Iowa cyclists lobby for 3-foot passing law
The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is lobbying state lawmakers for passage of Senate File 157, which calls for a three-foot separation between a passing motor vehicle and a bicyclist. The organization urged its supporters to contact members of the subcommittee to which the bill was assigned.
In February, the coalition issued a report indicating that major injuries resulting from bicycle-motor vehicle crashes have risen over 30 percent in the past three years and overall crashes are up 11 percent.
Fatal bicycle crashes have been on the decline, dropping from eight in 2010 to three in 2012. But bicycle crashes resulting in injuries have risen from 400 in 2010 to 467 in 2012, according to the coalition.
"Compared to driving, bicycling is very safe," Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, said. "But we can do more. The Iowa Legislature has a three-foot passing bill in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate that could make a difference. Over 20 states have passed similar laws. A three-foot passing distance can be taught in driver's education, placed on the driver's exam and included in the driver's manual."
Wyatt encouraged cyclists to urge support for SF 157 from subcommittee members Sen. Tod Bowman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sen. Chris Brase (email@example.com) and Sen. Randy Feenstra (firstname.lastname@example.org).