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.
According 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.
But 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.