Thursday, February 18, 2010

South Dakota Legislature AGAIN Affirms: Bicycles Are Vehicles

In 2006 the South Dakota Congress, as part of a larger DUI effort, attempted to remove bicycles from the definition of vehicles. Looking back four years ago I see much more clearly how close we were to disaster that year. Fortunately the effort failed and the full Congress affirmed that bicycles are vehicles.

Four years later, as the Senate discussed SB 70 - the 3 Feet Please Bill - Republican Senator and Transportation Committee Chair Mike Vehle went to bicycle law school and found himself an education.

His education was so effective that he ultimately was able to orally report his findings to the full Senate. Indeed, his presentation was so well put together it seems even a room full of sitting Senators was able to understand the lesson.

Ironically it is bill sponsor Sandy Jerstad's persistance in smoking out her "educational" bill that provided her opposition the opportunity to provide excellent education on the current laws.

Interesting that Senator Vehle's lesson hinges on the definition of bicycle as vehicle that was preserved four years ago.

Let's listen in as Senator Mike Vehle lays out the case for why 3ft isn't enough when the law clearly provides use of the full lane.

It's seven minutes...

I think Senator Mike Vehle has a bright future as a bicycle advocate!

Somebody should go tell Bob Mercer that he might need to catch a bigger fish.


bikingbrady said...

I can foresee the need to put together educational material to this fact. If we can get this into the hands of police, bicyclists, and possibly get a question or two on the drivers test, it'd be a step in the right direction.

I agree though, Sen. Vehle has a bright future as a bicycle advocate. Put him on the "A" list.

After hearing this, I'm not nearly as disheartened by SB70 failing.

FunkyMama said...

Where's that *like* button? Vehle's comments today were exactly what I hoped for out of all this - some simple, positive bicycle awareness at the state level.

SD_pedalpower said...


Thanks for posting the audio link. I do feel better about it not being passed now.

DIRK said...

WOW ! Thanks for posting.