Share the road, y’all: Part II


I wrote on June 8, “Share the road, y’all,” that Texas cyclists could take some solace from at least one good bill that emerged from the dysfunctional 81st biennial session of the Texas Legislature. But we cheered too soon.
Senate Bill 488 would have made it a misdemeanor for motorists to drive too near to cyclists and other “vulnerable” road users.
safe-passing-newAccording to a story in the June 8 Star-Telegram, the key provision of the bill said that a “driver must vacate the lane that the vulnerable road user is in if the highway has at least two lanes in the same direction; or pass the vulnerable road user at a safe distance, defined as three feet for a car or light truck and six feet for commercial vehicles.” An offender would have faced fines from $500 to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail, depending on the severity of the violation.

Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis

One of the three co-authors of SB 488 was rookie Sen. Wendy Davis, a cyclist, runner, former Fort Worth city councilwoman and neighbor.
failure perryBut our nimrod governor, Rick Perry, vetoed the bill yesterday on the grounds that SB 488 “would create a new class of users of roadways, called ‘vulnerable road users,’ which would require specific actions by operators of motor vehicles.” I guess those “specific actions” would have included using common sense in sharing the roadways. See the BikeTexas Web site for details.

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3 Comments

Filed under Texana, Urban cycling

3 responses to “Share the road, y’all: Part II

  1. Steve A

    I increased MY respect for Perry today. Maybe he’s more than just nice hair.

    Read his words on the veto. The bill did nothing effective for cyclists. If we want a piece of legislation that would HELP, simply repeal Texas 551.103 in its entirety. Existing statutes require due care and diligence for everyone operating on the road already. Those just need to be enforced…

  2. Ben P.

    Rick Perry sounds like a complete ass!!

  3. Jack/Adams/Austin

    I ride my bike maybe 5-8 hours a week, and I support this veto. It was a bad bill. Look deeper before getting all angry about something that was written poorly and would have ended up causing all kinds of backlash and resentment of cyclists. I think it would have resulted in a lot of bad juju in the next session.

    In short, I agree with Steve.

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