required rear red light at night amendment" to SB 248 that has our blessing.

Regarding the "Brimer Amendment" half a loaf is better than no loaf. It is a good time to remember that Lyndon Johnson said "Politics is the art of the possible".

I really appreciate all of your thoughtful and heartfelt comments that have been sent directly and forwarded to me from several cyclist forums.

In addition to feedback from the Texas Bicycle Coalition Board, some Texas bicycle advocacy leaders and many individual cyclists, I have gotten feedback from two Senators, a transportation engineer, two cycling attorneys, a cycling prosecutor, our lobbyists and two cycling experienced political consultants. Altogether it represents over 60 years of experience with the Texas Legislature and 100 years of cycling on Texas roads.

This is how it looks to the Texas Bicycle Coalition legislative team at this point in time (3:00 PM May 9, 2007).

Everyone is agreed that the "Brimer Amendment" is not good. It is also confusing and not well crafted. "Paved shoulder" is not a legal term and is not specifically defined in the transportation code. Roads with no paved shoulders are among the most desirable to ride on. The impact on roads with curb and gutter but no paved shoulder is not clear. This is a life or death issue for we cyclists and it is difficult to compromise when we believe more lives could be saved by the Safe Passing bill without the compromise.
The bill as amended is still better than the current law. The Safe Passing law with the "Brimer Amendment" would still apply the 3ft passing law to most Texas roads. It does not imply or ordain any less right to shoulder-less roads now or in the future. The Safe Passing Bill has always been (in part) about educating motorists about what is a safe distance when passing a cyclist. After the bill passes cyclists can still promote the 3ft Safe Passing distance and get significant benefit.
It is very difficult legislatively to make a big change to the Criminal Code. Cyclists may not get this close for many future sessions to passing a 3ft bill. This is the first session in fifteen years that we have had the relationships with the relevant committee chairs to get a bill like this. We must not take it for granted that we could again get this close to passing this next session. Committee Chairs can and do change. It could be many sessions before we are this well positioned again with two friendly committee Chairs.
In future sessions it will be much easier to strike the ". . . or was operating on a public road that does not have a paved shoulder" language from the transportation code than to start over on a Safe Passing bill.
The bill with the onerous Brimer Amendment passed the Senate on Wednesday, May 9th (still a major achievement for cyclists). SB 248 may also include the "friendly" "Patrick Amendment".
We may still have an opportunity to cut out the "Brimer Amendment" language in the House. It has a lot to do with the timing. We must first pass SB 248 as amended, through the House Transportation Committee next week and then on the House floor by May 22nd. If the "Brimer Amendment" is removed in the House it will have to go to a Senate - House Conference Committee. The closer it gets to the end of the session the less likely it can be amended and still have time to go to a conference committee. It could also be killed in the Conference Committee by Senator Brimer or an ally if the Brimer Amendment is removed.

In short, please trust the Legislative team at the Texas Bicycle Coalition to continue to pursuing the best bill that we can get with the time and resources that we have.

It is not necessary or very helpful for cyclists to contact their State Senator at this time, either to praise or complain about the SB 248 or it's amendments. When SB 248 is ready for the House floor we will let everyone know then to please contact their State Representatives.

Thanks,

Robin Stallings; Texas Bicycle Coalition (TBC) Executive Director, TBC Board of Directors and the TBC Legislative Team

Link to Bill Language


Texas Bicycle Coalition

The Texas Bicycle Coalition is continually working to advance bicycle access, safety, and education for the state of Texas.

Website: http://www.BikeTexas.org/

Texas Bicycle Coalition
Robin Stallings
Executive Director
email: advocacy@biketexas.org
phone: 512-476-7433
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Old 05-10-07, 07:55 PM
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EH? Not necessary or helpful to contact state senators or house members? I am glad to know that Sen. Brimer would sleep well if I were to have a wreck on some FM road because Bubba thought it would be fun to whiz by me as close as possible causing me to panic and steer into some gravel on the side of the road.
Besides, according to the Distinguished Gentelman from Cowtown, I don't deseve to be on that road, It doesnt matter that State Law says other wise, but lets not get bogged down in truth vs opinion.

I urge every cyclist, regardless if you are in his distict or not, to e-mail Mr Brimer, in a tactful and respectful manner, and ask that he reconsider his stance.

chris
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Old 05-10-07, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RC_spinner
EH? Not necessary or helpful to contact state senators or house members? I am glad to know that Sen. Brimer would sleep well if I were to have a wreck on some FM road because Bubba thought it would be fun to whiz by me as close as possible causing me to panic and steer into some gravel on the side of the road.
Besides, according to the Distinguished Gentelman from Cowtown, I don't deseve to be on that road, It doesnt matter that State Law says other wise, but lets not get bogged down in truth vs opinion.

I urge every cyclist, regardless if you are in his distict or not, to e-mail Mr Brimer, in a tactful and respectful manner, and ask that he reconsider his stance.

chris
Did you read the sentence that followed the one saying it wasn't necessary or helpful?

In case you didn't:

When SB 248 is ready for the House floor we will let everyone know then to please contact their State Representatives.
I interpret that to mean that it's not ready for the Representatives to vote on it, which means they haven't gotten to it yet, so contacting them about it now would be jumping the gun, and our comments/concerns would get lost in everything else they're doing.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:15 PM
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honestly, I didnt see that but now that I have read it in full, it makes no sense, If the bill is out of the Senate and Brimer's amemdment is included, then why not e-mail/call/write him and let him know that you think his position is wrong and he should reconsider? And if you support him let him know that as well.

Look, the guy said that cyclists "DONT BELONG" on two lane /no shoulder roads. When a public figure is quoted saying as much in at least one major paper in Texas and probably others, and he uses opinion rather than fact to create law, those actions are reckless and could get another cyclist killed when someone has a bad day and they are driving down some Farm to Market road, they come up on a cyclist on a ride and cut it too close and clip him/her or cause a nervous reaction from said rider and serious injury occurs.

As the OP states, the bill as stated even with said amendment doesnt imply or ordain any less right to a two lane shoulderless road, but Mr Brimers comments come across as and are in fact ANTI CYCLING and ANTI CYCLIST, and they overshadow the spirit of the bill. FYI I had a coworker who read the article before me come to me and agree with his comments and how ticked off he is when he has to go here and there and a cyclist is " acting like its the Tour de France" and he sometimes tries to get as close a s possible when passing.
I just think the guy should be called to the carpet for his words.


Chris
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Old 05-12-07, 08:20 PM
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There is no reconsideration of the amendment, unless the house amends the bill. Then it will go to conference comittee- not a good thing, either with this session winding down. Hate mail to Brimmer will do nothing, but a wave of objective comments as to how his stance appears to cyclists could make him think twice about dismissing us in the future.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:49 AM
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We bikers should tell Mr. cowtown that if we don't belong on the road, that he does not belong in office! Rick Perry vetoed the bill! Next election we can vote them out of a job! They forget that this is a government of, for, and by the people!
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Old 01-23-11, 05:54 PM
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stdlrf11
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Um.....

We just had an election.

He won.

Keep in mind there are more important issues than one cycling bill.
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Old 12-25-11, 10:55 AM
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Vote Perry out of office next time! VOTE!If Hitler runs for Tx Gov, he's got my vote! How many lives do you think are more important than one state bill? Get off your lazy butt and call your State Reps, Gov, Senate and congress and tell them your needs! How many times do you or I need to come within a inch and a half from a car's rear wheel after they turn right in front of you accross your path of travel? Or honk trying to scare you or run you into the curb? A cop told me to get off the street and ride on a dangerous bike path, the only one in town that I know of! Maybe you get hazzard pay, I don't! Live in danger and ride a bike! I am 1 disabled vet that's ashamed to be an American!
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Old 12-25-11, 12:58 PM
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by scubajim49 View Post
Vote Perry out of office next time! VOTE!If Hitler runs for Tx Gov, he's got my vote!...
How old are you? This is the most asinine dribble I've seen spewed on the internet in a while. You sound like a pre-pubescent with a an authority complex, lol!
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