What about HB 1030 the “3’ passing bill?” It is on Thursday’s 2/5 agenda.But wait! That’s not all! Remember when Rep Deutsch was being asked to kindly remove his helmet prop from atop his head? Rep Rasmussen indicated she had a bill that is complimentary to his yellow helmet? It has perhaps arrived!
South Dakota now has its very own “reflective & fluorescent clothing” bill. Meet HB 1214. It has not yet been assigned to a committee.“Any person operating a bicycle on a highway shall wear garments made of fluorescent or reflective material. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.”
I do not like this bill. This bill should not pass. Please don’t let this bill pass. Wardrobe choices should not be legislated.Here are some arguments against…
In 2010 Sen Jerstad’s 3’ passing bill was amended with a similar requirement. The South Dakota Bicycle Coalition (such as it was) promptly dropped its support of the bill.The effectiveness of reflective or bright clothing is doubtful. As a bicycle educator I recommend bright clothing as a reasonable option. In practice I wear what I have on. Sometimes my clothes reflect black. Cyclists have visibility problems because they are not willing to ride where drivers are looking. It is also increasingly difficult to ride where drivers are looking. I can’t fit myself between a driver’s face and their cell phone.
Bicycling is the cheapest and most efficient form of transportation in the world. Bicycling is the way many poor people move around. It is not appropriate to legislate what a person should wear to work.And then there’s SDCL 32-17-25 – with thanks to Jessica for leading me through this...
“Bicycle lamps--Visibility and color--Violation as petty offense. Every bicycle shall be equipped with a lighted lamp on the front thereof visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of at least three hundred feet in front of such bicycle and shall also be equipped with a reflex mirror or lamp on the rear exhibiting a yellow or red light visible under like conditions from a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear of such bicycle. A violation of this section is a petty offense.”See that riders are already required to have a lamp on the front and a reflector or lamp on the back. I fail to grasp the improvement of having the reflective or colorful item on the person rather than the machine.
Also note failure to have lights carries the penalty of “petty offense.” It is provable that lack of lighting is a strong contributor to bicycle/car crashing. The penalty for riding without reflective or fluorescent garments will be a Class 2 misdemeanor which is akin to speeding. The disparity of these two punishments is irreconcilable.Someday soon this bill will land in a committee. Stay awake.