Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ask Your PA Senator to Support Safe Bike Passing!

Every bicyclist knows how it feels to have a car, truck or bus pass too close for comfort or suddenly turn right into one's path. Between 8-12% of bicycle crashes are due to motorists misjudging the space required to pass a bicyclist and turning into the path of an approaching bicyclist. To make streets and roads safer, at least 15 states have passed "safe passing bills" to amend their motor vehicle codes to provide bicyclists the protection of law from passing motor vehicles.

There is now an opportunity for you to take action to urge passage of a Pennsylvania safe passing law.

The lack of a safe passing bill is one reason Pennsylvania only rated 25th for bicycle friendliness by the League of American Bicyclists. PA's legislative grade was a C.

Our friends at PA Walks and Bikes have let us know that at long last, Pennsylvania's House of Representatives recently passed its own 4 foot safe passing bill, HB170 .

HB 170 will amend PA's motor vehicle code to provide the following protections:

  • Every car that passes a bike must give a minimum of 4-feet of clearance
  • It will be against the law for a motor vehicle driver to pass a bicyclist and then veer sharply in front of forcing you to jam on your brakes to avoid injury
  • It will be legal to ride a bike on the public road at less than the minimum speed
  • It will be legal for a driver to pass a bicyclist when it is safe to do so by crossing over a double line

It's now up to the Pennsylvania Senate to pass HB170 with no amendments. If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please send a letter today to your state senator and follow up with a phone call to their office. Take action to help make Pennsylvania's roads safer for bicycling.