Thursday, February 26, 2009

Controversial 'bike rights' bill in Iowa

The 'controversy' exists mainly in the minds of the all too predictable commenters. Iowa adopted a 5 foot passing law and (gasp!) wouldn't provide an exemption for large trucks and farm equipment. Apparently one legislator wanted all bicycle equipped with 6 foot tall 'safety' flags as well. Big clown car horns would be nice, too.

Excerpts from the DesMoines Register follow:

Cars emerging from a private road or a driveway, or entering or crossing a highway, must yield to bicycle and vehicle traffic on the road, the bill proposes.

...And it would prohibit local laws that force cyclists off the streets and onto the sidewalks...

On the proposal that vehicles must give bikes five feet of clearance when passing, there were concerns that it wouldn’t be practical for farm equipment and large trucks. But Democratic lawmakers wanted the law to apply them, too.

...Several Republican senators’ amendments were shot down. One Republican wanted to require bikes to have a 6-foot-tall red flag on roads. Another would have shielded local governments from liability during touring events such as RAGBRAI.

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Blogger WheelDancer said...

Glad to hear this is moving forward. I did a ride in Michigan a few years ago and they required those stupid flags. For those who were not accustomed to them they were a serious safety hazard. Between catching your leg mounting and dismounting and hitting folks you were passing on climbs with it, I'm surprised no one got badly hurt.

10:44 PM  
Blogger GenghisKhan said...

Flags? Oh my! And, grrrr, of course! Some folks that legislate about bikes must not have every ridden a bike!


11:34 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

The greater danger is from large vehicles, so of course clearance laws should apply to trucks.

When I lived in Illinois, I never had a problem with farm equipment passing me -- it was always the other way around.

Honestly, though, 5 feet can be excessive in lower speed urban environments.

6:01 PM  
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