Bicycle Colorado reports that the Colorado Senate approved the 2009 Bicycle Safety Bill (Senate Bill 148) last Tuesday 26-7! The Senate process resulted in no major changes, keeping a three feet safe passing distance in the bill.
The bill specifies drivers must allow 3 feet of clearing when passing and creates a limited exception to the prohibition on driving left of center to allow drivers to give bicyclists extra room. It also prohibits harassment of bicyclists with penalties for driving a vehicle in a threatening manner or throwing an object from a moving vehicle.
BikeDenver board member Robert Clark and Interim Executive Director Piep van Heuven testified in favor of the bill as it was initially introduced at the Senate Transportation Committee meeting on February 10th. The BikeDenver Board of Directors was pleased that language defining harassing behavior toward bicyclists remained in the bill but disappointed penalties were amended to match other traffic violations, as the Board believes that greater protections for bicyclists are needed. BikeDenver leaders are pleased to see the strong and increasing support from Republicans and Democrats in the Colorado Senate and House, as evidenced by the growing number of co-sponsors, many of whom spoke on the Senate floor in support of the bill last week.
Next Steps: SB 148 now moves to the House where sponsor Representative Michael Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) and co-sponsors will take up the effort. The bill has been assigned to the transportation and energy committee.
How You Can Help: Call or email the State Representative from your district and ask them to support Senate Bill 148 for bicycle safety. Briefly tell them why bicycle safety is important to you and ask them to include 3 feet to pass and safe lane positioning.
State Representatives serving Denver:
District 1 – Jeanne Labuda
District 2 – Mark Ferrandino
District 3 – Anne McGihon
District 4 – K. Jerry Frangas
District 5 – Joel Judd
District 6 – Lois Court
District 7 – Terrance Carroll (Speaker of the House)
District 8 – Beth McCann
District 9 – Joe Miklosi
To find your representative and their contact information, please visit: The Colorado General Assembly
For more information on this and other bills pending in the State of Colorado related to bicycling please visit: Bicycle Colorado