Thursday, January 30, 2014

Two Bicycle Bills Received Little Support in Maryland

Image source: /Sally Broadaway
Two recently introduced bicycle safety bills received minimal support from the Maryland House of Delegates. One bill would clarify the laws that apply to bicyclists. The other bill would expand the distance drivers have to keep from cyclists when passing, from three feet to four feet.

According to a recent article in the Washington Post written by Ashley Halsey III, the first bill "would make a minor change in a law that bicycling advocates consider significant. Current law says that a rider has all the rights and responsibilities that a driver has. The change would say that a cyclist has those rights and 'only' the responsibilities that a driver has." Advocates to this bill claim it would help cyclists injured while obeying the law who "often find their insurance claims rejected because insurance companies apply a different standard of conduct to bicyclists than to drivers."

The next bill, increasing the distance that drivers must keep from bicyclists when passing, was introduced as a safety measure. Del. Jon S. Cardin, the bill's sponsor, "pointed to the death of five cyclists and more than 800 accidents in Maryland in 2012 as evidence that laws should be stiffened."

Read the article to find out why these bills were not well received.

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