Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm Proud of My State

When was the last time your State Legislature affirmed the status of a bicycle as a vehicle?

HB1190 Title Before: "An Act to specifically exclude ridden animals and bicycles from the definition of vehicles."

HB1190 Title After: - "An Act to specifically exclude ridden animals and bicycles from violations of the DUI statues."

This bill is sponsored by 19 Representatives and 15 Senators. That’s 34 state legislators responding to concerns of their peers and their citizens by saying, "this is a DUI bill, don't worry. It won't affect bicycles rights to the road." Shhh, it's ok, go back to sleep.

For many motorists the very presence of a bicycle on a road is viewed as an act of defiance. Arguments about legal definitions aside, cyclists’ sole claim to be on the road is in the definition of bicycle as vehicle; whether that’s in the rhetoric of an argument with a motorist at an intersection or the rhetoric of a title of a House Bill in a state legislature. Note: in a legislature, we can win!

If I fought this battle alongside you, or if you fought it alongside me, I thank you.

Besides, it was a nice distraction from the Warmest. January. Ever.


Anonymous said...

Besides his love of strategically placed bold words this guy has a passion for bikes that may be unmatched. His work on HB1190 was AWESOME! If you know Mr. No Car personally be sure to thank him for the hard work he put into fixing this law.

Anonymous said...

great job! I have been following the progress for the last week or so, but did not call my legislator since I live in IA now...

Just curious...have you heard of a case in which an innocent bystander was injured by a drunk on a bike or a horse? I am just wondering what the hullabaloo will be like when it does eventually happen (which as you pointed out previously, is not that unlikely!)

mytzpyk said...

The Judiciary Committee audio contains testimony from someone representing a lawyer association or something.

He testified pretty strongly that this does happen in the real world. And people do get hurt.

I think the legislators are thinking (probably rightly) that there are other laws that enforcement can use to keep drunks off the street when they're on horses and bicycles and nobody gets sent to the penitentiary.